Black Wings by Christina Henry

Book Review


Black Wings (Black Wings, #1)Book Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Black Wings #1

Released: 11/30/2010 by Ace

Pages: 295 Price: $7.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Black Wings (Black Wings, Book 1)

Source: I own a copy of this book



Book Synopsis:

As an Agent of Death, Madeline Black is responsible for escorting the souls of the dearly departed to the afterlife. It’s a 24/7 job with a lousy benefits package.

Maddy’s position may come with magical powers and an impressive wingspan, but it doesn’t pay the bills. And then there are her infuriating boss, tenant woes, and a cranky, popcorn-loving gargoyle to contend with.

Things start looking up, though, when tall, dark, and handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in Maddy’s building. It’s probably just a coincidence that as soon as he moves in demons appear on the front lawn. But when an unholy monster is unleashed upon the streets of Chicago, Maddy discovers powers she never knew she possessed. Powers linked to a family legacy of tarnished halos.

Powers that place her directly between the light of Heaven and the fires of Hell…

My Review:

I’m not going to lie, this book was a bit of a disappointment for me.  I so wanted to find a new series set in Chicago with a kick-ass heroine and had hoped that this series would fit the bill.  Sadly it did not.  It started off good but about halfway through it started falling out of favor with me.  Let’s explore why.

To begin with, I don’t think there was enough character or world building or perhaps I just didn’t care for how it was delivered.  I struggled to connect with the lead character or her potential romantic interest.  The character that worked best for me was the popcorn-loving gargoyle and we didn’t see nearly enough of him in the second half of the book.

Then there were the rules of this world.  Way too many of them and the lead character is constantly breaking them without even knowing what they are.  Now I know she is as new to her father’s society but common every single thing she does.  It got tiresome.  I also did not care for most of the characters we came across in her father’s world and wanted her to tell them off and kick them out of her life.  This book could have been so much more interesting if the plot centered more around her job than her being sucked into this new society.  It just felt flat after she met him.

After finishing this book I did go and read the short stories (.6, 1.5, & 1.6) found on the author’s website.  .6 was alright but didn’t really contribute much in the terms of character development or world building, feel free to skip it. 1.5 I DNF if that tells you anything and 1.6 was actually pretty good.  1.6 is what saved this series and is keeping me around for at least one more book.  A character introduced at the end of this book plays a major part in that story and gives me hope that if he has more page time the series could take a turn for the better.

So, I will be sticking around for one more book but if things don’t vastly improve I’m going to move on to greener reading pastures.

My Rating:2 Stars


Top Ten Tuesday: The Windy City, Second City, City of Big Shoulders, Chi-Town!

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

August 16: Top Ten Books With X Setting

With my upcoming trip to Chicago next week, yes, twice in one year! I thought it fitting to share with you some of my favorite books and series set in this city that I adore.  Never having been to New York I can’t really compare the two, but Chicago is a great city to visit and so easy to get around.  I love living only three hours away because that makes it a great destination for a three-day weekend.  Anyway here are some of the books that I’ve enjoyed set in The Windy City, books that I feel capture city remarkably well.  Enjoy!

Ten books set in Chicago!

  1. Something About You (FBI/US Attorney, #1)  This was a recent audio book I borrowed.  You can read my review here.  It was quite fun and I enjoyed Chicago being the backdrop for these two’s adventures.  Looks like some of the other books in the series might be set there too.
  2. Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1) This entire series is set in Chicago it is the Chicagoland Vampires after all.  The last book in the series is set to come out soon which makes me sad, but I did read that there will be a spin-off series set in the same world so that offers me a little comfort.
  3. When Darkness Comes (Guardians of Eternity, #1) This is actually a great author to try if you want to read something set in the mid-west.  Her finished vampire series though is based in Chicago with visits to other locations around the country.
  4. Divergent (Divergent, #1) I know many of you don’t like how this trilogy played out.  Personally I thought it was a fitting end and didn’t have a problem with it.  I did love exploring this ruined city that I know fairly well.  It was almost as if the city itself was another character in this world.
  5. Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski, #1) I read most of the books in this series a long time ago.  Like before I even started working at the library, maybe eight or nine years ago.  I would read a little each night before I went to bed.  This is a great series for those of you not into paranormal.  Features a tough female private-eye based in Chicago.  The 1991 move V.I Warshawski is based on this series.
  6. The Time Traveler's Wife This was a beautiful story.  A bit confusing until you figure out how the back and forth jumps in time work, but so worth the effort.  I still tear up when I think about the ending of this book.  So beautiful.  DO NOT watch the movie first.
  7. Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) Alright I have to confess I did not care for this series.  I did not enjoy being stuck in Dresden’s head which seems to be stuck at he maturity level of a 12-year-old.  So I read one and a half books and moved on.  For me, though, the best thing about these books was the fact that it was set in Chicago.
  8. Eternal Kiss of Darkness (Night Huntress World, #2) This is the one book in this series that is set in Chicago.  The rest take place all over the country and some of Europe.  Great series!
  9. The Testing (The Testing, #1) Most of this series is set in other locations but part of this is set in Chicago, kind of a cross between the Hunger Games and the Divergent series.  Not bad, but not great either.
  10. Aden (Vampires in America, #7) This is the only book I have yet to read in this series and it is ironic that the only one I have missed is set in the location closest to home.  I will get this book read.  I will. Eventually.

Well there you have my list for this week.  Know of another book set in Chicago that I missed?  Why not share it with me in the comments.

Monday Morning Check-In: Two Weeks!

Monday Morning Check-In


Good Monday morning everyone out there in the blogosphere.  Two weeks from today I leave for Chicago for the BEA Convention.  Lots of stuff I need to do before then, but I think I have my clothes, transportation, and logging all taken care of.  Thanks to my friend for welcoming me into her home!  I’m super excited to spend some time with her as well.  I’ve begun to change from excited to nervous about the driving and being on my own in the city.  Now I know I will be staying with someone, but she has a life and I fully expect to be on my own quite a bit during the day (or at least for the conference).  I’m also a little nervous about leaving the animals. Not that I don’t think my husband won’t take care of them, but I’m a control freak.  I’m debating on having him just leave the birds locked up for a week or simply leave the doors open (it will depend if I have peachicks or not), the big animals are now feeding themselves and if I fill the water tanks they will be fine.  Cats will be fine, dog will be spending some extra time in his kennel but should be alright too.  The husband of course should be good on his own if I get laundry and dishes done on Sunday.

As to the convention itself I have been making plans for it as well.  I have two not-to-miss authors, Justin Cronin and Sylvia Day.  One of them I will need a ticket so fingers crossed for me on that front.  I did want to attend the author’s tea as John Scalzi is going to be one of the speakers, but the discussion is going to be audio books and it is an extra $40.  The time also crosses over with the Sylvia Day signing, so I think I will pass.  Also if I change my mind at the last-minute then it will just be an extra $10 to get a ticket there.  I am attending the Blogger’s Conference and there looks to be several topics that I am looking forward to sitting in on.  There aren’t a lot of authors I’m supper excited to see but they are continuing to add signing so I hope that there will be some others I want to see.  It could just be that my genre is that popular for attending this conference.  I fully expect to have a good time though and look forward to discovering new authors and making connections with publishers.

Beyond the BEA planning I’ve been working on spring chores and some Democrat functions.  Next Saturday I have the district convention to attend as a Bernie Delegate and the following week I will be working the polls for a special election.  So the time between now and Chicago should pass fairly quickly.  I’ve not been doing a lot of reading, but I did download some audio books to listen to while doing chores.  The one I plan on reviewing this afternoon is actually really good and I wish the next books were available to borrow through the library.  I can ILL them though, but will need to wait until I can carve out some time to read them first.

Well that’s it for this week.  Don’t forget you can follow me on Istagram, Twitter, and Facebook where I plan on chronicling my  BEA trip with tons of pictures.  The links to those sites are on the side of the page of click on the words in the previous sentence.  Happy Reading!

Monday Morning Check-In: Distractions & Planning.

Monday Morning Check-In


Good Monday morning everyone I hope you all had a great weekend.  First off I would like to update that I am no longer sick.  Yes, the plague has lifted and I’m feeling more like myself.  Thanks for all the warm feel better wishes.  Not a lot of reading this weekend.  I don’t think I’ve cracked open a book since last Thursday and this is not good.  I now have nine books for review (not all due this month) and I need to finish up this Kenyon book and start working through some of them.  Many of them I’m actually quite excited over.

So what has been keeping me out of my pages.  I got a new phone.  It was totally needed for my BEA trip to Chicago and our eBay business, but since it was delivered last Thursday I’ve been awful, playing with the new toy when I should be reading.  Bad Amy.  Oh well its newness will eventually wear off and I’ll get back to my reading.  I must say I am in love with it though and really happy with the service I went with (so far).  It was time to join the smart phone era.  Side note I have been practicing  my Instagram usage for the Chicago trip.  I plan to post live updates that week to that account so if you want to follow me there you are most welcome, link here.  Right now you will mainly see pictures of my life on the farm as this is not strictly a bookish account.  But one month from today or two days ago you will start seeing BEA trip pictures from Chicago!!!  Should be fun.

Speaking of one month from today is the Blogger’s Conference and the start of BEA!!!!  I am so excited.  The list of authors holding signings has been posted.  Must say I’m a little disappointed that so far there aren’t that many authors that I’m familiar with, or even read… I’m hoping this changes as more authors are added, but even if it doesn’t I fully expect to have a great time.  It will just be an opportunity to discover new authors and I won’t be restricted by the need to wait in line to see that one author I have to meet.  I can attend more of the sessions and just be free to wander where my mood takes me.  I did received an invitation to check out the Science Fiction Writers of America conference that is going to be held at the Palmer House Hotel that weekend too.  They will be hosting a book signing  one of the nights that is open to the public and I plan to attend.  My dream meet would be Andy Weir, but I’m not going to hold my breath.  I know Justin Cronin is going to be in town as he is scheduled to attend Book Con.  While I like his book I don’t love him enough to buy an extra ticket to Book Con just to meet him.  I’m torn about the whole Book Con thing… I don’t know if it is worth the extra $30 or $40 to attend.  If you’ve been let me know in the comments what you thought.  Thanks.

So I better go I have a list of items that need to be done today along with some exercise that I seriously need to get in the habit of doing again.  Have a great week everyone and if you are planning on attending Bookexpo America in Chicago this year leave a comment and let me know!