Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Review: Black City by Christina Henry

BLACK CITY
By Christina Henry

PUBLISHER: Ace US

PUBLISHED: 6 June 2013

GENRE: Fiction / Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

Former Agent of Death Madeline Black may have been stripped of her wings - but she hasn't lost her purpose ...

When Maddy finally killed her father, Azazel, she thought his depraved experiment died with him. But now Chicago has been infested with vampires immune to the effects of the sun, and the bloodbath is worse than she could have ever imagined. While the Agency refuses to interfere with other supernatural courts, Maddy is determined to do everything within her power to save her city - wings or no wings.

But when the leader of the vampires requests that she turn herself in or risk more deaths, Maddy becomes a target for the very people she's trying to save. Left with no other choice, she turns to Lucifer, the one creature who has the power to help her. But her grandfather's aid has always come at a price ...

MY THOUGHTS:                       ***CONTAINS SPOILERS***

Following on immediately from the events in Black Lament (review here), this is another action-packed, adrenaline-fueled installment in Henry's Black Wings series with a whole host of creatures for Maddy and her friends to contend with.

But even though there's a LOT of action (which did seem a bit obviously contrived), that's not really what this book is about. It's about Maddy coming into more of her powers, Nathaniel learning about his true heritage and his own powers, Maddy trying to do her best in difficult situations only, by the end of the book, to be abandoned by her friends and surrounded by the Agency's Retrievers.

Poor Maddy! The harder she tries to keep everyone safe, the greater the hold that darkness seems to have over her heart.  I really felt that even if she'd made different choices, Lucifer's net would still be closing in around her. The book created a real sense of inevitability about that.

But I can't help but compare the ending to "Becoming" the two-part finale of Season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

Angelus: No weapons, no friends, no hope. Take all that away, and what's left?
Buffy: Me.

And because of that, I still have hope that Maddy can see this through and find a way to thwart Lucifer. I just hope the price of doing that isn't too great.

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