Grim Reapers may just be the new vampires. Consider all the books released this year with protagonists whose abilities were escorting/interacting with ghosts. Even just the ones reviewed here on ATUF: Death Most Definite, Deception, Embers & Sparks, Shade, The Downside Ghosts series...and now BLACK WINGS.
The mythology was my favorite part of BLACK WINGS. Imagine the Office Space version of the Grim Reaper business, complete with the boss from hell and more paperwork than even Lumbergh requires. Help a soul move on, then back to the office to fill out the forms in triplicate.
Grim Reaping isn't all bad though, you get some wicked looking concealable black wings and invisibility powers. But being a Grim Reaper isn't Maddy's only problem. She's suddenly come into a new set of powers that she can't control or explain, and a bunch of demons want her dead for reasons that shock her (and delighted me).
The story was a nonstop action blast full of smart-alecky gargoyle guardians, devilishly handsome (and enigmatic) love interests, arrogant demons, wicked witches, and more jaw dropping revelations than a Jerry Spinger show. I barely had time to catch my breath between chapters, but it never felt like overkill.
My only complaint, and it's kind of a biggie, was with Maddy. She's thirty-two years old, but most of the time she acted closer to fifteen. Outbursts of temper were common place and she often had a shallow response to what should be very traumatic events. She bounced from one dangerous situation to the next and didn't have the common sense to keep her mouth shut even though several lives depended on her.
Maddy's immaturity aside, I really did like BLACK WINGS. The story was fantastic and the Grim Reaper/Demon mythology was top notch. The next Madeline Black book, BLACK NIGHT, will be out in Autumn 2011, and I'm already anticipating another excellent read.
Sexual Content: Kissing. References to sex. References to rape.
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About the reviewer
I am a 20-something book lover with an obsession for all things urban fantasy. I cut my teeth on the paranormal genre withBuffyandTwilightbefore discoveringPatricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews. Suffice … more
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"A fun, fast ride through the gritty streets of magical Chicago,Black Wingshas it all: a gutsy heroine just coming into her power, bad-ass bad guys, a sexy supernatural love interest, and a scrappy gargoyle sidekick. Highly recommended." -Nancy Holzner, Author ofDeadtown