Review: Black Heart by Christina Henry

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Publisher: Penguin Group
Publishing Date: October 2013
ISBN:9780425256596
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.2/5.0

Publisher Description: As a former Agent of Death, Madeline Black is no stranger to witnessing violent ends. But being the one to cause them is an entirely different story….

Review: This is #6 in the Black Wings series of novellas starring Maddy Black, a fallen angel of mixed decent. I am kinda bummed out that I never heard of this writer or her novellas in this series prior to reading #6. This had many good elements to make for a riveting read. Great magic elements, character development, story-line with minimal internal dialogue generated a well crafted story that was fun to read. The praying mantis insectoids, the Cimice, were a great addition as was Daharan in dragon form. I also liked the Retrievers, Lock, Stock and Barrel. They will be a great addition in subsequent installments.

Puck was especially conniving and convincing as one of the “brothers” along with a brief appearance (in this novella) of the Fae Queen, Titania. The only mildly disappointing interlude was the Nathaniel love interest and the waxing and waning of Maddy’s and Nathaniel’s powers. Not real consistent as when a building blows up and they cannot save Bendith, Titania’s son, and barely save themselves. Then in the next scene, she destroys one the oldest beings in the universe with incalculable power. Hmmm. As I am new to this series, I wonder how she is able to put shirts on if she has wings that can only be veiled but not magically removed. I was also pretty neutral on the whole Beezle the gargoyle thing. I think he is pretty weak and formulaic as comedy relief. The cover art really blows. It looks like Jennifer Lawrence is blasting magical fire laced farts.

Despite some inconsistencies in the logic, I really enjoyed this novella. Maddy is a well constructed character whom lends herself to the eternal battle of good and evil not only without, but within. This dichotomy certainly draws you into her inner world, and you find yourself cheering her ability to resist the dark power and triumph with good intent.

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