Although I enjoyed this book for the most part, a lot of what I loved about the first book, Black Wings, was missing. I had quite a few iffy moments while reading and found myself genuinely relieved when I ended Black Night more positive than not. I have no plans as of yet to quit this series, but I have to admit I’m a little more wary than I was after reading the first book.
It seemed like a good chunk of my time reading the beginning of the book was spent trying to resist the urge to pull my hair out. The heroine, Maddy, seemed to subscribe to the belief that she should ignore any advice she was given about her interactions with the supernatural world, just on principal. I cannot stand deliberate stupidity, and she had it in spades. Again and again things would turn out badly because she just wouldn’t listen. She would acknowledge later that she could have avoided it, but she just brushed it off by saying that she couldn’t stand everyone telling her what to do. Personally, I think smart people would prefer to know the lay of the land before they went blundering around. Too bad Maddy wasn’t that intelligent.
I was really pleased that Henry didn’t include a love triangle in the first book. I marveled over finally finding an Urban Fantasy without a love triangle and was impressed that the author didn’t feel the need to conform to the current trend. I guess I spoke too soon, because although there isn’t an out and out love triangle, there seems to be one in the making what with the flutters going on for another man. How lame. Gabriel was barely even in the book, so that was another downer. I was really looking forward to seeing the tension between them and watching them (or her, since he feels he can’t) try to find a way to be together. I felt we ended the book in the exact same place we started in, just with a different setup. I’m afraid if plot devices that seem like carbon copies of each other keep popping up to keep them apart, I’m going to get tired of this. I don’t like the feel of being stuck spinning my wheels.
I also felt like things were too easy for Maddy this time around. She seems to shrug and accept anything that comes her way with barely a flinch. Her reactions and the lasting impact of certain upsetting close calls were nil, so it was hard to get swept away and feel any urgency. Plus, I wasn’t happy to see a certain event used so cavalierly. That’s a pet peeve of mine.
Despite my dislikes, the pages turned quickly, and I was sucked in. Once the action starts, it just keeps on going. We rarely see Maddy do her actual job—which I missed—but we get exposed to a lot of new sides of her world. We meet the Werewolves and the Fae, and although I didn’t feel we got much depth to them, we got enough to whet my appetite for more.
The politics involved in being Lucifer’s granddaughter are still the main object of my interest (and frustration) in Maddy’s new role in the supernatural world. I really liked watching Maddy find her feet as Lucifer’s representative and enjoyed her burgeoning self confidence in that arena. But those very politics also frustrate me and leave me with the feeling that I’ll be stuck watching this same dance again and again for a few more books. I could be wrong, though. The author really could pull through and surprised me.
Just like with my review of the first book, I have to warn those of you who are not fans of having the angel/demon/Lucifer angle messed with against reading this book. I doubt you’ll be happy with the role Lucifer is cast in and you’ll probably grind your teeth to find that pretty much every major character in the book is some kind of relative of hell. So, just an fyi. 😀
“People are staring,” Gabriel murmured next to me.
“Oh, gee, why would they stare?” I said. “It’s not like I’m having an argument with my coat lapel or anything.”