A Note:


I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles. And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tori's Review: Black Wings by Christina Henry

- 304 pages
Price: $7.99
ISBN 10: 0441019633
ISBN 13: 978-0441019632
Released: November 30, 2010

Christina's Website
Buy it via the Publisher
Buy it via Amazon

Obtained: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Black Wings 
1. Black Wings

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 Rating:

My Opinion:
So I just finished reading BLACK WINGS, an urban fantasy that I was extremely excited for. I've had enough of vampires right now, and I've always wanted to read a story about a grim reaper. Maybe it's just me, but I always thought the idea of death being personified was exciting. The English major-dork in me loved reading about/the concept of the Danza Macabra (aka The Dance of Death) during the middle ages. Perhaps I found it so interesting because I always wondered what death would think, how she/he would react, and if death would have a love life. How could he/she, if whenever death touched someone, they died? Or perhaps the busy work schedule deterred any love life? Would there be multiple deaths, collecting souls? There's just so many possibilities, and now I got a story about it!

Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this novel as much as I had hoped. The writing is accessible and I believe that many will enjoy Christina's writing style. There are bits and pieces of humor that will make you laugh out loud while reading this story, which is definitely something I can appreciate in a novel. One cannot laugh enough while reading a book.

Then, there is the world Christina created, which is what kept me reading this book. Like I said earlier, I love the concept of a good grim reaper story and I believe there are not enough books out there right now that focus on that sort of character (this will probably change soon). Fallen angels, nephilim, and Christina's take on Lucifer were also unique and refreshing. There is no actual hell. Who would have thought of that one? It definitely makes Lucifer's minions seem more modern and... well, I thought it was amusing that they would be living alongside humanity. Oh, and the gargoyle sidekick/comical relief? Priceless. Give me more gargoyles!

Alas, that is where my adoration for this book ends, because we are ultimately forced to learn more about Maddy, the heroine in our story. If I love the heroine in a UF, you can believe that I will probably love the book. If I don't, then even if the world is unique, I probably will not love the book. Guess which side of the spectrum I'm on?

When it comes to Maddy, our 32 year old heroine, let's just say she has more temper tantrums than I did when I was 12. I said to a friend of mine when I reached the midpoint of the book: "Maddy is bipolar x10." Almost every single encounter contains a moment where Maddy seems to overreact and act childish. She vents and complains so early on in the story that I found it hard to like her since it made her come off as whiny and dramatic. Granted, there were three encounters that had occurred beforehand, but I couldn't even recall one because it was so brief. Heroines having mental breakdowns and rant-fests within the first 100 pages of a book do not earn my sympathy.

I will give Maddy the benefit of the doubt though, because her emotional state of mind did serve a purpose to the story. Alas, fights are one thing; how the heroine interacts with the allies around her (read: when she isn't fighting) is entirely different. I hope that Maddy's character vastly improves in book two.

Speaking of ranting, parts of the dialogue felt too condensed for my tastes.  Instead of flowing naturally, the venting scenes were repetitive and long winded.  I would have appreciated some lines cut, simplified, or explained via Maddy's thoughts (ex: I then began to explain to so-and-so about how I felt.  How I was tired of getting my ass kicked, how I was tired of being left in the dark)  I feel that flows more naturally than some of the things actually said, but that's just me being nitpicky.

Moving on to the love interests: I loved Gabriel. I loved the attraction (later on in the story) between Maddy and Gabriel. But the initial attraction between them? I wasn't buying it. For me, the pacing was off at that point and it went from Maddy dealing with struggling for her life to suddenly crushing on this man. There were no bonding moments between the two early on. Hell, she was mad at him. Despite her anger, he saves her life by kissing her and she's suddenly drooling over the man. For me, this felt too abrupt and unrealistic.

JB was another character I took issue with. He's an asshole at the start. Maddy thinks he's an asshole, albeit, an attractive one. Yet once Gabriel enters Maddy's life, JB transforms from jerk to attracted man. There were no other signs during earlier interactions that would hint at any sort of attraction on his end, which is why I struggled with the initial unveiling of him as a love interest. I liked JB as one, but I would have enjoyed that element developed further so that it was more convincing.

I think the problem that I had most was Maddy's emotions being everywhere and the pacing. There was a lot of action in this story, which is not bad, but it can hurt a book at times too. I had no opportunity to become intimate with Maddy's character because I felt like I was always on edge, expecting her to get her ass kicked at any second (or, having her discover ANOTHER new skill that will conveniently save her life and kick the bad guy's butt). I wanted to get to know Patrick and Maddy and Beezle more before everything started to become undone. Patrick's fate did not phase me because I did not know him as a character. I also wanted Maddy and Gabriel to interact more and get to know each other before all the drama began. Same with JB.

I also had a few technical problems with the book, but those are nitpicky and can probably be overlooked by most readers. Primarily, how did JB know Gabriel was a paranormal creature and not just some human? Did humanity know about vampires and demons and whatnot? I might have missed the latter question at some point, but if not, that should have been addressed.

Aside from all those complaints, I thought BLACK WINGS was a decent debut. Not my favorite, but I enjoyed it enough that I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Hopefully, Maddy's character will act a bit more maturely and the pacing will improve, now that Christina's a more experienced writer. I suggest reading this book if you enjoy action-packed UFs combined with a bit of humor, or if you want to read about a grim reaper-filled world. I believe that most will be able to look over the pacing and romance issues I had, just like I believe some will detest Maddy's emotional state of being. I also believe that despite how emotional Maddy is, those readers will also look forward to book two.


  1. Oh honey, I am sorry that you did not come to love the book. But I do love your honesty about the book. But you never know, your review may prompt someone else to try it!!!

    Hope all is well honey! Have a great weekend!!!! I hope all is well with you honey!!!

  2. Hey Cecile, thank you very much! It was difficult to write this review because I didn't want to come off mean when explaining what didn't work for me. I guess I succeeded if you think that my review might make others want to read this story.

    I really hope that, despite what I feel about the heroine, others will want to check BLACK WINGS out. The premise is so cool :)

    Everything's fine on this end, I hope you're doing well too Cecile! <3