Black Howl

Black Howl - Christina Henry Originally posted at WickedLilPixie Reviews
Madeline is an Agent of death. She gets a list of names, times and places and the names are souls whose deaths have been foreseen by Agency prophets. Her job is to be at the right place at the right time to take the soul to the Door. The soul has a choice of where they want to go beyond that Door.

Gabriel used to be Madeline’s bodyguard, at the behest of her father, but after having won him in a magical contest she was not supposed to survive, he is now her thrall. The laws of Lucifer’s kingdom are that once you’re a thrall, you’re always a thrall and now that Madeline owns him… well, that’s a little bit of a f*cked up foundation to build a relationship on. She doesn’t want to own him, but she also doesn’t want him at the hands of another being that might abuse him, so as painful as it is, she mostly leaves him alone. Samiel, Gabriel’s half-brother is now living with them, as well. Quite an odd household. Madeline receives notice from Lucifer that Samiel is to be brought in for a trial for injuring Maddy during events in the previous book, and the Gregori’s Hound of the Hunt shows up to take him in. In addition, Wade is missing and ghosts have been popping up all over town that have not been foreseen by the Agency prophets.

One issue that caused a disconnect this round for me with Madeline was her journey to lose 30 pounds. It was never really explained why and I guess maybe if it had been 5-10 or something realistic it could have been whimsical and humorous, but 30? That is an awful lot of weight. Was the heroine that overweight and just striving to be healthyt? It was never mentioned before in the previous books she had a “weight issue”… I couldn’t figure it out! Now, Beezle we already knew had food indulgence issues and he made me giggle…

“Got any fitness tips for an overweight gargoyle?”

I love Beezle, her overweight gargoyle, and his endless journey to eat donuts while Maddy makes him diet and exercise. He serves as great comedic entertainment. Additionally, what started out as a really annoying-to-me character, Jude, whom I thought I would never ever understand, I ended up … understanding. We are given quite a big revelation about his background and I really liked the twist. I couldn’t understand why he was just so angry all the time and once some background is revealed, it made more sense. I admit that about a third way through the book I was ready to not finish it. But somewhere around the middle when we started getting more backstory on the wolves and the Gregori came in to the story, I was sucked back in and finished it.

I enjoyed this book more than I did the last one, Black Night and more than Nat enjoyed the first book, Black Wings… but sadly not significantly more. I still have many of the same issues I did with the last book when it comes to the constant male attention and love attraction-slash-weirdness going on with almost every male in the series. Nathaniel has somewhat been ousted and you feel kinda sorry for him since she has dejected his marriage ambitions. Gabriel is still acting like a thrall and being kinda a big baby about it. The other guys… eh. You get the point. You can’t accuse me of not giving this series a fair chance, since this is the third book in the series. It was a fast, quick read and mostly satisfying. While I’m done with the series, that’s not to say that someone else out there won’t love it.