MADELINE BLACK IS AN AGENT OF DEATH, MEANING SHE ESCORTS THE SOULS OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE DIED TO THE AFTERLIFE. BUT LATELY, SOME SPIRITS DON'T FEEL LIKE CROSSING OVER...
Something is wrong with the souls of Chicago's dead. Ghosts are walking the streets, and Maddy's boss wants her to figure out why. At the same time, the pact that Maddy unwittingly made with the local werewolves comes back to bite her when their alpha is kidnapped. As Lucifer's heir, she should be able to discover who--or what--is responsible for both occurrences, but the fallen haven't been too happy wit hher since she agreed to harbor Gabriel's half brother, Samiel.
And while work is bad enough, Maddy has a plethora of personal problems too. Now that Gabriel has been assigned as her thrall, their relationship has hit an impasse. At least her sleazy ex-fiance, Nathaniel, is out of the picture--or so she thinks...
I received this book from the publisher, Ace Books, for review
I was so glad to return to Chicago! I have my vampires (Neill) and my angels (Henry), and Christina writes an amazing book this time around! Black Howl went far beyond any expectations that I had!
Maddy is just starting to think that things are going to be a little normal for awhile, despite having to have Gabriel as her thrall. She tries her best, tries to make him not feel like a slave, but his attitude is ever changing and it really drives her a bit nuts. But she still loves him and doesn't regret her choices.
Soon Jude comes knocking on her door and that is where the trouble really begins. Wade, his alpha is missing, along with the pack's children. Jude is going crazy mad trying to find them all and he needs Maddy's help, however much he may loath the idea. So they set out to find the kids, when who should they stumble across along the way? Nathaniel. Yeah, he's back, ugh.
His character always befuddles me. Once I think I know what he's about, I am taken sideways to see another angle. He's just mind-boggling!
What soon started as a presumed simple kidnapping transforms into something bigger...involving demons and technology. Two things that do not belong together. The children, when they find them, are nothing but mindless beings. They are walking into walls and screaming their heads off, they don't seem to respond to anything, except for Maddy.
This stretches farther than Maddy knows. Things are getting bad, real bad. Yet, never fear, there are plenty of light-hearted moments! Beezle is always the life of the party, bringing in the laughs when you least expect it. And there's still some romance brewing between Maddy and Gabriel. Their love is still growing and it's a tender and sweet kind! I was totally turning into mush at particular points.
Other characters really start to surprise me as well. Lucifer for one. He's always seems to be conniving, trying to twist logic and get Maddy to do his bidding. But the guy has some serious depth that shows at the most opportune moments. Jude was another! I can't recall how I felt towards him last time, probably some dislike, and that was still true at the the beginning. But we get a whole new light on his background that really changed my perception of him. I will be really glad to see what he does in future books!
The ending was really surprising! I so did not see it coming! Soooo many emotions were riling inside of me, all trying to take control! And that is all I will say! The ending does leave some things hanging and it's really going to make waiting til next year a challenge, but it will have to be done!
Overall rating 5/5 stars
Black Howl releases February 28, 2012