Published Date: Febuary 24th, 2011
Finished Date: August 30th, 2011
Series: Madeline Black Book 1
Blurb from Goodreads: 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 Review: I have to say that I am shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you. This novel is definitely a far cry from other angelic-interlinked-with-other-creatures-of-the-supernatural-realm books.
A few days ago, Madeline "Maddy" Black is your typical 32 years old Agent of Death, escorting the dearly departed-s to the Door where they will be presented with 2 choices - to cross the threshold and move on to the next realm, or to roam the earth for eternity as a ghost. But ever since one Gabriel turned up on her doorstep responding to her rent ad, her world as she knew it changed forever. Lol, I sound so..old. *shudder*
Anyway. Maddy's friend suddenly dies by the hands of a freaking demon (she has never known about its existence prior to this incident), that the demon who ate the soul of her friend was also the one who killed-ate her mom all those years past, that said demon is also after her, that her supposedly deadbeat dad is, in fact, one of the Grigori (which is a fallen angel), that she has a demonic-half-brother who's bent on killing her, and many more that I am averse to state. On top of which, she starts getting visions of this girl called Evangeline, which she saw in those visions was the Morningstar's (Lucifer's) lover. This would certainly bring her to the attention of Lucifer himself should it be known by others. Yep I know, screwed life.
So now, what is the link between these visions and the demon that killed-ate her mom and friend? And what is Maddy's role in all this? Well, you know where the answers are. Go read it:)
I thought that this book was bloody brilliant (yes, I quoted from Rupert Grint). This novel is a rather refreshing take on this urban-fantasy-supernatural-a-little-sprinkle-of-paranormal-romance genre. Ever since quite long ago, I thought that it was impossible for me to find a book that would not just be a variation of another. Well, after this my notion has surely been dispelled.
Maddy is a headstrong and astoundingly obstinate heroine. She is brave and loyal, but can be pretty immature and temperamental sometimes. And even on some occasions, her behaviour can only be construed as bitchy. In the presence of Nathaniel? Well, he can be a douchebag SOMETIMES(yes i stress on the "sometimes") but the lady doesn't need to act so..Bitchy. It's the only word for it. But I do like her. Lol, she's only mean in front of him, so most of the time she is the normal kickass, I-take-my-own-orders kind of independent woman.
Her pet-cum-friend-cum-family gargoyle, Beezle, is old and funny. Lol. But look at his name! He reminds me of him:
Bibble of Fairytopia
Don't you think! Beezle and Bibble. He's cute, and smart. He saved Maddy out of a few tight spots AND do witty banters with every cast in the book. He sounds like a perfect pet-cum-friend-cum-family to me! Oh and if you're wondering, yes, I watch Barbie from time to time..Not embarrassed of it!
Another prominent character is Maddy's Agent superviser, J.B., who is a pain in the ass and always making her life tough. He scolds her all the time, lectures, scolds, talk for 5 secs, then lectures again. From the sound of it, he totally reminded me of Peter Parker's newspaper company boss:
But oh no, he is actually a totally hot, young man, just with an attitude. Wow, that's seriously testing my capacity for imagination.
Love interest, Gabriel....Hmm, he's not real alpha male. He's more like her guide in the supernatural world. To explain what is, what to do and what not to do and stuff. But when the real shit hits the fan, it's all Maddy. So.......Nah, not really. And he's not even the one doing the courting! It's all Maddy! But he's not that bad..Just not ideal.
The plot was real sweet. Action all the way. It was superbly eventful, fast-paced, and Henry even managed to do her world building and character development without a glitch. The suspense continued building all the way, and I just couldn't predict was going to happen and what the ending was like. Everything was well thought of and a mighty lot complex. One tiny thing tho - with so much going on, it was hard to keep track of everything all the time and I think I lost track of some of the things a few times. But well, it's a negligible problem, in my opinion.
I would recommend this to Jill Kismet and just any vamp or werewolf or angel novel fans out there. THIS, is how you write a paranormal book.
Random musing (which does contain spoilers):
If Maddy is Lucifer's descendent, and Gabriel is Ramuell's son who is Lucifer's son, that practically makes Maddy and Gabriel family. But they're an item..which is disgusting, cause family DO NOT date each other. Or make out. *shudder*