Friday, November 30, 2012

There are things you don't know about, and things you don't need to know about.

I finished Christina Henry's Black Lament earlier tis evening, and I now find myself waiting for the next book.

This series started with Black Wings, in which we met Maddy, Agent of Death. Maddy has a hereditary position witnessing deaths and escorting souls to the Door to the afterlife. She has a gargoyle house guardian named Beezle who happens to eat everything in site. She has a boss at the Agency (the one who lines up her collections) named JB, who starts off as a sanctimonious prick, but by book 4 is in the running to be a love interest. She has a father, Azazel, who's a Fallen angel who sat at the right hand of Lucifer. She has a great grandfather (quite great) who just happens to be Lucifer Morningstar. Oh yes, we're knee deep in re-imagined Christian Mythology here.

Black Lament is book 4 in the Black Wings series, and picks up pretty much where book 3 left off. Maddy's husband has just died and her Great Grandpappy, Ol' Scrotch is informing her that her husband lives on inside of her...and her baby.

In the last book, which delved into an unholy alliance between the Chicago fairie courts, the vampires, and her father Azazel's Court, a fairly major fairie wound up dead at Maddy's hands. As such, the Fey are mildly pissed with her, and end up sending monsters after her. Which promptly get dispatched, and winds up getting her in hot water with Oberon and Titania. Add on to this some very strange vampire behavior coming out of the last book, and Maddy, now Hound of the Hunt of Lucifer, is using a large sword to cut through the Gordian knot of Immortal politics.

Henry loves to hint around at the plots and counter plots that Maddy is navigating at sword point, suggesting that Maddy is being used as a pawn by several different factions, suggesting that perhaps, despite her good intentions, Maddy is not working for the good of humanity as she likes to think she is. Then again, the road to hell is paved with good intentions...

And this one leaves us with so many new questions. Such as, why are the rebel Fallen working with the vampires? (Part of this is made known at the end, however, the purpose isn't revealed.) Who is Puck, really? (Maddy meets him during her showdown with Titania and Oberon, and it's suggested he's much more than just a fairie. Hell, given the rather pointed conversation between Puck and Lucifer at the end, one wonders if he isn't an aspect of Jehovah. Not bloody likely, given his actions, but still...) And what part does the Agency play in all of this politicking? (Upper management spends most of this book trying to keep Maddy out of Fallen politics, regardless of Agents being kidnapped by players in the current coup.)

The series starts with Black Wings, moves into Black Night, continues in Black Howl, and Black Lament is the newest addition.