Black Wings by Christina Henry is the tale of a woman, Madeline Black (Maddie) who is employed to escort the souls of the recently dead to a mysterious door where they make a choice unknown to the Agents tasked with the escort. Those souls who either refuse to make the choice or who are not reached before the tether to their corporeal body breaks are fated to wander the earth as ghosts. Maddy is a bit frustrated with her life and is searching for a tenant to help ease some of her money worries but discovers that the newest attractive applicant brings along more baggage than she anticipated. The demons that suddenly start appearing stimulate the development of more powers than Maddie ever dreamed that she possessed but at the expense of severe and potentially fatal injuries to her and those around her. Maddie and her gargoyle sidekick must find out what the changes in her life portend and whether she can survive long enough to discover her previously unknown family ties and how they will impact upon her life.
This was a story that has many of the requisite paranormal elements but the action doesn’t quite come together logically. There is an explosion of characters and destructive scenes that are juxtaposed with the gradual exposure of Maddie’s background and talents. The body count rises and sinister characters are fought with, Maddie is frequently severely injured and yet rises to fight again, and unexpected allies and enemies wreak havoc during their vicious battles. It is difficult to know who the allies are and the lines are very blurred between the “good guys” and the “bad guys”. This seems a bit more in the comic book genre than a novel but hopefully will get better delineated in subsequent stories.
Excorting souls into the afterlife leaves Maddy little time for socializing-until devilishly handsome Gabriel Angeloscurro agrees to rent the empty apartment in her building. But when demons start appearing on Maddy's front lawn, she realizes there's more to her new tenant than meets the eye.