cover image Black Spring

Black Spring

Christina Henry. Ace, $7.99 mass market (288p) ISBN 978-0-425-26678-6

Harbingers of apocalypse are evoked with paradoxical whimsy and tragedy in Henry’s seventh Black Wings urban fantasy installment (after Black Heart). Family feuds among refurbished archetypes plague the sympathetic yet hardboiled series heroine, Madeline Black, as she flees Alerian, Lucifer’s half-brother, who plans to incite Chicago’s supernatural population to eradicate all human life. Worried that her baby is a monster and plagued by supernatural enthusiast Jack Dabrowski, Madeline prepares for Lucifer’s wedding while attempting to contain her growing rage. Aided by Judas Iscariot, angel Samiel, and new lover Nathaniel, Madeline may still be able to thwart the approaching war between gods, but at what price? Dramatic supernatural struggle and intensive psychological conflict are lent disarming humor and empathetic humor in an adrenaline-soaked plot that cross-pollinates a number of mythologies. Domestic concerns inject tender and convincing humanity into supernatural tragedy; household chores and sibling rivalry are metaphors for cosmic battles of blood and treachery. Spunky heroine Madeline is likable precisely because she is so recognizably flawed. This quick-paced but thematically introspective read will delight series fans. (Nov.)