cover image Black Howl

Black Howl

Christina Henry. Ace, $7.99 mass market (288p) ISBN 978-1-937007-33-1

Maddy Black enters the third installment of her adventures (after Black Night) with far too many skills she doesn’t understand, men she can’t handle, and relatives she doesn’t want. It’s all familiar territory, and a great deal of internal and external dialogue gets recycled, not just from the previous books but from chapter to chapter in this one. Even Maddy complains, “Was I really going to have to go through this again?” This time around, Maddy encounters an oddly obsessive ghost who was not on the afterlife’s schedule for death. She doesn’t think much of it until the same behavior crops up, demon-induced, in the living. The demons are associated with her old enemy, Focalor, and Maddy is pretty sure that means trouble for her, though it takes a while to see how. Distracted by Lucifer’s machinations and all the males sulking and quarreling around her, Maddy pings from one crisis to the next, as socially, politically, and emotionally inept as ever. (Mar.)