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That's What I'm Talking About

I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent. 


Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.


A+  Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A    Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A-   Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+  Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B    Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B-   Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+  Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C    Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C-   Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D    Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E    Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish


updated July 9, 2015

Currently reading

Operation: Endgame (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Book 6) (English Edition)
Philippa Ballantine, Jeanne H. Ballantine, William Morris
Just You and Me (A Contemporary Romance Collection)
Fiona Miers, Caitlyn Lynch, Liz Durano, Deelylah Mullin, Cate Farren, Jacquie Biggar, Vicki Batman, Kate Richards, Brenna Zinn, Dalton Diaz, Tierney O'Malley, Desiree Holt, Nicole Morgan, Ashlyn Chase
Bitter Bite: Elemental Assassin, Book 14
Audible Studios, Jennifer Estep, Lauren Fortgang
Progress: 27 %
Black City - Christina Henry My Rating: 4 stars: Enjoyed - strongly recommend (A-) (for readers of the series)
Full Review here: http://www.twimom227.com/2013/03/review-black-city-by-christina-henry.html

Black City opens with a complete bang, sucking the reader into the story with intense and gruesome action. Downtown Chicago is being overrun by day-walking vampires, created from a formula Maddy's dad, Azazel, was working on before she killed him. There are literally thousands of vampires massacring civilians in plain view of the public (and media). Maddy and her crew try to stop them, but they can't make a dent. And now that the world knows about the supernatural that walk among them, Maddy has an even bigger-than-normal target on her back.

Black City is a game changer with major revelations. I wanted to hate this book because I was not happy with probably 60 to 80% of the actions in the story. Yet I can't hate it. I have become so attached to Maddy. I need to find out what will become of her and her friends. Like one of my favorite heroines of all time, Buffy Summers, Maddy has been given the powers of the Universe coupled with the weight of saving humanity. Sometimes she has to make unpopular and difficult choices. The thankless job was thrust upon her, and although she is up for the task, in the end it may cost her everything. Emotionally, Black City was very, very difficult, but engaging and powerful read. Like I said, I wanted to hate it. But I just can't. 

What I did like and actually loved about the story is the continuing humor, sharp wit, and character interactions between Maddy and her companions. I’ve grown to care for them all, even her once nemesis, Nathaniel. I enjoy watching each individual grow and learn to trust one another. The protectiveness of Maddy’s gargoyle and extended family warms my heart.

I also enjoy the intense action and continual world-building from Ms. Henry. I will not lie, this one has a LOT going on, and I recommend taking notes for future reference. But for those invested in the series, the information revealed does not feel overwhelming and is actually quite thrilling.

However, I did grapple with two overall themes that played throughout the book. I have issues with the strong push to pair Maddy with Nathaniel. Maddy’s true love and father of her unborn child, Gabriel, has only been dead a few short weeks. Yet the story keeps shoving Nathaniel and Maddy together. The other theme that I’m not fond of is the darkness that seems to be following Maddy. Just when I couldn’t imagine things getting any worse for her, they would and did. It was heartbreaking and difficult at times to see more and more get thrown at a character I care about.

So in the end, I let this book stew in my mind and heart before I wrote the review. And after some time passed, even though I’m still not on board with all that went down, the “good” outweighed the “bad,” and I feel satisfied with the overall story. Although so much happens: reveals about long-time characters, the world turned upside down, every bad guy after Maddy all making an appearance, and new players are introduced, it is a journey worth traveling. And I cannot wait for the Fall release of the follow up book, Black Heart. I just hope that maybe things will slow down a little for Maddy, giving us all a moment to breathe.