Title: Black Spring
Author: Christina Henry
First published October 28, 2014
288 pages, Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 9780425266786 (ISBN10: 0425266788)
In Christina Henry’s Black Spring, Madeline Black is a former Agent of death who has found new purpose in life with her unborn child. However, she soon finds herself embroiled in a dangerous conflict between ancient creatures in Chicago.
The city’s mayor has announced plans to round up supernatural beings and put them in camps, leaving Maddy with no choice but to lay low. But her privacy is constantly being invaded by monsters, a shapeshifter, and a persistent blogger.
To make matters worse, her uncle Daharan, her most powerful ally, has vanished. Just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, Maddy receives an invitation to Lucifer’s wedding, which has a guest list consisting of both friends and enemies.
With so many dangerous beings in one place, it’s unlikely that everyone will make it out alive.
About the Author
Meet Christina Henry, the talented author behind the CHRONICLES OF ALICE duology, which offers a dark and twisted perspective on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Her books ALICE and RED QUEEN bring a fresh take to a classic tale.
Additionally, Henry wrote LOST BOY: THE TRUE STORY OF CAPTAIN HOOK, an origin story of Captain Hook from Peter Pan.
In addition to these works, Henry is a national bestselling author, known for the BLACK WINGS series. The series features Agent of Death Madeline Black and her sidekick, a popcorn-loving gargoyle named Beezle.
The series includes BLACK WINGS, BLACK NIGHT, BLACK HOWL, BLACK LAMENT, BLACK CITY, BLACK HEART, and BLACK SPRING.
When she is not writing, Henry enjoys running, reading, and watching movies. Her favorite movies include those with samurai, zombies, or subtitles.
She currently resides in Chicago with her husband and son.
To learn more about Christina Henry, visit her website at christinahenry.net.
In her novel Black Spring, Christina Henry delves into the darker side of childhood and the horrors that can lurk in even the most idyllic of towns. Published in 2014, this novel follows many of the conventions of the Gothic horror genre, interweaving folklore and superstition with the very real fears of its characters.
Henry, who has written several other dark fantasy novels, is no stranger to the macabre. With Black Spring, she takes her readers to the fictional town of Black Spring, a place seemingly out of time, where strange things happen with disturbing frequency.
The novel explores themes of prejudice, mob mentality, and the legacy of trauma. At the heart of the story are the Boersma children: Tyler, who has been ostracized by the community because of his mother’s association with the supernatural, and Mattie, his younger sister who is struggling to understand the events unfolding around her.
When the witch who lives in the woods outside of town is finally exposed, the townspeople take matters into their own hands, leading to a series of horrific events and revelations. While the novel’s setting is fictional, Black Spring is steeped in the history of witchcraft trials and execution in the US and abroad.
Henry adeptly blends historical narrative with a modern-day horror story, creating an immersive world that draws the reader in from the first page. However, the novel is not without its flaws.
At times, the pacing can be uneven, and some characters are not fully developed. There are also some rather heavy-handed attempts at social commentary that can detract from the overall story.
Despite these flaws, Black Spring is a masterful work of horror. Henry’s writing is vivid and evocative, and her descriptions of the supernatural are both terrifying and beautiful.
Her characters are flawed and relatable, and the novel’s exploration of trauma and the long-lasting effects of persecution is both timely and crucial. Fans of horror and dark fantasy will find much to love in this haunting novel.
Henry has crafted a story that will linger in the minds of readers long after the final page is turned. For its excellent storytelling, its exploration of important themes, and its immersive world-building, Black Spring earns a score of 4/5.