by Courtney Allison Moulton
Angelfire trilogy; book I
I've been eyeing this one for ages, and I'm also using this for my Awesome Awktopus Summer of YA Lit challenge (what was I thinking when I thought of that name?!)
When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.
A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.
While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.
My Expectations: Really high! I thought this would be bam-bam-amazing, I've read so many positive review.
Delivery: Ehhhh. I liked it.
Put-down-ability: It was slow in the beginning, pretty good in the middle, awesome up to the climax, then super 'let's discuss feelings' at the end. erm... 5/10 (I so need that drama vs. time graph)
Going in, I really thought Angelfire would be the paranormal that would blow me away and make me seek out more of its kind, but in truth, it didn’t. There were parts I enjoyed and parts I was wary of, but in the end I felt blasé.
Starting with the goods—I really like the way Moulton writes her action scenes. There are plenty of them, they’re detailed and I want to say that they’re “choreographed” because the descriptions were crisp but still readable. I also loved the entire premise, with the mythology of angels, reapers, and myriad of other creatures. Coming off a two-month Supernatural* frenzy, I grinned every time I recognized something similar (like Michael and Lucifer, etc) so they were like shiny spots in the novel. I really liked the idea of Ellie’s soul, her past lives, her destiny, and the whole amnesia thing.
The romance part of it… ehh. I know I’m weird! Everyone loves Will but I just didn’t get emotionally attached, and yes, his “I live to serve you” spiels were gallant and white knight-like, but it just didn’t work on me. I didn’t feel the connection between Will and Ellie for most of the book either, but again, that’s just me. Which brings me to Ellie: I never cared for her. Yeah, I want to say she’s all badass but since I didn’t really like her, I didn’t really feel like noticing her badass qualities :p For example, her dressing up as a "sexy nurse" for Halloween to get Will's attention, along with other things... just didn't sit right with me.
I think while we’re not BFFs, Ellie still displayed some good character growth that makes me very interested in what will become of her. It’s enough to make me want read the sequel. Oh, but all of Ellie’s friends were meh. Landon and Kate were nothing special, and I’m so sick of the best friend encouraging the protag to go after the guy because “he seems nice and he’s hot.” Sheesh, that’s just freaking annoying**. I’m extremely interested to see what’s the deal with her father though—now that’s a good sub-plot (hopefully). The pacing in this novel was slightly shaky, with lots of action and fighting sequences, I thought the novel dulled down in between.
Overall, Angelfire is an action-packed novel with some fascinating paranormal elements, but I found myself underwhelmed because of the characters. That said, I'm convinced this series has some great potential.
Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: paranormal fans
Acknowledgements: none in ARC
7.5/10 – because I was slightly disappointed with my high expectations. I mean I didn't hate it-- it's a good book. I just didn't love it. The creatures and plot was interesting enough, but I just couldn’t feel the conviction behind the characters and never warmed to the protagonist. The romance was alright, but I think my favourite parts would still be the action scenes—all of them!
*the TV show in which Sam and Dean Winchester make up one of the best bromances ever. And they fight demons and stuff. Plus they’re very pretty ;) Also, I think if I hadn't watched the series, I wouldn't have been able to fully grasp the plot (as much--the backstory comes in large doses) or finish the book.
**because it just feels like every. Single. Best. Friend. Does. That. Agghhhh (overreaction? probably) Nice and Hot are not the only two qualities to look for in men!!!
source: contest from Wastepaper Prose (thanks!)
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