Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

First there are nightmares: Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.

Then come the memories: When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie's power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie's memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.

Now she must hunt: Ellie has power that no one can match and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember. (from book jacket)

Is it okay to say that I LOVED Angelfire? This is the first book that I've read in a long time that really hooked me and I was able to speed through in less than a day (but that might be because this is the first book I've read from the 21st century in awhile). Regardless, I enjoyed all aspects of Angelfire and highly recommend it to all readers.

There is only one complaint I have with Angelfire and it's the beginning, which is a tad too rushed. The book is over 400 pages so there's not much time for background exposition but the reader is quite literally thrown into Ellie's world. We learn about Ellie's nightmares and her parents fighting (two semi-important subplots) in the span of a few pages and then all the real stuff begins. We are supposed to believe that Ellie has had these nightmares for years and has gotten therapy for it but since it is told rather than shown, it falls flat.

Quite honestly, though, if that is my only issue with a book, I think we are golden. I loved everything about Angelfire. I liked all the characters, including Ellie, Will, and even Ellie's cast of friends. The fantasy stuff was really cool with all the angels and demons (it felt like an episode of Supernatural). The action was amazing, the romance was sizzling and believable. There was a cliffhanger so I cannot wait to delve into the sequel. Really, you must read this book.

I don't want to gush on and on about Angelfire (though I could) so I thought I would address one specific point that I liked and that is always a sticking point for readers: the romance. Will is Ellie's romantic interest in Angelfire but he is also her guardian and has sworn to protect her for centuries. Ellie dies and gets reincarnated but Will is immortal, so he has literally been saving Ellie and helping her kill reapers for hundreds of years. He would do anything for Ellie and is endlessly devoted to her (really, it almost seems like a problem). Normally I would be mad that the characters fall in love so quickly, but I excused Angelfire because technically Ellie and Will have been working together for centuries (though Ellie doesn't remember anything). I just thought their relationship was really well-written, and can't wait to see how it is further developed.

This is already long enough, but I thought that Angelfire was a great read. Intense, romantic, thrilling, action-packed and funny are all adjectives that describe this novel and I am so glad I picked this up at the library.

Rating: 9 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from library.

2011/Katherine Tegen Books/453 pages.

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