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Review: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

A n g e l f i r e by Courtney Allison Moulton
Release Date: February 15, 2011 (Hardcover)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Sequel: Wing's of the Wicked (2012)
Pages: 464
Source: NetGalley/Publisher (Thank you!)
Go Buy It: AmazonBarnes&Noble

Word Blurb: Action-packed, fierce, and vivid!
Synopsis- "This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.

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.

Quick Thinking: Awash with vigorous action and vivid fight scenes, poignant, bitter sweet love and painful romance, as well as severe truths and brutal paranormal elements, Angelfire is definitely worth the ride! Though not as mind-boggling as I had anticipated, The Reader is left aching for two whose love spans several lifetimes, with a pounding heart because of the creepy and menacing Reapers lurking in the shadows, and in a state of confusion as to the colossal mysteries, secrets, and hard truths yet to be revealed in this darkly thrilling, pulse-racing 2011 debut!

My Thoughts In-Depth: *Note: May not be spoiler-free.* Being that there was so much hype and raving about this book, I had initially anticipated this nearly flawless, amazing book and I guess I was a little disappointed that it wasn't. This would be an instance where hype can be a very bad thing, as this tainted my reading experience slightly. However, Angelfire had so many great things going for it that I can't wait to talk about!

First, I have to start with the romance! Will and Ellie...geez, can we say blistering, heart-stopping romance or what? Yet, at the same time my heart was breaking for these two. Reliving Ellie's past alongside her, it was depressing and heart-sickening to see all that had occurred over several centuries between these two, seeing how each and every time Ellie was savagely murdered and the pain and agony clearly etched into Will's expression... So, so sad! Honestly, I was more than a little surprised that Will did nothing about his feelings for her, considering how short her time is on Earth each time she's reincarnated. I thought that maybe Will would want to take advantage of the time he had with her. I don't know *shakes head*, it just seemed reasonable to me. But, alas, that is not the case. And it was kind of...fun, reading as Will struggled with his feelings for the current Ellie and how hard he was trying to fight his growing attraction to her. Something I don't see too often in these angsty YA paranormals is teasing, like Will's very stern and serious and watching Ellie poke fun at that was hilarious! The fact that they could be amused by each other and their personalities really won me over.

I didn't much care for the other characters on the good guys team, though I'm not sure if it's the way the book is or that I'm just not that receptive to them. But, there weren't many characters that stood out to me, besides the main two, which disappointed me some. I did, however, like Ellie's mom surprisingly. Finally! There's a real YA mom actually partaking in her daughter's life! Moulton really nailed that aspect of Ellie's home life. It's about darn time there's some parental involvement!

Loved the bad guys though! They were seriously cool. And I'm not just talking about the hulking, shadowy reapers lurking around but the higher up bad guys. And the head honcho, Bastian, had me secretly rooting for the bad guys. Don't know why. He just sort of has that effect on me, I guess. But, I almost want to see the bad guys win in this rather than the other way around. So cool, I tell you!

The plot was pretty well developed and intriguing. It just didn't, you know, captivate me. I didn't go gaga over it or anything. See, Ellie's a Preliator, a warrior destined to face-off with the reapers and the only known being capable of wielding angelfire. So, foes like Bastian and so on, are after her destruction above anything else. It was most engaging when reading about Ellie developing her fighting skills all over again, Will kicking some ass, as well as uncovering the secrets behind much of the villains' plan.

For me, the book got ten times better toward the end and I became much more satisfied by the time I finished it. The ending leaves the promise of something huge erupting and with a title like Wing's of the Wicked for the sequel,  I'm sure the stakes are going to be higher and that things are not only going to get tons more dangerous, but the romance is going to get hotter. So, I'm anxious (though not overly so) to find out what's going to happen next and what kind of struggles are heading Ellie's way!
First Line:
"I stared out the classroom window and longed for freedom, wanting to be anywhere in the world other than gaping up at my economics teacher like the rest of my classmates."

Thanks for reading!


Logan E. Turner said...

I totally agree about the bad guys. The reapers were so cool, and Bastian is pretty slick. Looking forward to seeing what happens next.