Angelfire (Angelfire Trilogy, Book 1)
by Courtney Allison Moulton
Release Date: February 15, 2011
2011 Harper Collins Inc.
E-book Edition; 464 Pages (Hardcover)
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Review Copy from Net Galley
4 / 5 Stars
Whenordinary 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 Angels and the Fallen, and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.
A mysterious boy named Will, who has been waiting sixty years for her return, reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the onlyone armed with angelfire, and capable of fighting the reapers. He is animmortal sworn to protect her in battle. Her soul has been reborn againand again over the centuries to fight the reapers, and he's been there for five hundred years to protect and fight alongside her. 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. At the same time, Ellie is falling in love with Will, even though they know their relationship should be impossible.
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 destroy Ellie's soul forever, not to mention the devastating ramifications for human souls. 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.
In Angelfire, we are introduced to another very interesting and intriguing Heaven versus Hell concept, whereby Ellie, an unsuspecting high school senior, is introduced to a life she never suspected after succumbing to a variety of disturbing and terrifying dreams. When her life proves to be in danger over and over again, and she develops and uses skills (and weapons) she has never had previous training in, she is shocked to learn that she is the reincarnated destroyer of evil things. I found the author's mix of religions and religious thought as well as mythology, was wrapped up rather neatly in a rather entertaining and satisfying suspense novel, and was hooked into the story right from the beginning.
Ellie was a strong female character and thought she handled the knowledge of who she was with applomb and tact. While somewhat skeptical at first, the constantly appearing monsters trying to kill her and those she loved quickly put all notions of skepticism aside and she rather quickly had to adapt to the situations or die. I really liked how the author focused on her adolescent conflicts and didn't let Ellie sink into the doom and gloom we see so often in some characters; while she does often wonder why she was chosen for the task, the novel focuses more on her dealing with the situations and the confusion and consequences of her constant lying and sneaking around. I like how she doesn't always succeed with her lies and has to face the consequences of her actions with her mother and her friends.
What I would like to know however, is what's up with the dad? I couldn't really figure him out, and I can't say I liked him very much. I have my suspicions as to what is going on and I'm really hoping we learn more about him in future novels. My heart really went out to Ellie whenever she had to deal with him however, like any normal child who has difficulties in their relationships with their parents.
Now Will is a character I absolutely adored. And I really loved the last line in the novel and can't wait to see what happens to the relationship between Ellie and Will. I really think Will underestimated Ellie's strength of mind and perhaps he forgot that every Preliator is slightly different because they are born in different bodies and with different experiences. They may all have the same physical strength, but they don't all have the same inner strength, even if they are all the same person, and Will may have just met his match in Ellie. Does that make sense? I can't wait to see the sparks fly!!! And when Ellie regains all of her memories, things should get really interesting.
The whole time I was reading this book, I was thinking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and that is a good thing as I am a secret fan of the series (not so secret any more). Basically, we have a girl who at her core is a good girl and wants to do right by her friends and family. She wants her mom and dad to be proud of her accomplishments, but she can't tell them anything about being Preliator so she is leading a double life and it is hurting her inside. I adore this kind of stuff and was thrilled to learn this was the first book of a planned trilogy. Give me hidden swords, deep secrets, tattoos made with special spells, a good-looking man, angels and demons, the end of the world storyline, mythology, religion, and mix it all up and I'm hooked.
Angelfire was an enjoyable read and I am definitely looking forward to Wings of the Wicked and Hymn to the Fallen when they are released. The story is full of non-stop action and suspense and will satisfy readers until the end, although it does leaves you hanging a bit. Ms. Moulton gives us a mythological world that isn't overwhelming as it is doled out in satisfying bits, but at the same time, makes you want to learn even more. I am interested in seeing where things are headed in books 2 and 3 and I am curious as to how the relationships will develop and the plot will flow.