Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
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.
Slight SPOILERS in this review. Nothing major, but now at least you have some warning.
I had very high expectations going into Angelfire but unfortunately, the book didn't match most of those.
The main thing about Angelfire that didn't work for me was the main character, Ellie. I just couldn't connect with her at all. I mean, I can appreciate that her life has been thrown upside down and that she is clinging to the threads of normalcy that she has left - I get that. What I don't understand, and maybe it's just me, is that after multiple near-death experiences, Ellie doesn't really seem bothered by the situation enough to want to learn how to protect herself from the creatures out to kill her. Instead, she's perfectly content to just hang out with her friends as if it's no big deal when it is a big deal.
Also, the relationship between Ellie and Will kind of fell flat for me. It was sweet at first how commited to Ellie's safety Will is and it's well described in the book why that is. After a while though, it got a little redundant when I started to feel that all Will had to contribute was repeatedly stating that he would protect Ellie. I wanted more depth to his character, and supporting characters as well, for that matter.
That being said, there were some aspects of the novel that I did enjoy. There were a lot of great fight scenes with amazing details that were very exciting and the mythology was new and interesting. I loved the concept of the reapers and seeing them in action was probably my favourite part of the novel.
All in all, I was disappointed by Angelfire despite some more redeeming qualities. I'll give the sequel a chance and hopefully that will do more to impress me.
Cover Comments: Okay, don't think I'm crazy... but does that model not look like Taylor Swift with red hair from where you're sitting? IS IT JUST ME?? I really like the cover though. It looks eerie and mysterious and I love the contrast with the pink title.