by Courtney Allison Moulton
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.
I haven’t read many YA novels. Actually after trying to read the Twilight novels, I gave up on the whole genre. Angelfire has changed my mind. This is no angsty, hormone riddled; woe is me, where is my knight in white shining armor. It’s more Karen Marie Monings Fever series for teens. Make those older teens.
Ellie has struggled with nightmares for months and thinks her biggest problem is her grades. Unfortunately her nightmares are flashes of her past lives and now she has to face reapers and her past.
Will on the other hand has stood by and waited for time to move far enough forward for him to reclaim his place as her guardian. We’re not talking controller of her life or money, we’re talking about her protector, partner and last line of defense.
I liked that there was no over the top romance. The journey and action of this book is the major importance and the author moves the story well in this regard. This is Urban Fantasy for YA. None of the characters are weak or one dimensional. The brand name dropping which can be a problem in this genre is at a minimum and the action sequences are balanced out by the downtime and the reflections.
All in all this is an enjoyable novel that I would be happy to hand over to any teenager with the knowledge that they would enjoy it without being bombast-ed by the sexual overtones or damsel in distress out there at the moment.