Type: YA Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Collins
My Copy: NetGalley
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.
Ellie is your typical, although very spoiled teenage girl. She lives in a very nice neighborhood, her friends all own super nice cars and her own family buys her a car for her 17th birthday. She goes to school, deals with homework and boys and doesn’t see the dangers lurking in the shadows of her very sheltered life. Her world is rocked when her favorite teacher is found brutally murdered. Not just murdered, but totally unrecognizable. Coupled with her horrible nightly nightmares that feel so real, Ellie is shaken.
On the night of her birthday she meets a mysterious, albeit very hot guy named Will. She’s also attacked by some sort of monster. Suddenly Ellie isn’t a typical teen but a sword wielding, evil fighting superbeing called the Preliator. Her world becomes about fighting those things that go bump in the night, reapers. She learns that she is actually hundreds, maybe thousands of years old. She lives, she breathes, she dies and then is reincarnated, over and over again. Her sole goal is to fight those on the side of Lucifer and his army of hell beings. Will is her Guardian. Meant to fight by her side and protect her with his life.
Problem is, Ellie can’t remember any of this. She is trapped in between worlds. Wanting to be human, needing to save the world. With her memory and strength slow to return she needs Will more than ever. When the reapers up their game and go after a relic that could kill Ellie’s soul once and for all, she finds herself in a fight, truly, to the death.
Angelfire was a conundrum to me. I loved the beginning and the end. Everything in between was where my issues were. There was so much information, enough for the entire trilogy. In between the extremely well wrote action sequences was a lot of back story, some of which was completely unnecessary for the book. Beings were talked about that don’t make any entrances into the actual story and so while it’s nice to know what lurks in this new world, readers didn’t have to know it (at least at this point), and it took away from the story. Keeping track of that many beings and lore became confusing and I felt the need to take notes to try to keep up.
The characters of Will and Ellie were well wrote and I enjoyed their conversations. The push and pull of the relationship as Ellie struggles to remember her past with him and to understand her feelings for him is an internal struggle that I understood. I loved Wills conflicting emotions and how his own personal demons bound him from acting on emotions he isn’t supposed to have. His bodyguard role is his purpose for existence and he takes it very seriously. The idea that he has stood with her for centuries was very heart warming to me.
Ellie’s internal struggle got grating once in a while. I wanted her to get her memory back a lot sooner than she did, or will. She alternates between screaming in fear and being totally kick ass. I wanted her to pick one or the other. When she is fighting, it’s great, well thought out and well written. But I kept thinking, I had never seen Buffy The Vampire Slayer scream like that, even at the beginning. Before and after the fight the internal fear came off as weak and I definitely don’t want to feel like the heroine is weak in any way. I liked the idea that she could stand on her own without the help of her angel (Will) but felt she needed to do more of it instead of looking for Will all the time.
The romance between Will and Ellie was slow to heat, but I enjoy them together. Ellie’s innocence is enduring while Will’s restraint is tested. From the start I knew he loved her, even if he didn’t voice it. No one else would stand beside someone that long, with that much conviction and not feel anything. Plus I am a huge romantic and really, who doesn’t want a hunky guardian angel that kicks ass?
The secondary characters seemed slightly cliché, the human friends that have no clue what is going on and the posse of demon killers at the other end of the spectrum. However, I did like them individually. The banter between the teenagers was engaging to say the least.
Overall I will say I liked the book. If based solely on the action and characters I loved it. But the lore left me feeling like something more should happen…like the wheels were spinning but I wasn’t moving. The interaction with the center of the evil plot was also hyped up and petered out early. I have a feeling though, we haven’t seen the last of him, because there is most definitely more of this story to be told!
I give Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton 3.5 stars!