Saturday, April 23, 2011

Book Review: Angelfire (third novel for "The Descent of the Angels Reading Challenge")



I have finished reading my third angel book for
"The Descent of the Angels Reading Challenge".

It's been very entertaining and enjoyable
thus far, with very inventive plots
and great characters conjured up by each author!

Now I have 9 more books to go!
Onward and upward!
(Pun very much intended...)




Angelfire
Author:  Courtney Allison Moulton
Hardcover, 453 pages
Published by Harper Collins,
February 15, 2011
Reading Genre: Paranormal Romance, YA



What an exciting, very original take on angels this book is, with a strong female hero, as well!  It was quite hard to put down, since page after page of action kept me truly on the edge of my seat, reading late into the night, as battle after battle erupted, with hardly any respite to give me time to draw breath... 

Elisabeth Monroe, better known as Ellie, is a very likable character.  She is a good student, and apparently a very normal, average girl, whose seventeenth birthday is just around the corner.  She has some great friends.  There's just one problem -- she also has horrible nightmares in which she's someone else -- a fierce warrior who wields sickle-shaped Khopesh swords, and hunts creatures known as "reapers", in another dimension known as the "Grim".   

One day, a strange, intense-looking boy suddenly appears, and Ellie somehow feels she knows him, although she can't recall ever seeing him before.  He's gone in a flash, before she can speak with him.

Things get started when Mr. Meyer, one of Ellie's teachers, is found brutally murdered.  The entire school in in shock, while Ellie goes into a mild depression.

Just after midnight, on her birthday, she sneaks out of her parents' house, onto the front porch, after witnessing another of the endless arguments between them.   Restless, she decides to go for a walk around the block.  This is, after all, a quiet neighborhood, where no crimes have ever taken place.  As she starts down the street, she hears a low, unexplained rumble, and a streetlamp goes out.  And then...Will reappears.

The rumble belongs to a reaper, invisible to Ellie's eyes. 

Will forces her into the Grim, and she can now see the monster clearly.  She is calm, unafraid.  She 'calls' her weapons into her hands, and a frightening battle ensues, in which she is no longer herself, but a mighty warrior, intent on annihilating evil.  She succeeds brilliantly, then blacks out.  Ellie is not an "average" girl at all!

The background details on Will and Ellie gradually unfold as the novel moves along.  Will has been her guardian, or bodyguard, through many lifetimes, and she has always fought reapers, evil creatures that kill humans, sending their souls to Hell.  She has died many times, but is always reborn, although, in this life, her memory has not returned as quickly as it has in previous ones.  But just who is Ellie, really?   She is the 'Preliator', the only being destined to fight the reapers and destroy them.

The plot intensifies even more when a mysterious artifact, known as the 'Enshi', is discovered in the house of a reaper, one of the kind that can pass as human.  This artifact has the potential to annihilate the Preliator, so it must either be destroyed, or buried where the reapers cannot find it.  Thus begins the final quest, the final battle.  In the process, Ellie is revealed to be something more than a warrior...and the budding love between her and Will is a forbidden one...

One of the things I greatly enjoyed about this book was the tension created as Ellie struggled to fulfill the duties of her office, while at the same time, continue with her everyday human existence, as if nothing unusual were going on.  Moulton deals with this in a very creative manner, inventing very plausible explanations for the consequences of Ellie's battles with the reapers.

Another delightful aspect of the book is the easy camaraderie between Will and Ellie.  At no point in the book does he treat her in a condescending manner.  In fact, he becomes her fighting coach at the beginning of the novel.  He trains her to fight for herself, seeking to help her remember her warrior skills.  He is her protector only in the sense that he covers her back during the endless battles with the reapers.  When they both begin to realize that they love each other, that love is based on respect and trust. 

Will and Ellie are both such compelling characters!  Will is tough, but yet, tender and gentle with Ellie.  He is sweet and honorable, totally loyal to her.  He has loved her for centuries, but has remained firm to his own duty toward her.  He's also very attractive, and Ellie doesn't fail to notice that.  In fact, he's a total hottie!  Ellie herself comes across as a very nice, good girl who is somewhat naive.  She quickly emerges as a very tough character, however.  When she later realizes that she has fallen in love with Will, she gives herself entirely to that love, even though Will tells her they cannot be together.  This is another element in the book that builds tension.  I wanted them to be able to have a love relationship!  I wanted it desperately! 

There are memorable minor characters, as well, such as Kate, who is Ellie's best friend, and Nathaniel, an immortal allied to Will, who is an expert in ancient languages.

The one problem I had with the book was that i found Ellie's true identity -- which I will not reveal here -- incompatible with her long chain of incarnations.  Until I discovered that, I was all set to give the book five stars.  This one thing was the fly in the ointment, though.  I felt disappointed that the author didn't seem to be aware of what I consider to be a glaring inconsistency.

Still, I will say that Moulton's skill as a writer is admirable.  Her story grabs the reader very early on, and doesn't let go until that final confrontation between good and evil.  Add to that two very engaging lead characters, a bit of romance, and the book is certain to please most readers! 

I will definitely be looking forward to the next book in the series!


MY RATING:






13 comments:

  1. AAH! I totally loved and enjoyed Angelfire very much! :) Will and his uber green eyes just set me to mush! Oh, and you can't forget those tats of his! *___* Mmm!

    -Momo

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  2. Hi, Momo!!

    Yeah, Will is the PERFECT romantic hero! He's so devoted to Ellie!! So very sweet, yet so very sexy! I LOVE HIM!! You know what? He reminds me of Edward Cullen!! This is the type of guy that makes one MELT....sigh.... Yes, I totally ADORE Will!! I sure hope the love between him and Ellie continues to grow, and that it will no longer be forbidden! (I can't wait to see how Moulton manages to pull THAT off!)

    Thank you so much for the visit and the comment!! : )

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  3. I KNOOOW! Edward and Will have that tortured and brooding type of thing working for them! :)

    It makes us girl readers fall over our hearts swooning for them, lol!

    I KNOW! but the forbidden-ness of their relationship makes it that much better! To know that Will cares SOOOOOOOOOO much for Ellie YET it's forbidden! I'm just like, DAMN! HAHA!

    Like you said, I hope that they're love continues to grow stronger for each other! I can't wait to read the second book!

    Totally, #TeamJustCallMeWill! *___*

    -Momo

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  4. Yes, Will is definitely "swoon worthy'!!!!! And his love for Ellie is just that much sweeter because he's holding himself back, knowing that it's forbidden for him to feel that way...sigh... We girls just LOVE it when a guy holds back because he wants to be honorable and do the right thing!!!! OMG!!! That makes them so, so much more ATTRACTIVE!!!!!

    TEAM WILL ALL THE WAY!!!! YAY!!!

    And thanks for commenting again! : )

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  5. I'm with you girls!
    Will is awesome, but who's even more awesome is Ellie! I loved Ellie so much in this book (not that I thought Will was any less worthy of my undying love) Angelfire is a pretty great book!
    Nice review Maria!

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  6. Yes, Ellie is absolutely GREAT!! She's no wimpy girl waiting for some guy to rescue her!! But I do hope that she and Will can have a relationship in the next book. They're so much in love...

    Thank you so much for the compliment!! : )

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  7. WOW!!!!!!!!!! I am so going to get this one! Thanks for the review! Truly breath taking!

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  8. Another kick-ass heroine!! Yaay for these girls. Love the look of this book and the cover is great too. Dying to get started on this series.

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  9. This Angelfire was catch my eyes with her cover book ans the title too. I really enjoy this review. Hope i can reac book too :)

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  10. Hi, Ashfa!

    Ditto -- YAY for kick-ass heroines!! This is indeed a great story, and the two main characters are so EASY to love...

    Thanks for commenting on my review, as well as for participating in the "Love In Bloom" Giveaway!! :)

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  11. Hi, Filia!

    Yes, this is a great book! Thanks for the compliment on my review, and for participating in the "Love In Bloom" Giveaway!! :)

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  12. I really loved the review you gave on this! You clearly explain some aspects of the book but you gave just enough "peeks" that it intrigued me to want to read more! I also noticed that in your review you explained why you did not give 5 stars and why. Now normally a review does not usually give a reason as to why they did not give a higher rating but you did. Now I have to read the book to want to know more about the connection between her identity and her long chain of incarnations. Brilliant review!

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  13. Hi, Melinda!

    Gosh, THANK YOU for such a lovely comment!! I'm so glad the "peeks" I gave in the review, as well as my giving a reason for the four-star rating, have intrigued you enough to want to read this book! You will understand what I mean about Ellié's identity and her incarnations when you read the book yourself. It just seems very inconsistent to me. Another reader might not object, but I did, because this made the plot less believable to me.

    Thanks again for the FABULOUS comment!! And thanks as well for participating in the "Love In Bloom" Giveaway!! :)

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