Moulton, Courtney Allison. Angelfire. 464 p. HarperCollins. 2011. Hardcover $17.99. ISBN 9780062002327.
So, you've probably noticed that angels are the new vampires- in YA fiction, anyway. They're all the rage. Somehow I've been missing out on this trend, so I decided to give Angelfire a whirl.
Ellie is a normal girl just trying to enjoy her last year in high school... except that she's been plagued by nightmares lately, where she's wielding two flaming swords and fighting monsters. And she keeps running into this hot guy hanging around. And then the monsters start attacking for real. Before long, her destiny is revealed: she is a reincarnated warrior who has been waging a centuries-long battle against reapers, deadly creatures set on stealing innocent human souls for Hell's army. Oh, and the hot guy? He's her guardian.
With Ellie's conversational first-person narrative chronicling a combination of her day-to-day teen existence, fast-paced action sequences, and a swoony but fairly chaste romance, this book is one that will appeal to the Twilight fans.
Ellie is a far cry from Bella, however. Those who complain about Bella's passivity won't find that same flaw here. When Ellie notices a hot guy sort of stalking her, she totally calls him out on being creepy instead of falling madly in love with him. It's hilarious, actually! I mean, OF COURSE she falls for him later, but hey, it's okay to fall in love with a hot guy after sharing a few conversations and some epic battle scenes, right? I liked the way Ellie and Will's relationship develops.
Besides having a healthy sense of self-preservation when it comes to strange guys, Ellie is a powerful fighter, despite the fact that she would rather be an ordinary teenage girl. When the situation calls for it, she demonstrates some pretty awesome sword-fighting. Those looking for a strong heroine in their paranormal fantasy reads will enjoy Ellie.
Although the character development is solid, the book's writing is occasionally clumsy and the pacing can be uneven. There's quite a bit of telling instead of showing, and long sections of the narrative devoted to explanations of the book's mythology tend to detract from the reading experience. I felt that the book could have benefited from tighter editing. Also, there are a few loose threads (Like: what was up with Ellie's dad?), but I assume these will be addressed in the next two books of the trilogy.
On the whole, though, this is a fun read for fans of the paranormal romance genre.
Angelfire hits stores today. ARC for review provided by the publisher via NetGalley.