Author: Courtney Allison Moulton
Release Date: February 15, 2011
Genre: YA Paranormal
Ellie is in for a shock when, on her seventeenth birthday, a boy she'd never seen before introduces himself to her as "just Will," and promptly awakens powers in her she didn't know she had. She is the Preliator, a being who's been in existence for longer than anyone knows, and she fights demonic reapers, sometimes dying but always being reborn and continuing to fight. But the last time the Preliator died, she wasn't reborn for twenty years, and now that she has her powers back and is beginning to remember bits and pieces of her past five thousand years, it seems the demonic beings are gathering for a Second War with God, and they're after something called the Enshi which can kill the Preliator for good. Ellie is determined to continue fighting, but is it enough?
A heroine who seriously kicks ass, a raging battle between good and evil, a sweet romance - what else could you ask for? Angelfire has it all, from crazy fights to tender moments, balanced perfectly so that the pacing of the book as a whole is amazing and the pages just turn themselves. The way Moulton transitions from the action-packed, fast-paced scenes to the beautiful interactions between Ellie and Will is so great - you have those seconds to catch your breath between battles, and it also gives so much more humanity to both of them (haha - humanity).
Even before the romance between Ellie and Will starts, their interactions are fun to read. Their banter made me laugh out loud a few times, and I love how easy it sounds, really as if it's just two teens poking at each other. It's so natural, the way topics change a thousand times within the space of one five-minute conversation.
On the other side, there's the action part of the book. And that is equally as amazing, if not more. The richness of detail in every battle scene is breathtaking, as I felt like I was experiencing every blow, every strike and swipe. It's so easy to visualize the way the battles play out, where each player is at each moment of the battle, what's happening to the surroundings while they fight. In so many other battle scenes, it's easy to get lost and just know - there's loads of fighting going on now. Not here - in Angelfire, I followed every step of the battle, and each fight is unique and terrifying on its own.
I love the way the battles happen during, between, and around Ellie's normal life. Instead of being removed to an alternate reality when her true powers are revealed, Ellie has to continue living her normal life, and the way it intertwines with her superpowers is so great. Like the way she has to deal with her mother, and her car - I love what happens with her car. In a way, it makes the paranormal so much realer, to have it grounded in firm reality.
Ellie's personal development is also very interesting to watch. I love how she doesn't know who or what she is, and how she doubts herself, because I was kept guessing until the end about who she is. And I can't wait to see how she deals with it in the next book!
Thanks to NetGalley and HarperTeen for providing a digital copy for review.