Author: L.A. Weatherly
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: (US) May 24, 2011
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
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Willow has always been psychic, able to help people make choices by touching them and seeing their possible futures. When she does a reading for a classmate, she finds out that angels do exist - and that they're not at all angelic. She sees an angel feeding off her friend's energy, weakening her until she'd go crazy and die. Alex has been an AK - Angel Killer - for almost as long as he can remember. When he gets a message to kill Willow, he knows there's something wrong, because Willow is not in fact a full angel. Working through their mistrust of each other, Willow and Alex try to work together to figure out what is going on, after the entire Church of Angels wants them dead. Apparently Willow has the power to destroy all the angels, but how will they do that?
Definitely a new spin on angels! Angel Burn threw me when I first saw Alex killing angels, making me wonder what was going on, who was the real villain. But I love the way preconceptions about angels are dealt with and an explanation is seamlessly woven into the story.
The main part of the story - so far, I guess until the action heats up in the next books - is the relationship between Alex and Willow. It is so beautiful, the way they progress from being disturbed by each other, to grudgingly liking, to admitting that they love each other. It's so real, the development so natural. And every scene where they're interacting - which is most of the book - is such a pleasure to read, the way they speak to each other, the way they overcome past emotions and slowly open up to each other. And their relationship is so beautiful - they're my new favorite book couple!
The action builds really well, too. The pacing of the book is amazing, the way things come to a head, fall sharply, have a lull for a few pages, and then build again. The alternating between various points of view works really well for that. I thought that since Willow's point of view is told in first-person, that might be weird, not being in first-person all the time, but it works tremendously in keeping the reader inside Willow's head - she is the main character, after all - but being able to give information about Alex and the angels as well.
I give this book five out of five stars, because it kept me enthralled the entire time, and the pages - 460 of them! - flew by so fast I hardly noticed the length.
Thanks to NetGalley and to Candlewick Press for providing a digital copy for review.