Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Release Date: February 1, 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Source: ARC from Publisher
Series: Angelfire #2
Challenge: Speculative Romance, YA/MG Fantasy
Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined. Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven's warrior is a challenge. Ellie's relationship with her Guardian, Will, has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell's strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.
Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian's new plan to destroy Ellie's soul and use and ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian's schemes, the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything - including her. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be Hell to pay.
Everything I loved about the first book in the series, Angelfire, comes back in this book, only much stronger! The action scenes are even more cinematic, playing out as if on a screen right in front of your eyes. I love how some fights go on for pages and pages, and none of the immediacy of the fight is lost, and amazingly, there is hardly any repetition of moves and sequences! The way Courtney writes these scenes draws you right into the action, and I was completely swept up in the ebb and flow of it all.
To counter the viciousness of the battles, there's also plenty of emotion, both surrounding the action and between lulls in the action of each battle. It's different than the emotional content in Angelfire, when Ellie and Will are falling in love - in Wings of the Wicked the emotion is harsher, raw and painful. It's building up through this middle book to a much darker place, as demonic reapers escalate their attacks and horrifying things happen one after the other.
What I love is how Courtney balances Ellie's feelings so that while she is obviously an archangel, she is also obviously simply a human girl, wanting all the things that normal girls want. In Angelfire, I loved how Ellie remained in the human world while she became aware of the paranormal. Here, the separation becomes more distinct, especially as Ellie spends more time entrenched in the paranormal world, but I like that she still has her human friends and family through it all.
And the ending - after the ups and downs surrounding the events of what finally happens at the end of the book, and the way the book just stops in middle of taking care of it - I can't wait for the final book, for what is sure to be epic and intimate at the same time!