Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Angel Burn surprised me over and over. Admittedly, the first bit had me wondering what I’d gotten myself into, but L.A. Weatherly’s unique take on angels had me curious enough to keep going. And I’m thankful I did, because the concept is fascinating and once the two main characters connect the novel manages to become both more grounded and fantastical.
In Angel Burn, angels aren’t the good guys. These aren’t celestial beings in the traditional sense, but creatures from another dimension who can feed off humans. While in the act of feeding they reveal themselves, and to the human it feels like a heavenly experience. Left in a state of euphoria, the human now thinks the angel saved him. But soon he’ll start developing health issues and, more commonly, mental issues.
The angels have latched on to this, creating churches and compounds where humans can come to them to experience the angels.
Alex hunts them and has since he was a child. He’ll get a text with the location of an angel, and he’ll take them out. Only he was sent to Willow, and she’s something different. He would have sworn she was an angel, but she’s also human. He has to question where his orders are coming from and why they want this girl dead.
Willow has always been different. She can see others’ futures. And it doesn’t help that her fashion sense isn’t mainstream and her mom isn’t all there. But she’s always made the best of it. When she sees a vision of another girl’s life being ruined by an angel, she tries to step in. And that’s when everything changes.
Alex and Willow are forced together to save one another’s lives. Only he treats her like something that might need to be killed, and she blames him for the hell raining down on her life. Yet somehow these two can work together. The more Alex sees Willow’s kind nature, the more he realizes he may have been given false information.
This puts them both on the run, coming to terms with liking someone you’re supposed to hate and discovering the people you’ve always trusted may no longer be on your side.
Angel Burn is part fable on the perils of blind trust, part learning people don’t always fit into some box and part teen love story. Yes, Angel Burn is largely teen Bonnie and Clyde, couple on the run. And it works because the relationship between Willow and Alex progresses naturally and honestly. Their actions, insecurities and conversations are genuine and ring true for YA characters, but are done in a way an adult audience will equally appreciate.
Sexual content: Kissing
Note: Angel Burn is called Angel in the U.K.