Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Angelfire is full of potential and by the end of this series opener, I knew I’d want to read more.
Ellie thought she was the middle-of-the-road teenager. Not crazy popular, but with good friends. Her big concerns were her jerk of a dad and school. Until she started having nightmares of being murdered by monsters. It was then that a super hot guy started showing up everywhere she went. He was there to protect her as she rediscovered her memories and learned her true role as the reincarnation of an ancient warrior sent to protect the world from demon reapers.
She wasn’t particularly athletic, but now Ellie must re-learn to use swords, call fire to her blades and discover a way to keep everyone safe. Will helps her memory along, and it doesn’t take much before she’s ditching her friends for him nightly.
Courtney Allison Moulton has crafted a new “hot boy with sword” archetype in Will. While the other HBWS guys we’ve fallen for (yeah, we’re talking about Prince Ash) have been bad boy types, that’s not true with Will. He’s brusque, sure, but his sole purpose is to keep Ellie safe and it quickly becomes clear there is no sacrifice he wouldn’t make for her. We know she once saved him, but all we see is this stoic — and super hot — guardian willing to help her discover who she really is …and how to wield a sword like no other.
The chemistry between Ellie and Will is undeniable and will make any reader take notice. You’ll quickly be thinking, “they should just kiss already.” But I assure you, their relationship is more complicated than one could imagine. With great twists on the Ellie/Will front at the end of the novel, we’re already dying to know what will happen with the two in the future.
The only downside to Angelfire was it took me quite a bit to warm up to Ellie. (Though, a part of me wonders if this is just because it’s been awhile since I was a teenager.) The first half of the book, Ellie is very focused on her expensive new car (her friends are very focused on it being an Audi, as well). For me it was distracting to have the barrage of brands peppered through. Ellie is wealthy — I get that — but all the focus on items made it hard to connect with her early on.
However, as she begins to discover who and what she is, it becomes easier and easier to like and care about her. Her interactions with Will make her far more intriguing and worthy of readers’ devotion. She begins taking her duty to kill reapers seriously, we get to see her evolve into a strong, powerful woman. Her fight scenes are extraordinary and the use of flashbacks to previous lives and memories are what lift this novel above so many other debuts in the YA paranormal genre.
Moulton’s fresh take on angels in Angelfire gives us explosive fight scenes, sizzling chemistry and a guy you’ll add to your “book boyfriend” list in a heartbeat. Once you’ve read it, you’ll be watching for when book 2 in the series comes out.
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8. A big thank you to Harper Teen for providing this ARC.