Thursday, April 7, 2011

Angelfire review

February 2011

I had trouble tackling this review, because it's one of those books that I enjoyed so much, I struggle for what to say about it, other than, "Yay, wonderful, woo-hoo, etc."

Set in the current day, 17-year-old Ellie Monroe is a pretty normal teen until she starts seeing monsters on the streets. Pretty soon, mysterious new guy Will lets her know that she is in fact, a reincarnated warrior, born to fight demons, and he's there to watch her back.

This was a book that owes a heavy debt to Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. Ellie is sweet and likeable, and no one is more surprised than she is when she suddenly starts getting flashbacks of other lifetimes, including new super-fighting powers. It turns out that she is a "chosen one" with access to ethereal angelic blades, that magically appear when she needs to fight. Ellie definitely finds Will cute, but there's little time for romance, because she's got some serious ass-kicking to do. I liked that there isn't a love triangle, and while there's a dash of romance, it's not the main feature of the story. I also liked that there were immediate and serious consequences to the violence in the book. When she trashes her car fighting a reaper demon, (she tells her parents it was just a standard new driver mishap) her mom and dad are incredibly upset, and for the rest of the book, Ellie is annoyed that it's tougher for her to get around town, carless.

Will is fantastic as Ellie's best friend/servant -- he's dealing with his own centuries-long heavily suppressed feelings towards her; plus the worrying fact that Ellie seems to be more and more human with each incarnation, taking longer to reincarnate each time, and for the first time, she really doubts who she is, not immediately remembering her prior lifetimes. I felt it was gently hinted that her difficulty reincarnating spells trouble for the Forces of Good, but at the same time, her increased attachment to her humanity may be the thing that saves them all.

Is it just me, or did Ellie's dad seem pretty strange? There's something foreboding about him - he doesn't seem to care about Ellie that much, and I felt like there was some serious foreshadowing... maybe he'll turn out to be a villain in later books. There isn't a heartrending cliffhanger, but it is clear that this book is the first of a series, with more, definitely important, plot twists to come. I'll be recommending this book to all the usual suspects -- fans of teen paranormal will love this one.

I borrowed this book from the library.
I read this book for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge.


  1. "This was a book that owes a heavy debt to Buffy: The Vampire Slayer"

    That's what I keep hearing! I love Buffy. I can't wait to read this book! I'm so glad to hear the ending isn't a huge cliffhanger, too. I'm so tired of pull-my-hair-out cliffhangers.

  2. It's very Buffy-esque.
    There's a certain art to writing an ending that doesn't feel like you've been interrupted mid-sentence, but at the same time leaves the door open for more.



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