Review: ANGELFIRE by Courtney Allison Moulton

Posted 26 January, 2011 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 0 Comments

Final Grade: 97/A
464 pages
YA Urban Fantasy
Releases Feb. 15, 2011
Review copy provided by NetGalley and publisher
Rated PG-15
BLURB: When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers – monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell – she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul. 

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie’s powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her – an assassin who has already killed her once. 

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie’s soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian’s most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives – including truths that may be too frightening to remember.

MY THOUGHTS: This is one of the first YA urban fantasies that really reminds me of my favorite adult versions—a booty-kicking, demon-slaying chick; lots of battles and action scenes; and an awesomely scary world for her to protect. It’s about time true urban fantasy came to the young adult world!
Ellie starts out as a bubble-headed rich girl, worried about her clothes, if that cute boy likes her, and if she’s going to get a car for her seventeenth birthday. But then Will comes into her life and with him, reapers. Her life changes utterly, and Ellie has to find her inner strength to deal with this new world she can remember only vaguely.
She does so admirably. Okay, so there’s some complaining and some snarkiness but can you blame the girl? Her life was going along so well until Will and memories of her past life intrude upon it. Plus, despite her soul being thousands of years old, she can’t really remember the past so she’s really only seventeen in her heart. Now, she does have a lot of flashbacks, which kind of pulled me away from the story at times but, they were part of the set up for future novels and they were interesting, so I’m all good with them. Plus, Ellie’s so well written—you can feel her struggle to remember and to learn what she needs to know to survive while still trying to hold on to being a girl, which she likes.
The romance between Will and Ellie is yet another battle. I picture him as such a hottie, all dark and mysterious. Will fights the attraction but he still loves her and has always loved her, it seems. He’s her fierce protector (though he was kind of creepy stalker-ish at the beginning), determined to prevent her dying on his watch yet again. As for Ellie, I think she’s in love with Will because he’s been there with her, because he knows her history and because he’s the only one she can really talk to about what’s going on with her. Of course, this is just my opinion—I’m looking forward to seeing where this attraction will lead).
Even the secondary characters are full of life. Ellie’s father is a total jerkwad (I’m thinking there’s got to be more to this, considering she keeps pointing out how wonderful he was and now his personality’s completely changed.) and her mother does her best to keep the family together. The reapers—ooh, they’re creepy, especially the one who killed Ellie last time. He’s a bad mamma-jamma.
Though this book is the first in a series and there is a lot of set up for future events, Moulton does a great job in telling a complete, exciting story without a huge, annoying cliffhanger (sorry, I’ve read a lot of books with cliffhangers lately and I’m getting sort of tired of it. But that’s another story.). ANGELFIRE rocks the YA world with its kick-butt, sword-wielding heroine and fantastic new world filled with angels and deadly reapers.

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