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Review: ANGELFIRE by Courtney Allison Moulton

Posted by on January 13, 2011
Angelfire (Angelfire, #1) 
Courtney Allison Moulton
291 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: February 15th, 2011
Source: NetGalley
Rating: MEH

First there are nightmares. Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.

Then come the memories. When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie’s power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie’s memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.

Now she must hunt. Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.

Angelfire was high on my must-read list. It seemed like everyone rated it as action-packed and fastpaced. That must be why it was such a big disappointment for me – it didn’t live up to its hype.

Ellie is a normal 16 year old. Well, almost normal. Her grades are dropping and her 17th birthday’s coming up with a huge party. Enter Will, her Guardian, supposed to protect and aid her in killing reapers – wolf-like creatures that eat humans and send their souls straight to Hell.

She finds out that she’s been doing this – killing reapers and protecting humans – for centuries. Yes, hundreds of years. She’ll die, but her soul reincarnates again. But the demonic reapers have come across something that may end her life forever, so that she’ll never come back.

Why didn’t Angelfire live up to its hype for me? For one, the action-packed and fast-paced part was sort of lacking. I thought it was pretty predictable and I sort of guessed some of the moves before they happened. And sometimes it moved a little too slow. However, that wasn’t really an issue, I don’t mind not being action-packed. My real problem was that it contained way to many references to religion. We’re talking about divine forms (God, angels by name), heaven, and hell – it was a little TOO much, for my liking. I confess, I actually skipped past those parts, and I think, out of the 291 pages (in the eARC), I may have skipped 15-20 pages total.

For some of you, religious references may not be an issue, based on your beliefs, but to me, it was an issue. I think YA fiction and religion are two concepts meant to be kept FAR AWAY from each other.

Why I didn’t rate it lower? I think the debut author deserves credit for the unique plot and the characters, who seemed like the average humans they were trying to depict (not like some novels where the charcters are unnaturally perfect or pratically emotionless, know what I mean?).

I was really disappointed with the outcome of Angelfire for me. I expected so much out of it, but I’m not sure what happened. It’s not an outright “no”, but it’s not what I would pick up immediately if I had a second chance.

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  1. I haven't read it, but you basically described my problem with angel books. The premise of those novels basically only “works” for you if you're a member of a Judeo-Christian religion. I can't really get on board with books about angels because they are only believable within the context of that type of religious belief… which are not my beliefs.

    I also really can't stand the cover… looks kind of like cheap paranormal romance to me… sorry, haha.

  2. Someone else said the same thing – too much religious content. In fact, I am pretty sure I saw this mentioned about another book about angels too. I will have to think about that before reading any angel books myself.

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