Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

From the Back Cover:

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.

My Review:

On the eve of Ellie's seventeenth birthday, all hell breaks loose. Literally. Grotesque, gigantic, murderous beasts from hell called reapers invade her world, and a handsome, mysterious man named Will starts shadowing her, asking her if she remembers him. After a wild late night encounter with a reaper, Will awakens hidden powers within Ellie and reveals that he's known her many lifetimes. Turns out he's her Guardian, and Ellie is the Preliator,a reincarnation of the only mortal in the world with the power to fight the reapers: angelfire.

Will is disturbed, because with each reincarnation, Ellie becomes more human and less reaper-kicking warrior. It takes longer for her to remember who she is and to regain her powers. And this time she's really reluctant to accept the truth. She just wants to be a normal teenage girl. That makes Will's job as her sworn protector that much harder.

And his job is about to get harder still because the reapers think they've finally found a weapon that can destroy Ellie's soul and ensure the Preliator can never be reborn again. With the help of a few trusted friends, Ellie and Will embark on a race against time to save her soul so she can continue to save the human race.

With so many paranormal young adult books on the shelves, they all start to run together for me. Two things set Angelfire apart: 1) The story is different, and though it is supernatural, the theology that inspired it is real, and well-researched and portrayed. I've read a few young adult novels about angels recently and you know what's missing from all of them? God. He's not in this one either, but He is discussed, and it's clear that He is the ultimate power behind the forces of good. 2) Will. It's refreshing to find a hero who really is a hero, who doesn't keep dark secrets or have hidden agendas, who isn't afraid to feel emotion and express it. A lot of heroes act tough, but Will really is tough. He's been saving the Preliator's life for five hundred years. But he's a tough guy without the cocky swagger. He's like a white knight, noble and chivalrous. He complements Ellie nicely. I liked him.

I really liked Ellie, too. Moulton does a great job of crafting a character that balances nicely on that fine line between confidence and vulnerability, faith and despair, strength and weakness. The story is imaginative and exciting and actually has a resolution at the end but still sets up a situation to carry the story forward into the next book. I look forward to future installments in this series.

Rating:  4 Stars out of 5

*Please note: This review references an advance digital copy received from the publisher, and therefore the final published copy may differ. Though I received this book from the publisher, these are my honest and unbiased thoughts, and I was not compensated in any other way for reviewing this book.


  1. I'm so glad to hear that you liked this one! It's on my Debut Author Challenge for next year, & one of the books I am most excited to read!

  2. Great review! A good thing when an author can write newness to an old theme.


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