16 junho 2011

Review: Angelfire

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Publisher: HarperCollins (2011)
Format: Hardcover | 453 pages
Genre(s): Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Description (Goodreads): "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.
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When I first heard about this book, it's story and it's main character one thing came immediately to mind: Buffy. And frankly I wasn't very interested in reading it, not only because it sounded so Buffy-esque (lol) but also because I'd read a few negative reviews. But... I ended up with the book in my bookshelves after one of my shopping-sprees (ahah) and a fellow Portuguese blogger read it and liked it and next thing I knew I was opening the book.

Ellie Monroe is your typical 17 year old girl... or is she? After an encounter with the mysterious Will, her life changes dramatically as she learns her true identity and her mission: she is a warrior born time and again with the sole purpose of slaying reapers - demonic monsters who kill humans and drag their souls to Hell. Ellie must remember her fighting skills fast or she may just end up dying... again.

I'm so happy I bought this! I am surprised at how much I liked it since it is in fact a little like Buffy (and that series is so 90's) and it has, of course, a few character and plot related flaws.

The thing is that if this book has a little of Buffy, it reminded me a lot more of Blood+, a Japanese animated TV series I love. A lot. Ellie and Will reminded me so much of Saya and Haji and I couldn't help but go all "aaaw" at their interactions, even if most of the dialogue felt a bit forced and somewhat nonsensical at times.

The story of this book is clearly introductory. There is a mystery subplot about an ancient creature, but it doesn't get much spotlight... which would have annoyed me greatly if the author hadn't made it clear that she will go back to this particular storyline later in the trilogy. So I wasn't annoyed and was able to properly enjoy the fantastic world building: Moulton's mythology is solid if creative and very interesting to read about. Ellie's growth throughout the book is more or less realistic and even the sort of insta-romance makes sense in this particular case. I loved the pacing and how Ellie was remembering things gradually (the flashbacks were perfectly placed), but wasn't too whiny about it.

Will and Ellie stand out as characters although Ellie is the only one that actually has some development. Will is typically brooding and mysterious but he also has a sense of humor that kind of balances the stereotypical side of him. Ellie's friends are pretty much what you'd expect, just a random group with little to no distinctive characteristics. I kind of disliked Kate, the best friend. Don't know if that was intentional.

Overall: "Angelfire" was a great introduction to a new series/ trilogy. The pacing was mostly good, the action scenes were well written and there was also some romance to balance it all. The dialogue seems to need some work (at least in my opinion), but the characters were likable and the book had some great moments. A good read for urban fantasy lovers.

6 comentários :

WhiteLady3 disse...

It seems a nice read.

slayra disse...

It's a cute book and it's entertaining. :D I needed that.

WhiteLady3 disse...

I love it when books are exactly what we needed... :)

p7 disse...

So glad you liked it. :D I was over the moon last week when they released the cover for the second book. ;)

I actually liked Kate. I usually like the slutty friend, although those are a bit overused in books nowadays.

I read about the Buffy comparisons, but as I haven't seen the series (only the first season and some episodes from the others), I couldn't relate. But this book reminded me a bit of the show Supernatural, with the monster/fight of the week thing and the angelic stuff and the nerdy vibe from Nathaniel (-> Bobby Singer, though Bobby is much more awesome :D).

jen7waters disse...

You really liked this one! :D

slayra disse...

Yes I did! It surprised me! And like I said it is very much like Blood+ and I am I big fan of that series.