Book Review: ANGELFIRE by Courtney Allison Moulton
the first book in the Angelfire series
by Courtney Allison Moulton
Publication Date: February 15, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins/ Katherine Tegen Books
Synopsis from Goodreads:
This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.
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.
I was only going to read Angelfire as a way to fill the time when I was not in the mood to write my research paper. You see, I am a mood writer as well as a mood reader, that is why Angelfire was sitting in my TBR pile for a quite a while (as well as other books I dare not mention).
Yet, as I glide my eyes across the words in the first chapter of the book, I grew strangely excited.
I don't know why. I've been excited before when I was reading other books but this time it was a whole new kind of excitement.
By the end of the first chapter, I was hooked and all other thoughts faded away.
Ellie was a joy to read. I always love kick-ass heroines who knows how to fight both literally and figuratively. Who knows when to fight and when to be rescued (she was not a typical damsel-in-distress). Furthermore, she was so sure of her feelings and I admired her for it. She was the first heroine whom I was not frustrated because of her confusion over her feelings for the boy. I also applaud how she handled one of her best friend's confession of his feelings. She was not conflicted over whom she really likes. Thank God, there was no love triangle.
Will is one of my favorite hot boys with a sword (HBWS - term popularized by Iron Fey fans) - the others being Prince Ash of the Iron Fey series and Jace Wayland of the Mortal Instruments. He was really devoted to her, to Ellie and was willing to do whatever she wanted for him to do. So willing in fact to a point that it got annoying: "If that is what you wish," "I will go with you because you want me to," and all kinds of variations of the phrase "Your wish is my command." Can't he think for himself? For what he wanted? I know he's really devoted and only lived to serve her but come on... in real life, I wouldn't have wanted that. Even though THE "one" was of a status below me, I would have it that our relationship where we treated each other as equals. I know that Ellie didn't treat him as a servant, but my issue is not with her but with Will - live a little, man.
Which brings me to another issue about ranks and about Will. I know he was raised and lived all his life knowing and respecting higher beings, veneration of archangels and such, I would still echo what Ellie said, "Coward". Ellie was willing and she did not care about their even status, she loved him. When it comes to love, won't you take the risk?
There are hundreds of stories out there about fallen angels, about the never-ending struggle between good and evil, about grey areas of "what if" and "if only" and love that cannot be... but Angelfire brings a whole lot of NEW to the table.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is the first book to make me feel strangely excited.