The first book in the Angelfire trilogy, this debut novel is pretty lengthy and not something I would have generally gone after in the bookstore. In fact, I had seen the cover of the book and continued moving on with little interest in it. Yes, I judge books by their covers and typically I’m a good judge. However, I must admit that this time I was wrong.
I’m sure the concept of ‘reapers’ is more popular than I think. The theme of angels is certainly something that has caught the interest of young adult readers in the past year, bumping vampires only slightly out of the limelight. The love that is forbidden is a HUGE theme and a great way to grab a teenager’s attention.
Ellie, the main character and voice of this book, isn’t necessarily your loner that you see in most YA books as of late. She isn’t exactly ‘popular’ either, but she’s rich and has a group of friends, not the best student in school, but she is generally a nice girl who tries her best with life. She’s a likeable character who doesn’t hold much back and isn’t very whiney despite the situations she finds herself in.
Enter Will. Will is incredibly gorgeous, mysterious, and kind of following Ellie around. Typical of a YA book, right? Well, aside from a few moments where the interaction between Will and Ellie made me think of other YA books, I really enjoyed this pair because they find a way to separate themselves from the other YA couples that are out there. Will has been following Ellie around for a long time… like, hundreds of years. He is Ellie’s guardian and she is the reincarnation of ‘something’. Her job? To fight and kill evil reapers. Think of the Grim Reaper… ‘cept there are different breeds of ‘reapers’ and they’re all equally frightening and mean. Well, aside from the nice ones, but that’s a whole other story. For thousands of years Ellie has been reincarnated and grown as a mortal with extraordinary powers that allow her to go up against these creatures and for about 500 years Will has been by her side. Unlike Ellie, Will is more or less immortal.
Not to my surprise the characters are in love with one another. Well, ok so I lie. I was totally hoping they’d fall in love with one another. While having a slow moment at work I sat down the book and proclaimed to my coworker, “When are these two going to kiss?? They need to kiss already!” But their love, and this is what reminds me of other YA books, is forbidden. Unlike the other books on the market the characters in Angelfire seem to stick to their morals and promises a little more. I love the character Will because he doesn’t turn into a big bag of squish due to his feelings. He keeps his head in the game, is tough as hell, and is hard to be swayed. Despite his tough exterior he has some faults but he remains forever truthful and committed to his mission.
I enjoy that Ellie was both a typical teenage girl and also this mysterious being. Her memory of her past lives came back slowly although her fighting abilities almost came naturally. Her confusion, denial, and eventual acceptance of all of this is, in my opinion, accurate of how a teenage girl (or anyone for that matter) would generally take such ‘news’.
Of course, this is the first book in the trilogy so there are a lot of questions left unanswered. It’s unnerving for me, I hate cliffhangers, but I suppose it’s somewhat needed in a book that has two follow-ups. If you’re interested in discovering more about the world of the Grim, where the reapers come from and a place that all the former Ellie’s knew so well, go to your local bookstore. The book is out in full force and you’ll be able to find it easily. If I understand it correctly, the following two books will be published once a year. The second book, Wings of the Wicked, will be out next year followed by Hymn of the Fallen to be published during 2013
Angelfire (Angelfire - Trilogy)