Review: Angelfire

Angelfire, by Courtney Allison Moulton will be released on February 15, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats.

Partial description from HarperCollins:

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.

Elisabeth Monroe lives in a world where girls receive luxury cars for their birthdays, shop at high-end department stores, throw extravagant parties, and whose biggest concern is whether or not to straighten their hair before going out – basically the life of a normal privileged teenage girl. Yet Ellie is anything but. Only she doesn’t know it. Not until her seventeenth birthday.

The nightmares she’s been having are real. She is the Preliator, a being who has a mortal body but an immortal soul, the only one capable of wielding angelfire, who is reborn time and time again in order to serve her sole purpose – to destroy reapers and keep humanity safe.

But this time is different. Her rebirth took longer than ever before with only limited recollection of her past – a past that even her protector and guardian, Will, doesn’t know completely. And this time the reapers aren’t the only thing to fear. There is another out there who can threaten Ellie’s very existence and alter her future in ways nothing before ever could.

As Ellie grapples with recovering her memories about who she is and not yet fully able to control her powers, will she be able to unlock the secrets in her mind in time to defeat Lucifer’s growing armies and prevent the Apocalypse? Will the answers she finds be too much to handle? And will her humanity be enough to overcome the darkness within her?

Debut author, Courtney Allison Moulton is a new author to the young adult scene. Her writing has a maturity and a depth of story that is not always seen in a first time author. In Angelfire, she has created a novel with an intricate and detailed history that is woven into the plot through Will’s recounting and Ellie’s dreams. The author’s inclusion of these nightmares and daydreams throughout the story is a captivating way to gain insight into Ellie’s past and allows the reader to learn, along with Ellie, just who she is.

This story is one of the few in which the heroine does not have to slowly come into her own, relying solely on the protection of the male character to usher her through the process. While Ellie doesn’t have all her memories or her full strength at the start, she is a fighter and has at her beck and call a power that will rival anyone, including her guardian and the reapers who wish to end her mortal (and immortal) existence.

While the story doesn’t immediately hook you with a riveting preface, such as one of Ellie’s nightmare-memories, it will. After the initial chapters that introduce the characters, the pace and action pick up quickly and plunge the reader into a story that will leave them on edge until the very end.

Ms. Moulton gives us a character in Ellie who, while immortal, has embraced her humanity, who is strong, but isn’t always aware of that strength, and whose determination and feisty spirit have captured the heart of the guardian who has sworn to protect her above all else.

While the story reveals much about Ellie and Will, there are many questions left to be answered and many lifetimes still to be revealed.

Although Angelfire has not yet been released, the sequel is already much anticipated. Angelfire Book 2: Wings of the Wicked will be released in 2012 and Angelfire Book 3: Hymn to the Fallen will be out in 2013.

Reviewer gives this book: [rating=5]

Angelfire book trailer:

Thank you to HarperTeen and NetGalley for the review copy.

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