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Review: Wings of the Wicked

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton was released in the U.S. today, January 31, 2012, in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Published by Katherine Tegen Books, the print edition is 528 pages.

Wings of the Wicked is the sequel to Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton. The third book in the series, Hymn to the Fallen, will be available in 2013.

Goodreads description:

Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.
Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.

She’s been warned.
Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes , the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.

She’ll be betrayed.
Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay.

***

After learning the shocking truth about who she really is and what her purpose is, Ellie Monroe still wants to try to live a normal life – go to school, go to prom, graduate and go to college. But with Bastian sending even more bloodthirsty reapers after her, trying to be normal is becoming nearly impossible.

When she learns that his plan to destroy all of humankind has been set in motion, and that she is an integral part of that plan, she will do everything within her power to stop him. Even if it means putting her trust in someone she isn’t sure she can trust. Even if it means forging an alliance with someone whose motives may not be entirely pure.

And even if it means tapping into her powers and becoming someone she’s not sure she wants to become.

Because if Bastian were to succeed, not only would it be her life that is forfeit but everyone’s. And the result would be hell on earth. Literally.

***

Wings of the Wicked is an utterly mind-blowing sequel that is packed full of heart-stopping action, tension, suspense and heartbreak. With an opening that shoves readers right back into this deadly world where angelic and demonic reapers battle for supremacy and where the Preliator is tasked with ensuring human safety, this book will be unputdownable.

The battles are fiercer, the dangers greater, the enemies deadlier and the heartbreak more devastating than ever before in this second book in the Angelfire series.

As Ellie desperately searches for answers on how to stop Bastian before his plan becomes a reality, she is forced to defend herself against an onslaught of even more lethal opponents that Bastian has sent to retrieve her. And with their attacks becoming much more public, she’s finding it extremely difficult to keep that part of her life a secret.

To complicate matters, things between her and Will have been strained since he found out who she was, Cadan keeps surprising her with unexpected visits warning her of Bastian’s actions, she still hasn’t been able to recall all of her memories, and life at home hasn’t been getting any easier.

Courtney Allison Moulton has yet again written a story that is positively addictive. Readers will be riveted by this incredibly fast-paced, emotional rollercoaster of a story as Ellie faces her enemies in battle, is tormented over her relationship with Will, experiences a heartbreaking loss, is at risk of losing herself, and tries to recover her memories before it’s too late – to save herself, to save her friends, to save all of humanity.

Wings of the Wicked is unquestionably a must read for fans of the first book in the series as well as for readers who are looking for an exciting story, with a unique world, lovable characters and a cliffhanger ending that will make waiting for the next installment in the series absolute torture.

Reviewer gives this book…

Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

On a personal note:

I didn’t think I could love the sequel more than the original. I really didn’t. Meeting Ellie, Will and Cadan for the first time and learning about who they were, what they could do and taking that journey with them was flipping amazing. There was no way a sequel could top it. Yeah, I was so wrong. I don’t think I could possibly have been more wrong.

I was worried when I started reading Wings of the Wicked because it had been so long since I read Angelfire and I was fuzzy on some of the details from that first book. And while I wanted to re-read Angelfire I didn’t get the chance to and had to just dive right in.

I think I was lost for about thirty seconds, if that. While not everything was spelled out, and most of it not immediately, the little reveals throughout the book made everything come rushing back in… much like Ellie’s memory.

I loved Ellie, Will and Cadan equally in Angelfire, even though Cadan was the bad boy and they’re usually my favorite characters to read about and fall head-over-heels in love with. But in Wings of the Wicked I loved Cadan so much more, even with all the surprising new things there are to know about him. And even with the very different side of him that is revealed.

I am definitely worried about just where things are headed with Ellie in the next book in the series, because she was very emotional throughout this book. She had a lot to be upset about and a ton of things to be heartbroken over, but she seemed more fragile somehow. And that makes me nervous. Even though I know just how strong she can be.

And Will. Oh Will. Half the time I wanted to hug him, the other half I wanted to smack him. He was all sorts of maddening and yummy and he twisted me up inside, made my heart drop right into the pit of my stomach and he put me through the wringer over and over and over again.

But it was those demonic reapers and the even scarier bad dudes and the oh so dark direction the story was headed that made me practically speed-read through this book. There were pages I was dying to devour so quickly that I had to actually go back and re-read them just in case I might have missed something in my haste to see how a scene ended.

Yes this book kept me on edge. I was a total wreck. From everything that was happening between Ellie and Will, to the unwelcome appearance of Ava, to the situation with Ellie’s Dad, to Ellie’s still missing memories, to the constant threat of the demonic reapers, to the even greater danger posed by the Enshi, I was tortured right up to that last page.

Speaking of being tortured, as if that build-up to the end wasn’t enough, the way this book ends was so unbelievably cruel. I just knew it. I just knew the end would be tormenting and torturous and heartbreaking. In fact, there was heartbreak after heartbreak after heartbreak in this five hundred some-odd page novel. I’m not sure I actually survived. I may just be a ghost of myself right about now.

I would love to re-read Angelfire and get to experience both books back-to-back without that long wait between reads. I’m super curious to see just who I’d love more – Will or Cadan – after a second read. And I wonder if reading both books again would change who I think is more perfect for Ellie, who I believe is hotter and whether I’d still believe that Ellie made the right choice.

So what does Wings of the Wicked have? Everything. It’s got a kick-a** heroine. It’s got two swoonworthy boys. It’s got action, action and more action – those battles are seriously insane. It’s got heartbreak and despair and anguish. And then it adds in some more heartbreak and quite a bit more anguish. It has a mystery or two or three. And that ending…. Calling it killer would be way too nice.

So, yes. I loved this book. Yes, I definitely plan on re-reading it. And yes, I’m sad that I can’t re-read it right now.

***

I have quite a few long passages that were some of my very favorites, most involving Ellie and Will, but this one just makes my heart skip a few beats…

Cadan to Ellie:

“No,” he said softly, reaching forward to slide his fingers along my jaw toward my chin. The gesture was soothing, and in the frigid cold, his hand was surprisingly warm. The cold never affected reapers. “There’s nothing wrong with you. Throughout your lifetimes, your humanity has grown stronger. Your human passion is taking over your angelic heritage, and I don’t think it knows how to handle all that divine power. Once you understand and can balance the two sides of yourself, you will be unstoppable.”

Book trailer for Wings of the Wicked:

This review is based on an ARC I received from the publisher, HarperTeen in exchange for my honest review

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