Title: Angelfire (Book 1)
Author: Courtney Allison Moulton
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.Fierce, dramatic, and elaborately detailed, Angelfire seduces readers into a fiery world of drama and action, along with a sizzling romance. The world that Moulton creates is double-sided; the division between the supernatural and mortal realms is physically portrayed through the grim, providing a stark contrast of two completely different atmospheres. This demonstrates the disparity between Ellie's life as a Preliator, and her life as a normal teenager. With many symbolic contrasts and the contradicting concept of good vs. evil, Moulton creates a vividly convoluted world of romance and conflict.
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.
Ellie is an unusual and strong protagonist, torn between two very different identities; a teenage girl, and the Preliator. A flawed character from the very start, Ellie's personality is detailed and concrete. Her life isn't labeled, unlike other female protagonists; she isn't poor or rich, and she isn't popular, and neither is she an outcast. She's sarcastic, and headstrong at times, but Ellie always has good intentions at heart. Ellie's character never looses its particular essence as the novel progresses. Moulton highlights her flaws as well as her strengths, making for a realistic, identifiable character. The reader will acquaint themselves with Ellie's problems, as she slowly comes to terms with her new powers and the responsibility attached to it. The flashback memories of her delicate pasts contribute a historical air while also leaving the reader to put the pieces together. The road to this acceptance is rough and unpredictable, but well-developed and honest.
Protective, humble, and sardonic, Will is unfathomable and macabre at the beginning, mirroring characteristics of a stalker, giving the reader fresh insight to a new male counterpart. Underneath his battle-hardened front, and shadowed by his experience, lies a flawed, but loyal fighter willing to sacrifice his life for Ellie's. The inner battles conflicting him is distinct and his gritty, scarred past affects him in a way that only further strengthens his character. Will's character drives the plot, and contributes much to the suspense. His disputing feelings for Ellie develops as they re-acquaint themselves with one another while he fights to decide whether their relationship is right or wrong. His heart wants Ellie, but his mind is against it. They both struggle with the choices that face them and learn to compromise in their situation.
Acceptance and trust are key themes in Angelfire that fuel the plot. Ellie's journey of acceptance and learning to trust Will develops in the midst of action and suspense, contriving a balanced, yet perplexing read. Many factors pull together to create a detailed, complex plot and sound voice. Both main and secondary characters fuel the novel from Ellie to Will, to Ragnut and Ivar. Each character has a distinct voice that is key to the development of the Angelfire. The mythological aspect and the concept of good vs. evil, merge together to create a striking, character-driven novel with unpredictable twists.
Moulton's sharp, detailed novel of angels is captivating and wonderfully original. Angelfire defies all stereotypes of an urban fantasy novel and introduces a world of romance, angels...and gore. Moulton's debut is filled with angelic lore and gory, bloody battles, foreshadowing what's to come in the next installment. All of these aspects compound together to create a seductive, action novel that will engulf the reader in its unique flame. Angelfire is a fierce, heavenly fire that readers will voluntarily dive into!
The Bottom Line: Bloody fights + Angels + Reapers = A book lover's dream!
My reaction/enjoyment: 10/10
Total Score: 100/100 (A+) !!!This is one of the TWELVE books that hold the title: The Holy Grail - Beholder of the Perfect 100!!!