Angelfire by 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.
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.
Angelfire was an intense and kick butt debut that left me extremely anxious for the sequel! From the first page I was drawn into the world Courtney had created. Ellie is a heroine I liked a lot. She was just a normal teenager used to shopping with her friends and going to the movies suddenly thrust into a world of monsters, fighting, and death around her seventeenth birthday.
Ellie may have seemed a little spoiled at first but as you dig deeper into her character you will see she has more going on than meets the eye. She's struggling with some of her classes, dealing with one of her friends who suddenly wants to be more than friends, and her constant conflicts with her father. Add in the fact that she is actually a reincarnated warrior meant to fight and kill demonic reapers and save the souls of innocent humans, her senior year of high school is really off to a rocky start.
I loved the originally and complexity of Angelfire. I'd never heard of reapers other than the well known "Grim Reaper" and I never imagined them to be the ferocious, murderous beasts presented in this series. There was a lot of mythology and ancient mysteries entangled in the plot and Ellie will learn some surprising things about her past lives. There are a lot of terms regarding Ellie's past and her "occupation" and it was interesting to learn about the archangels and the Fallen. Also, the term "angelfire" definitely plays a big role in the story!
Will is one of my favorite guys in YA fiction. He was caring, supportive, and would stop at nothing to ensure Ellie's safety. I enjoyed watching their relationship blossom over the course of the story and reading Ellie's flashbacks about her and Will in the past.
Courtney Allison Moulton is a great writer and the fight scenes in Angelfire were very vivid. I felt like I could feel the breathe of the reapers on my face and feel the pain Ellie was experiencing. When she got into fight mode she went from ordinary teenager to a warrior. Nothing could stop her! It was great to read about such a take charge heroine.
I'm definitely eager for the sequel because there were a few loose ends and I can't wait to see what's next for Ellie, Will, and the rest of the characters. All in all, I highly recommend picking up Angelfire as soon as possible. It's full of intense action, sweet romance, and great characters. An overall fantastic debut!
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
February 15, 2011/Katherine Tegen Books/464 Pages/Young Adult/Book One
Source: Publisher (ARC)
Other books in the series: Wings of the Wicked (2012) and Hymn to the Fallen (2013)