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.
Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember. ~From GoodReads
Hmmm...I'm not quite sure where to start with this review. That can't be reassuring, right? I went into Angelfire with what I felt were reasonable hopes. I had heard it was an amazing book, but I hear that (and say that) about books every single day. So, I don't think I had unrealistic expectations. To be perfectly honest, I was...disappointed. Initially, I thought the story would be fun. And occasionally, it was. But mostly I was left thinking "Are you freaking kidding me?" Here's why.
At four hundred fifty pages, Angelfire is a fairly long book. To my surprise, though, I was flying through it, even if it wasn't snagging my attention. Then I realized, I was actually skimming a good bit. The writing felt a bit choppy, and lacked a sense of depth or emotion. Sure, I knew Ellie was frightened or angry, but only because the sentence told me she was. I tend to prefer a flowing, melodic style of writing, one that will sweep me away and capture my attention. That could be just be my preference and I'm being nit-picky. In regards to the dialogue, however, I do not think is just me. Some of the exchanges between Ellie and her friends made me cringe. I'm sure I said stupid crap all the time as a teen, I still do, but this just felt awkward.
Ellie was a fairly likable protagonist. She was a little snarky and sarcastic without being over the top. But, really, what was with all the name dropping? BMWs, Jimmy Choo, her best friend eyeing something at Valentino; I guess that's in there to remind you that Ellie is a normal girl who likes to shop. Maybe I have some deep seeded resentment, because all it did was make me roll my eyes. If you're going to write a realistic character, maybe shop at The Gap or even J. Crew (fancy, in my opinion!).
As for the secondary characters, what can I say? I don't think any of them served much of a purpose other than Will, who I did like. He was apparently hot, because Ellie said so, and very kind. He has a special connection to Ellie, one that he values immensely. Will is intense, and quiet and is probably the only character who didn't annoy me at some point. Maybe that's because he has a Westley (from The Princess Bride) vibe, even replying "As you wish" to many of Ellie's requests.
Now on to the rest of the characters. Ellie's parents. Her mom, who was an extremely kind and understanding character, has no backbone. She loves her husband, a huge jerk, so much that she willing puts up with the verbal and emotional abuse he dishes to Ellie and her. I had a hard time holding any respect for her because of that. Her dad is a ginormous jackwad. A mean, mean man who shows no emotion, other than disdain, towards Ellie. BUT, I suspect there is something up with daddy, because Ellie repeatedly states that he is nothing like the father she once knew. Oh, and Will tells her that he (meaning dad) smells like blood. I get it. Daddy has something big brewing. Something that will most likely be revealed in book two. But just come on and tell me so I can stop hating her mom for putting up with him.
Landon and Kate, Ellie's oldest friends, did nothing for me. Kate was funny sometimes, but sort of skanky, too. Landon wants to be with Ellie. But she doesn't reciprocate the feeling, so he possibly moves on with Kate. That whole little subplot almost felt like a filler or an afterthought, and fell flat.
And lastly, the bad guys. I didn't find them scary in the slightest. The were laughable, almost cartoonish. The lines they aimed at Ellie were just comical and accompanied by lots of drooling.
"We meet again, Preliator!" and "And now you are mine."
Not exactly terrifying.
The ending of Angelfire reveals exactly what Ellie is. I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read Angelfire, so my hands are tied as to exactly why I didn't like it. I will give credit to the author, I didn't see it coming. But I also didn't buy it. I just didn't get it at all.
Having said all of that, I didn't outright hate Angelfire. I just feel that it could have been so much better. I am going to read book two Wings of the Wicked in a few days. I plan on going into it with as open of a mind as I can. But I certainly hope it's an improvement on Angelfire.
"For the longest two seconds of my life I couldn't breathe or move. My back hurt like hell, and I groaned painfully as I picked myself up, brushing the glass off me. My gashes healed almost instantly and left a few bloody streaks behind on my face and arms.
And my party dress was ruined. I was so pissed."
For an alternate point of view, here is a very positive review I found on GoodReads.