Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

* * * *

From Candlewick Press:

Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars.  Willow has a gift.  She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them.  But the assassin, Alex, does.  Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself.  He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces, and that he’s one of the few humans left who can fight them.  When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil.  In the first book in an action-packed, romantic trilogy, L.A. Weatherly sends readers on a thrill-ride of a road trip – and depicts the human race at the brink of a future as catastrophic as it is deceptively beautiful.

They’re out for your soul… and they don’t have heaven in mind.

My librarian (my co-worker’s 15 year old daughter) has supplied me with many books in the past year.  Whenever my library (the one my tax dollars go to) doesn’t have my book, I ask The Librarian and she always comes through.  So it’s because of her that I came to know Angel Burn.

I have to say it started off really well.  Meeting Alex the assassin first, who is surprise, gorgeous, was fun.  Weatherly set it up with just the right amount of mystery that got me hooked.  Who is this guy riding around in a sleek Porsche?  How does he have the energy to go work out for hours at a 24-hour gym after a kill?  And which gym is it because I want to go?

Alex receives his next assignment – to eliminate Willow Fields.  Willow is your typical high school girl with her own quirks.  I like her.  She’s self-assured about who she is and what she does.  Having had to grow up fast does that to you.  She and her mom who’s mentally not all there live with her aunt who isn’t all that pleased to be sharing her house with them.  

Willow’s special gift is that she’s psychic.  She doesn’t tell the person exactly what will happen but tells them the options that lay in front of them and the potential outcome of each option.  When she agrees to do a reading for a schoolmate, she uncovers a deadly truth and inadvertently ends up smack in the middle of a war between humans and angels. 

Weatherly presents a revamped version of angels that are not God’s divine creatures.  They’re hideous and feed on a human’s life force to sustain their own.  Their world is slowly being destroyed due to some “Crisis” that no one really knows how it began.  They've been coming to earth to feed off of unsuspecting humans for a while.  The human that has been fed upon believes that they’ve received a special gift from the angel. The truth is that their encounter results in "angel burn".  On the outside they appear to be in a blissful state.  Angel burn leaves them fatigued, the body starts to deteriorate leading to various physical and mental diseases.  No one suspects a thing because the humans are so enraptured by this that they do anything to protect the angels and serve them.  Massive churches are dedicated to angels whose followers become their meals.  One of the largest churches is in Colorado headed by Raziel, who has plans for an angel invasion, The Second Wave, by which more of them will come to earth via a gate that will be opened soon.

A small group of people known as AK, Angel Killers know the truth and are fighting for human kind.  Alex is one of them.  He comes to understand what Willow is and that her special gift can help defeat the angels.  Their initial encounter ends up with them being on the run together.

It’s while they’re on the run that the book is really interesting.  The initial awkwardness and fear of two strangers being thrown together give way to an uneasy camaraderie where they slowly learn to trust each other.  Soon sexual tensions arise.  It’s a given that they’d fall for each other.  I liked how Weatherly divided the chapters so that we could see each one’s perspective.  The scene when they finally admit their feelings for each other is sweet, though I felt the subsequent chapters after that kind of lost their oomph. 

It did pick back up with Willow attempting to destroy the “gate” to prevent the impending Second Wave. Alex and Willow learn that they’re not alone as they had thought.  There are still some good guys out there, including other angels who feel that what the rogue angels are doing is wrong. 
Available December 2011

The climax set up the next installment very well.  With so much at stake, it’ll be interesting to see how Willow will reconcile her feelings for Alex, the truth of who she is, from whom she comes from along with the cause that she is determined to fight with Alex at her side.  There’s a lot of story left to tell and I’m looking forward to it.  Angel Fire comes out in December.

- Bel

No comments:

Post a Comment