Saturday, February 19, 2011

Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

Title: Angel Burn (originally published as Angel)
Author: L.A. Weatherly
Series: Angel Trilogy #1
Release Date (in the US): May 24, 2011 (originally published Oct. 1, 2010)
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 403 (hardcover)
Obtained from: NetGalley for early review (thanks!)

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. She has no idea where this power comes from. 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. –Goodreads


Now, I know what you're thinking: "What is this, Emi? ANOTHER angel book? Come on." I know, I know, I get it. But don't jump to conclusions just yet! Though Angel Burn is most definitely ANOTHER angel book, it manages to flip the entire concept of angels on its head. In this book, the angels are the bad guys and humans are the ones in danger of their powers. "How so?" you might ask. Well, in Angel Burn, the angels' world is deteriorating. With no energy source to sustain themselves, the angels have traveled to earth and turned to sucking the life force out of humans in order to survive. If that alone doesn't sound bad enough, like a deer tick with lymes disease, they leave their hosts sick and unhealthy. To me, this entire concept was bone-chilling, especially when the angels began using religion to their advangage, herding thousands of people to their churches to create a kind of feeding ground for one or more angels in an area. I loved the way that Weatherly constructed this secret world, and it only made the danger seem greater because there were only a select few who realized the truth about what was going on.

The main characters of this story were really well rounded, for they most part. Willow was a strong and confident girl straight from the beginning, with unusual hobbies that I appreciated because they set her apart from the thousands of other female protagonists out there (she’s a foturne teller and an automechanic!). Alex was also a confident and smart guy, with an unexpected soft side that revealed itself naturally. Seeing the two grow close was a very enjoyable process—and believable to boot. Yeah, there was a bit of the “lust at first sight,” thing going on, and their relationship towards the end of the book was borderline co-dependent/obsessive, but still, they actually hung out and got to know each other before they declaired that they were inseperable, so I felt that it was excusable. Or maybe I’ve finally developed a tolerance for those kinds of teenage relationships. Who knows? Eitherway, I’ve seen needier characters, and I’m confident that Willow and Alex will be strong in the sequel, as they find themselves facing a gigantic war with little hope of surviving.

Overall, the book was a great alternative to those interested in YA angel books but would prefer to stay away from the ones that focus entirely on romance. Though there are some parts of the story that lag, the ones that don’t are full of action and danger. It was this aspect of the book that hooked me right away and made me say, “Now this, is an angel book.” I’ll most definitely be picking up the sequel when it comes to the US!