Book Review: Angelfire (Angelfire #1) 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. 

Release Date:  February 15, 2011
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Age Group:  Young Adult
Pages:  464
Source:  NetGalley

I had a hard time getting into this book.  I'm not sure why exactly.  My best guess is that Angelfire felt like it took itself too seriously.  I think that the tone of YA books is hard to get right: too light and the book has limited crossover appeal, too heavy and the book feels weighed down.  The premise of Ellie's reincarnation was focused on really heavily, and that got old for me.

I also had a hard time connecting with Ellie: I felt like she was kind of a spoiled brat who always got her way.  When faced with adversity she finally rises to the challenge, which really saved the book for me.  Ellie's interactions with her dad were some of my favorite parts of the story.  I loved how she stands up to him!

There is a lot of fighting in this book, something that I think will appeal to a male audience.  Fight scenes are not my thing, but these were descriptive without being overly gory.

I feel like I would enjoy the next book in this series more, since it will bypass the world-building, which is what usually drags down first-in-a-series books for me.  I do think Angelfire was a strong debut, it just wasn't one of my favorites.

Just One Gripe:
The fight scenes felt repetitive.

The Best Thing About This Book:
The development of the love story.  it was heartfelt, tender, and forbidden---my favorite!

Appropriate for a younger audience:

Characters: 2/5
Plot: 2/5
Setting/Imagery: 3/5
Originality: 3/5
Ending: 3/5
Total Score:  13/25


  1. Hm. I was really excited to read this one, but you make some great points. I agree with you on the difficulties of YA and being too light vs. too heavy and having to find the right balance for a wide range of readers. I'm still giving this one a try, but thanks for your honesty, I always enjoy reading your reviews!

  2. Thanks for the honest review. I've been wondering about this one.

  3. Great review, and I appreciate your honesty. I've been looking forward to this one, but it sounds like the pacing and balance was rather off. That always makes things harder. Anyway...brilliant review, as usual :)

  4. I agree with Jenny. YA is a balance of both the young adult and adult worlds. You don't want to turn off teens by being condescending, but you don't want it to go over their heads either. Thanks again for a great review!

  5. Going to put this one on the backburner for now.

    Thank for the heads up.

  6. Sounds like a bit of an adventure story. I'm disappointed to read that it takes its self a little too seriously - I always view these books as being a light, bit of fun read.

  7. Thanks for the review. I'm not so sure that this one is for me. I'm not keen on too many fight scenes!

  8. Oh my, really!? i actually baught this book because the cover got me. i was a little curious, and i havent read it yet. i had a feeling it wasnt going to be good, but still wanted to give it a chance. BUT now that i read you review i might just put it in the bottom of the TBR list. lol thanks for the review. =)


Word verification stinks--- but spammers are worse. Thank you for your patience!