Angelfire - Review


Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Publication date: 15 Feb 2011 from HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books

ISBN 10/13: 0062002325 / 9780062002327

Category: Young Adult Fantasy

Format: Hardcover

Keywords: Contemporary, fantasy, adventure, rebirth



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.

(the synopsis continues but really, that's all you need to know.)

How I found out about this book: I downloaded the eBook from Netgalley.

My review:

I really wanted to like this book--but I just couldn't get into it. I've probably watched over 1000 hours of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and just about every event in the book made me recall something from the show. As a result I didn't want to spend any more time reading the book--I just wanted to throw on a Season 6 dvd (Spuffy all the way! er. ahem. back to the review...)

As much as I tried to pay attention to the story, I just got tired of the main character about 80 pages in. I knew I was in trouble when I kept forgetting her name :( There was hardly any mystery or anything to engage me as an audience member. Most things that Ellie (yes, I just looked that up) didn't know about her situation, I could guess, and what I didn't guess, she simply asked the ever-ready and helpful Will--and he answered. It was all so comforting, I dozed off. Yes, even when the big scary-whoosis attacks.

Maybe if I hadn't just read a friend's manuscript that was very alike in plot, though only about a 30% match in mythology. But the Buffy equation--[Chosen One + (Immortal protector x hottie) = Sorry, been there! Done that!]... Had I read this in manuscript form I would probably have said the same things to both authors: that they give up information so easily, I barely need to read the book to know what's happening.

I know there's an audience out there for this book--it's getting 4 stars on those audience members may enjoy such reincarnation-themed books as Fallen by Lauren Kate, The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller, and Immortal by Gillian Shields, or the astonishingly mediocre alien adventure I Am Number Four by "Pittacus Lore". You guys can have it! Sadly, I don't want it.

I've given it points for effort and an eye-candy cover, and because Courtney wields khopesh swords in her author video from

I am TOTALLY serious about giving points for the swords. She is, too. Just watch.

Angelfire is is Courtney Allison Moulton's first novel. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter @CAMoulton

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Comments? What do you think? Is this something you would read? If you've already read it, put in your two cents... (no spoilers, please!) Objections to my low ratings may be posted below, once you have read my article "On Reviews and Low Ratings".

ARC acquired from