Book Review: L.A. Weatherly’s Angel Fire

Posted September 28, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: L.A. Weatherly’s Angel Fire

Angel Fire

urban fantasy that was published by Usborne Publishing Ltd on January 24, 2012 and has 636 pages.

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Second in the Angel young adult urban fantasy about two half-angel/half-humans and the lengths to which they and their friends will go to rescue the Earth.

In 2012, Angel Fire was nominated for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award for Young Adult.

My Take

Well, it was boring to start, then it got interesting, and then it got intense — it made me cry. I suspect it might have been better if I’d read the first one first.

I did get around to reading the first book in the series, Angel…but things got frenzied as I was packing to move. I had to return the library book before I could sit and go through my notes.

What I remember of it was mostly a fill-in of what Weatherly referred to in her second installment, including a teeny bit more of Sophie and Nate. Yes, I do wish I had read this one first…mostly because the “thrill” and worry that should have been generated in this story wasn’t there, as I already knew how it ended. I do wish Weatherly had provided more drama around Sophie and Nate. They felt more like an “add-on without detail” simply to generate the “terrorist” scene in the cathedral.

I also think Weatherly could have expanded and created more tension and drama on the blossoming romance better. But it definitely was not an insta-love!

The action in Angel Fire picks up immediately after this one.

There are two separate storylines that eventually merge: Seb is looking for his counterpart while Willow wants to save the world.

It’s an exaggerated dive into religious fanaticism, and Weatherly is so cynical…what’s scarier is I agree with her! How all these people can ignore the truth around them…I just don’t know. I do wish Weatherly had made this part of it more believable. Maybe it’s simply part of my own indoctrination about angels that I can’t understand how the angels can continue to devour. Or maybe that’s part of the exaggeration. If it is, it could use some finessing.

It’s an interesting twist on angels and makes me think of Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. Only, Singh’s writing is more adult, more polished. Still, Weatherly definitely turns the accepted concept of angels on its head with their maneuvering, plotting, and gameplaying, which makes it more interesting as I have no idea what will happen next. Raziel’s thoughts about his daughter certainly aren’t angelic.

Nice bit of tension when Willow and Seb meet, although it could have been handled more smoothly. Weatherly does make up for it with even more tension as Seb works with the AKs. More tension with the issues Weatherly creates for half-angels and how they may affect the humans with whom they spend time, the conflicting information about how the Council’s deaths may affect the world, Willow’s worries about her other half, and the love triangle, perhaps quadrangle?, developing within the group.

Rebellion, bigotry (from several sides), jealousy (I don’t understand how someone as intelligent as Alex doesn’t get why Willow likes having Seb around!), although Willow should have some consideration as well!

Oh, gross, Raziel is thinking of Angel Camp as a veal farm — full of humans!

The Story

Different from everyone else. Everyone. Seb is desperately searching for the other like him. A girl. A woman who wracks his dreams.

A search that may pay off, as the angels who are worshipped around the world are hunting the woman who dared while Alex and Willow are running.

Too many on Earth have succumbed to the lure of angels, but there’s a small group in rebellion.

The Characters

Willow Fields is nephilim: half angel, half human. Aunt Jo took in Willow and Miranda when her mom’s mental health worsened.

Alex Kylar is/was CIA and an Angel Killer; he and Willow are in love. Martin was his father; he died of too much exposure, angel burn. Cully, his brother, was also affected by exposure to angels.

Sebastían Carrera is from El DF, the Distrito Federal, Mexico City, and he’s so full of it, LOL. A new story for every situation. He’s quite clever in surviving and honorable in his way.

Raziel is the angel who leads the Church of Angels in the U.S., and he has his own plans. He’s also Willow’s father, a fact of which he was unaware until she confronted him. Jenny is one of Raziel’s human assistants. Charmeine is another of the lower tier angels, but of the First Family, and she is determined to move up.

Kara is one of the Angel Killers, an AK. Sam, a.k.a., Tex; Liz, who loves to cook; Brendan; Trish; and, Wesley, the loner computer geek, were angel spotters. Until they graduated to AKs. Now if only they had some decent training. Luis is a guard at the Catedral Metropolitana. Sophie Kinney is CIA, part of the covert Project Angel. Juan Escobido is dead.

Nate and Elijah were renegade angels who broke from the rest to help humanity.

Lucy, Amanda, Céline, and Mike, are part of a group of American students fascinated by the angels whom Seb meets at the hostel.

The Seraphic Council, the Twelve, are the top tier of angels, the most powerful, the ones with the original angel energy. Isda is often their spokeswoman. Next level down are the First Family, angels formed soon after the Twelve. The angel Paschar foresees that Willow will destroy the angels.

The Crusaders are an anti-angel group.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a softness to it, ethereal with the woman leaning so far forward in her white gown with its wrapped bodice crisscrossing over one breast that she appears to be running, even though it feels more like she’s floating. The stylized outline of flames surround the title, Angel Fire, for she seems an angel and it burns.