Stephenie Meyer reinvented the vampire.
L. A. Weatherly reinvents the angel.
Willow knows she’s different from other girls. And not just because she loves tinkering around with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into people’s futures, know their dreams, their hopes and their regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where she gets this power from ...
But Alex does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows Willow’s secret and is on a mission to stop her. The dark forces within Willow makes her dangerous – and irresistible. In spite of himself, Alex finds he is falling in love with his sworn enemy.
Willow’s an outsider in the small American town of Pawntucket - she dresses unfashionably, has few friends, knows how to fix cars and can tell a person’s future by touching their hand. When Beth (one of the popular girls) asks her for a reading, Willow discovers that she’s encountered an angel but the experience has left Beth damaged and Willow can only see more pain and death ahead.
The experience leaves Willow confused. For years people have reported contact with angels as wonderful life changing experiences and the Church of Angels has sprung up around the country run by people devoted to serving them. When Beth joins the Church, Willow tries to persuade her to change her mind. Doing so brings her into contact with Alex, a handsome Porsche driving teenager who not only knows the truth about angels, but also the truth about Willow as well.
The two go on the run from the Church of Angels. Forced to rely on each other, each must face their darkest secrets and their growing mutual attraction.
L. A. Weatherly’s novel (the first in a paranormal romance series) pitches angels as the bad guys – sinister beings that feed off a human’s life force and leave them irreparably damaged in the process.
It’s a novel about opposites. Alex is an angel killer who’s lost all his family to the beings. Initially sent to kill Willow, he’s drawn to her courage and willingness to help. He’s a bad boy with a marshmallow centre and while there’s nothing new there, he’s drawn well and his development competently handled. Willow is more of an ingénue, new to the world of angels and unaware of her own dark origins. I liked the fact that she’s not a push over and her ability with engines is a nice touch but her secret is very easy to guess and little is done with it in this book.
While evil angels aren’t an original concept, their otherworldly qualities and sinister plans are well depicted and the use of religion is nicely done. The central relationship’s predictable but there’s more plot than in many YA paranormal romances and the stakes suitably high. However, events do spin out of control towards then end and there’s a rush to wrap things up while setting up a sequel.
It’s enjoyable enough and I’m interested enough to want to check out the next one.
I’m not normally a fan of paranormal romances, but this is a likeable enough opening to a series with plenty of plot and suitably high stakes to keep me interested. Things do threaten to fall apart towards the end in the rush to wrap up some loose ends and set up the sequel, but it’s competently written and has pace. Worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre or, like me, normally apathetic.
ANGEL was released in the UK on 1st October. Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the ARC.
Cross-posted to bookish, books, fantasywithbite, bookworming, urbanfantasyfan and yalitlovers.