Author: L.A. Weatherly
Genre: YA, paranormal, romance
Publication Date: May 2011 (expected)
Synopsis: 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.
☆: 4/5 – an excellent addition to the angel anti-hero canon being built within the YA genre as a whole.
Review: There’s an increasing trend in YA lit concerning angels – the idea that angels aren’t always the good guys (even the ones who got to stay in Heaven after the War). And “Angel Burn” is another round in the chamber, another piece in the canon.
I like the idea that Weatherly puts forth – that a blending of angels and humans would be a severe threat to angels, which just seem like different organisms, not like creatures out of myth or religion. The idea that they could be predatory is a delicious one, and it seems like it’s almost taboo (especially within YA literature) to explore and play with this idea in the face of the traditional Judeo-Christian trope of angels being the good guys (with the exception of Lucifer and his lot, of course).
It’s funny when I was reading, I was also listening to the “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” soundtrack at the same time for most of the book, and was thinking to myself, “My, this would be appropriate music”. And what do I see in the author’s notes at the end of the book? Mention of Bear McCreary, who did the music for the aforementioned soundtrack as well as “Caprica” and of course, “Battlestar Galactica”.
Back on topic, it felt like parts of Alex’s character were taken from the hunters of “Supernatural” – saving people, hunting things. That sort of thing. As well as it becoming the family business after the mother dies. Not that this is a bad thing, but it felt so very inspired by Sam and Dean Winchester that it was easy to like him (and to hate him at times, too).
And then there’s Willow – as well as being a threat, it was really wonderful to watch her start as a strong female lead and just grow stronger and stronger so that she really grew into her angel-self by the end of the book. I love the way that Weatherly interwove all of these tropes and works – she made it all work, and work well.
My only complaint is the suddenness of the infiltration of the CIA operation – the lack of backstory other than “the Invasion” was a bit of a let down, but seeing as this is only the first out of a trilogy, I’m hoping that this will be accounted for in the next books.
A great start to what looks like a fun series. If you like “Supernatural”, you’re probably going to love this series. Either way, give it a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.