"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 make her dangerous - and irresistible. In spite of himself, Alex finds he is falling in love with his sworn enemy."
I have to start by saying that fantasy books about angels are growing on me rapidly right now, and the concept for this new YA trilogy, summed up with the tag line: 'The only good angel is a dead angel,' had me wanting this book in an instant.
In the world L. A. has created here angels invaded our world because theirs is dying. But they survive by taking energy from humans leaving them with 'angel burn' something that drains them of life, causes mental problems and can cause cancer. But anyone who's touched by an angel only remembers it as a wonderful experience and they'll do anything for another touch of the angels.
There are those who hunt the angels, Angel Killers, or AK's for short. Alex is one such guy. He's 17 and he's been hunting them since he was a kid. He doesn't know anything else. They're his enemy and he'll do whatever it takes to destroy them all. He's given orders via text, just an address of where the angel lives. When he gets a new order through he finds himself at the residence of a 16 year old girl, Willow. Her energy doesn't read as a full angel though, it reads as a mix of human and angel. Something that should be impossible. Instead of killing her as he should he begins to follow her. He needs to know what she is and he's convinced something isn't right. Before long the angels make an attempt at killing Willow themselves, and Alex flees with her. On the run they have to battle growing feelings for each other unsure if there is anywhere safe left for them to run to before the angels find them and take them out.
This book had me hooked from the start. It's told primarily from Alex and Willow's perspectives (third person for Alex, first for Willow) with a few short sections also in third person from a couple other perspectives. Alex's dark, steel edged narrative starts the book off fantastically and I found myself liking him almost instantly. Then it switched to Willow's point of view. A much softer, more innocent voice and yet, like Alex, there was something about her that seemed older than she really was already. I found Willow just as easy to like, and I love that she's not your typical girl, being in to cars, psychic and with a very different dress sense to most.
They're both smart characters but with a sometimes narrow view of the world. That's not a criticism, it's actually something I find far more real and fitting. Especially coming from two teenagers. I thoroughly enjoyed the twists as more was revealed about them as the book unfolded and they changed and grew. I loved how the relationship between them grew. They noticed each other pretty instantly, but nothing happened for a long while and they didn't always get along. I love that it wasn't instant head-over-heels love that changed everything for them. I felt they were both well rounded characters with a lot of 'life' to them, together and apart.
I loved the twists of the story. I was never too sure what was going to happen and I had to keep reading to find out what happened. I could barely put the book down. There are certain things you can figure out before they happen, but others caught me completely by surprise, but even when I guessed the outcome, it didn't ruin it for me. It all just worked. I felt the balance between the romance and the rest of the plot worked as well. While yes, there were times where Alex and Willow were more focused on each other, the danger they faced was never far from their thoughts and it's what it always came back to. The romance is a big part of the story but it's far from everything.
Angel is well written, smart, funny at times, dark and very different. I loved it and it left me wanting book 2, Angel Fire (out June 2011), like, yesterday! I Fantastic work and a book I'd highly recommend. I've got a feeling Angel Fire and Angel Fever (out Oct 2011) could be even better than this. As it stands it's still got to be my favourite angel centered book to date. I'm doubly excited about the fact that I loved this book because the end of October the author is actually doing a signing in my city! Nothing good ever happens here lol. So I'm very excited to meet L. A. and get a signed copy, as well as maybe having the chance to chat with her a little about the series.