Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review of Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

Weatherly, L.A. Angel Burn.  Candlewick, 2011.

16-year-old Willow, who lives with her mentally ill mother in her aunt's house, knows she's different; she likes to fix cars and she's psychic.

17-year-old Alex is one of a small, fierce band of "AKs" or Angel Killers; he has been trained from an early age to find and kill angels, using his chakra points to lift his consciousness into another plane so that the angels are visible.

No, Alex isn't the bad guy - the angels are.  Their own planet is dying and can't sustain them anymore, so they come to earth to feed off humans, whose life force is particularly tasty and nourishing to angels.  This damages and even kills the humans, but conveniently, they get a feeling of divine well-being when angels slurp up their souls.  Lots of these angels have started a cult-like Church of the Angels, which works very well for the angels, who are about to invade earth in huge numbers.  Lots of yummy, willing acolytes to devour!

Turns out Willow is half angel (this isn't much of a spoiler - one finds out pretty darn early on) and the angels, who are also psychic, sense that she is a great danger to them.  Willow runs off with Alex, with the angels and their human acolytes hunting for them all over the country.

As long as Willow and Alex are on the run, the story maintains momentum; the road trip is one of the best parts of the tale.  They have an uneasy relationship (after all, Willow is half-angel, and Alex's whole life revolves around killing angels) at first, which adds some interesting tension - and Alex's backstory is fascinating as well.  But as soon as they fall in love (oh, you knew it would happen), the story becomes rather soggy with heartfelt emotion and expressions of undying affection, relieved at the end by a fairly tense climax (of the plot, not sexual, type).

I didn't buy the angels as convincing characters (they just seemed like super-glamorous humans who happen to be able to turn into glorious angels) and the supreme physical beauty of both Willow (oh, her green eyes and soft blonde hair - okay, she IS half angel but still - MUST she have green eyes?) and Alex (chiseled perfection from head to toe) are somewhat annoying.  But it is highly readable and will be an easy sell for readers ages 12 and up looking for a modern fantasy/romance.


  1. I have a copy of this book! I'm not sure if I'll like it, but I'll give it a try. Actually, your synopsis kind of made me even more interested in reading this -- angels invading earth to suck energy from people? This sounds very interesting... (I guess I didn't read the synopsis in the flap properly).

    I'll probably not enjoy the romantic bits very much if they're as you're describing them. I'm fairly tired of this predictable arc in YA books...I can't even remember how authors in the ol' days used to write up the romances anymore...too much of the same!


  2. It's a quick read with some saggy bits in the middle - worth a try!