Sigh. I'm...not sure how to approach this one. I'll say this from the start: it's not horrible. I've read worse, and there are much worse things out there on the market right now that the YA set could be reading. But let's get this straight as well: Angelfire is not that great. I've seen it being praised up one side and down the other on other blogs and Goodreads and it really doesn't deserve it. This book falls firmly into the 'mediocre' category. It's not excellent, it's not awesome, it's not stellar, you guys, seriously, calm down. It's just okay.
Conceptually, Angelfire is like the lovechild of a drunken affair between Buffy and Blood+, who, in its rebellious phase, rejected its parents predeliction for vampires and instead went out and got an angelic makeover to assert its independence. It's about a girl - the only one in all the world - who has the power to fight Reapers, evil demon-variations that go around munching on humans and sending their souls to hell so that they can fight for Lucifer in the Apocalypse. Yeah, yeah, been there done that, but what's intended, I suppose, to set Angelfire apart is the fact that our Slayer Preliator is the same soul reincarnated over and over again, eternally watched over and protected by the same stalwart, immortal Guardian.
I have to get this off my chest: the first few chapters of Angelfire reminded me so much of Blood+ I fully expected the opening theme to play every time I opened my e-reader.
I mean really, the twenty-year life cycles, the immortal Chevalier Guardian who watches over her every time until she 'awakens', the rather annoying, 'normal' girl who has hundreds of years of history behind her that she only remembers in nightmares and flashes, who snaps into a cold, distant warrior mode to fight when she's not whimpering in the corner, letting her guardian repeatedly get impaled for her. It's all a bit familiar for me.
This isn't necessarily relevant since the two end up differing greatly as they chug along, except that it filled me with an odd kind of hope. I liked Blood+, the concept, the ideas, and I was quite enjoying it until it went and cocked things up with its time jump and annoying side characters and infuriatingly useless heroine who treated her loyal guardian like a goddamned hat rack she could duck behind to avoid getting impaled, not that the writers treated him any better, those bastards, he got all the development of a cardboard cut-out -
Er, anyway, the point is there are worse ideas to recycle. This one made me hopeful. Also, I spent several chapters calling Will Hagi.
But that was moot, because the book quickly dispenses with any new ideas it might have been trying and falls into the same tired formula most first-in-a-series books like this seem to follow...
Read more at You're Killing.Us