Title: Angel Burn
Author: L. A. Weatherly
Synopsis (Courtesy of Powell’s Books):
“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. In the first book in an action-packed, romantic trilogy, L. A. Weatherly sends readers on a thrill-ride of a road trip – and depicts the human race at the brink of a future as catastrophic as it is deceptively beautiful.
They’re out for your soul . . . and they don’t have heaven in mind.”
Thoughts: When reading Angel Burn, one needs to forget all one has ever heard about angels. In L. A. Weatherly’s imaginings, angels are the Big Bad. It makes for a story that is interesting and more than a bit heretical. Ms. Weatherly’s angels are not fallen angels but rather ones that come with wings and halos. They do not come from a heaven but rather from another world. They have only come to Earth because their world is collapsing and the only energy upon which they can feed is found in humans. Therefore, not only are angels no longer celestial beings but are now predators intent upon taking over Earth by bending all human will to their purpose. Go figure.
Angel Burn is not the best YA, paranormal romance ever written, but it does get kudos for trying to do something different. Unfortunately, one can be a bit too different, and the strain to the reader’s credibility does more harm than good. This is exactly what happens with this first in the Angel series. Angels as the Big Bad is akin to teddy bears being rabid. Some images do not work well and are too incredulous to be easily ignored or accepted. Also, it is not the most well-written novel either. Some of the more romantic scenes are cliched and overused, including one snort-inducing scene where the hapless hero is left chasing after his beloved, screaming her name as she flies off to save the world, realizing what a terrible mistake he has made in letting her go alone. Oy.
This is not to say that it is a horrible novel. In fact, it is decently pleasant. It does read a bit too much like a romantic drama screenplay, replete with cheesy imagery and even worse dialogue and sentimentality, but there is a reason why such imagery and dialogue is so popular. The idea of evil angels is even quite intriguing. One has to give Ms. Weatherly credit for creating something completely unique. Unfortunately, I personally could not overcome the faults of Angel Burn. I enjoyed it while I read it but will not be picking up the second in the series when it is released. I just did not care enough about any of the characters and felt the idea of lethal angels quite preposterous and writing just too sentimental for comfort. That is not to say that teens will not fall in love with the story. In fact, I suspect they will be more accepting of the more difficult-to-accept concepts than I was. Angel Burn is proof that sometimes YA novels are for their target audience only.
Thank you to NetGalley for my e-galley!