Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Children's Playground

Wednesday, 5 October

[In another departure from the world of Children's book, I'm reviewing another YA fantasy story.]

Angel BurnAngel Burn by L. A. Weatherly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Angel or Angel Burn (depending on the edition) is the first of three books in the Angel series by L.A. Weatherly. The name is appropriate because the world as humans know it is slowly being taken over by a fast spreading presence whose need for survival will end human race. The invading Angels are slowly killing us with Angel Burn.
Of the pitiably few who know the truth about these apparently divine creatures, Alex is the best trained AK- Angel Killer. His father trained him and his older brother and dozens of others to defend themselves and exterminate the parasitic Angels, so their world could be free again.
But where before there were trickles of these alien creatures coming into his world and feeding on humans- giving them all kinds of fatal diseases in the process- there is now too many and Alex knows they are losing the war.
So why dont the victims cry out? Why don't the humans join forces? They do, but on the Angel's side, because in their eyes the Angels are pure and all that is good- even as they strip off their very life force.
There are Church of Angels devotees all over the country now and too few AKs on the field fighting to save humanity.
Then Alex is sent on a mission to terminate another Angel but only this time there is something very different about it. Seemingly human, Willow Fields emanates the same aura that angels have and yet she is definitely human.
As Willow realises with Alex's help who and what she is, they find themselves on the run from the very people they are trying to save, for the Angels fear Willow and the devotees of the Church will let nothing happen to their divine saviours.

It is no doubt a departure from UF norms to consider angels evil, but the author has the plot sketched out pretty well in her head and so handles this new idea well. What is most likeable about this book is the relationship between Willow and Alex. It takes its time developing, rushes nothing and it is sweetly endearing when they confess their feeling for each other. The reader is not left hanging till the last moment to see them getting together and their stress and anxieties due to the dangers chasing them make their new love for each other stand out beautifully against the dark background of their lives.
Alex is young, almost eighteen, strong, resourceful and well admired for his skills by his colleagues, while Willow is smart, sweet, kind and has a secret love for car engines.
They suit each other and they team up well. It is surprisingly rare to find a YA romance so well handled.
The ending was slightly unpredictable, which I liked and which also allowed the author to spin the book into a series. At the end of this first book all I know is that Alex and Willow are pretty much all alone in this war and have no one to turn to but each other and that Willow probably has the ability to kill all of angel kind!