Reading level: Young AdultThe Audio:
Publisher: Candlewick on Brilliance Audio; MP3 Una edition (May 24, 2011)
Buy the book: Audiobook, Hardcover
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 does. 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.
I got both the hardcover and the audio of this book at BookExpo America a couple of weeks ago, and decided to dive right into the audio. The reader is Cassandra Campbell and I thought she did a really great job bringing this story to life. Often I don't care for women readers, especially when they do male voices, they just sound wrong, but Cassandra did a great job with all the voices, even Alex's. The only one I had a tiny annoyance about was, unfortunately, Willow's. During the narration, or when Willow was thinking something, Cassandra's normal voice was perfect, but when Willow spoke, I just thought she came off a little too young, and kind of whiny. I wish she would have just used her normal voice for Willow, instead of trying to make her sound younger. Overall, however, I really enjoyed listening to this book and am glad I chose that route. If you're going to read this one, I would definitely recommend the audio!
I haven't read anything about this book, so I was surprised to find out that in the world that L.A. Weatherly created in Angel Burn, angels are not good. In fact, they're horrible. They have come to earth not to help humanity, though humans believe they have, but to feed off of people, slowly draining them of their health and mental capabilities, until they are only shells of their former selves. I had a really hard time with this. I just couldn't think of Angels as being bad. In fact, I'm not sure what it was that made these creatures "angels" other than the fact that they had wings, and people thought they were beautiful. They actually seemed more like aliens to me, and this whole book seemed more sci-fi than paranormal.
This isn't to say that I didn't like the book, I actually liked it a lot. But then again, I like Sci-Fi...so it's no surprise. I thought the story was fantastic. It was really original, at least as far as what I've read, and it captivated me to the point of me carrying my ipod around the house while I did housework, listening to it whenever I could. The narration was different than any book that I've read. Parts of it were told by Willow's point of view, and were told in first person, then other parts were told from Alex's point of view and were told in third person. I found this kind of strange, but also kind of interesting. I like it when authors mix things up and try new ways of writing (not saying this hasn't been done before, I've just never read it).
One of the things I loved most about the book was.....wait, you're going to be really surprised....THE ROMANCE!! I bet you didn't see that coming. Ok, yes, I'm a sucker for the romance, and this one was awesome! Even though Willow and Alex were attracted to each other from the beginning, their romance was slow-going. They spent serious time getting over their prejudices and getting to know each other. So the tension was pretty intense, and that's my favorite!! When they finally did get together, they were so sweet!! SO SWEET! In fact, there were moments when I thought the cheesy-factor might be a little overboard. They talked a LOT. I don't think I've ever read a book where the characters talked so much about all their feelings and how much they loved each other. But, still, they were cute, and I really liked Willow and Alex.
My one complaint (other than the profanity, which is always a complaint for me) would be the serious cliff-hanger. I don't feel like too much actually HAPPENED in this book. It seemed mostly like a set-up for more to come, and this one focused almost entirely on Willow and Max and their growing relationship. That's not to say there wasn't an individual story arc in Angel Burn, there was, and there was some resolution, but there was a lot more left unfinished than there was finished. Which means, basically, that if you're going to read this one, be ready to commit to another series.
Overall, I think this was an enjoyable, and original read, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes in the future. I think that if the next book is released in audio format, I will be listening to it as well. FYI: This book was previously released in the UK as Angel.
- Sexual Content: Mild/Moderate
- Profanity: Moderate/Heavy
- Violence: Moderate
- Other Notables: Some underage drinking (minor)