Weatherly (Child X) launches a supernatural YA trilogy with a terrific, action-packed romantic thriller. Sixteen-year-old Willow is a gifted mechanic and psychic living in upstate New York. When she does a reading for her classmate Beth, who is planning on joining the cultlike Church of Angels, Willow becomes scared; Beth thinks she's been blessed by an angel, but Willow sees that the "angel" feeds on humans' life force, poisoning bodies and damaging minds while leaving the victim euphoric. At 17, Alex has been an angel assassin for years, but when he receives orders to kill Willow, he's confused—she's not his typical target, and he's suspicious about why she's been marked for death. Looking for answers, Alex rescues Willow and takes her on the run, trying to foil the angels' plans before all of humanity is lost. Weatherly's plot and writing are first-rate, adrenaline- fueled while still taking the time to thoughtfully develop the characters and build the romance. This elevated twist on the angel genre deserves to be spread far and wide. Ages 14–up. (May)
Children's Literature - Heather Kinard
Being a teenage girl who likes to tinker with cars is unusual, but that is not what makes Willow different. Willow is a psychic. Just by touching someone she is able to see their future and know their hopes, dreams, sorrows, and regrets. Beth is one of Willow's classmates who had an encounter with an Angel. Beth believes the Angel has blessed her life and wants to join a cult called the Church of Angels, but Willow can see that the angels are dangerous and feeding on the life forces of humans. Willow fails in an attempt to rescue Beth from the cult and now becomes a major target of these vengeful angels. Alex is a trained Angel Killer who has received orders to find and assassinate Willow. When Alex discovers that Willow is only half-angel and possesses a power that could help him stop the Angel Invasion he rescues her and takes her on the run. Willow and Alex start out as enemies, but as they face increasingly dangerous situations they discover they only have each other to rely on. Quickly their relationship changes from enemies to friends and then to something even deeper. But the Angels are strong and Willow and Alex cannot fight them alone. Alex must leave to find more Angel Killers to help in their fight. Will he find help in time so he and Willow can be together? This book is well written with very likeable characters. It is an action-packed paranormal romance that leaves readers anxious for the next book in the trilogy. There is some "language," making it more appropriate for an older audience. Reviewer: Heather Kinard
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Angels are appearing to humans all over the world, filling them with an overwhelming sense of love and peace. Angel mega-churches spring up everywhere. But no one seems to notice that the people who've been visited by them quickly begin to waste away. That's because angels are actually creatures from another world who feed on human energy, sickening their hosts and eventually causing their deaths via natural-seeming illnesses. Alex is a trained AK (Angel Killer) who believes he works for the CIA. He suddenly finds himself acting as bodyguard to Willow, a high school student with psychic powers who just might be half angel-and therefore his sworn enemy. The angels seem to believe that she has the power to destroy them, making her safety of paramount importance to the survival of the human race. The relationship that eventually develops between Alex and Willow is steamy but chaste (at least in this first installment of the planned series). Fans of supernatural suspense with a generous dollop of romance will be clamoring for the next book.—Hayden Bass, Seattle Public Library, WA
A beautiful blond half-angel and the dark, handsome assassin sent to kill her fall in love in this fast-paced thriller romance, the first installment of a series first published in Britain (the sequel, Angel Fire, is due out in December 2011).
Due to an energy crisis, the ethereal sphere is dying and angels are crossing over to feed off humans, who are too bedazzled to connect visits from heavenly beings with growing mental/physical illness, aka angel burn. Alex, raised to be an AK (angel killer), is one of the few to realize the danger. When he tracks down his assigned target, he is surprised to discover she's only half-angel and that the Church of Angels cult wants her dead. Willow is just as surprised. She thought the only reason she was considered "Queen Weird" at school was because she was psychic and a whiz car mechanic. The two go on the run and eventually become involved in a plan to save the world from a Second Wave of angelic invasion. The story is told alternately via Willow's voice and a third-person account that provides the perspective of Alex and others. It's worth noting that the secondary but substantial falling-in-love plotline is quite chaste (they don't kiss until three-quarters of the way through the book).
Perfect for the Twilight crowd. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)
Children's Literature - Joella Peterson
Willow knows she is different. She can predict the future when she touches a person's hand. Couple her odd ability with an unconventional fashion sense and a mentally ill mother and no father, and her peers in high school will hardly give her the time of day. Alex has also had an unusual past. He has been trained since he was very young to be an angel killer. He knows that angels are not what tradition dictates that they are. Yet when he is told that his next hit is Willow, he figures that something strange is going onbecause she isn't like all the other angels he has killed. As Willow and Alex are forced to work together to solve the puzzle of their lives, Alex isn't sure if he wants to kill Willow or kiss her. With a tight deadline (that is unknown to Willow and Alex) and a very short list of those whom they can trust, this paranormal romance will intrigue many teen readers. The audio recording was performed by Cassandra Campbell. Her performance captures the complicated emotions of these two teens perfectlyand readers will never be confused as to which point of view they are listening to at what time. With just enough tension and the right pacing, readers will be pleased with this paranormal audio. Reviewer: Joella Peterson