Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book Review: Angel Fever by L.A. Weatherly

Vampires and werewolves are so last year. Nowadays, angels and demons appear to have dominated YA bookshelves, from Laini Taylor's "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" to Susan Ee's "Penryn and the End of Days" series. One of the most thrilling paranormal series I've read in a while is L.A. Weatherly's "Angel" trilogy, which is chock full of romance, action and excitement--what more could you ask for? "Angel Fever" is the climactic finale to the series, whisking us away for one last angel-butt-kicking adventure.

Things don't seem good for the Angel Killers. Millions of people live in Edens, "refugee" camps set up by the angels who use them as feeding grounds. Raziel is more powerful than ever, tightening his hold on angels and humans alike. Yet in the face of these hellish odds, Willow and Alex aren't giving up, recruiting and training new Angel Killers for the perfect moment to strike the angels and rid humanity of the parasitic creatures forever. But when a game-changing revelation sends Alex on a separate journey, one that leaves Willow bereft and confused, each of them must face the consequences of their own choices. With the end of the celestial battle drawing near, the stakes are higher than ever--but will love and humanity survive?

Clearly one of the most important things an author must do when writing the final book of a series is wrap things up, tie loose ends and leave nothing dangling--yet, at the same time, keep things fresh and exciting, so it's not all about checking off the things that had been built up in the previous books. I think Ms. Weatherly does a great job with this in the storyline of "Angel Fever," giving her readers a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy while maintaining the excitement until the very end. She does this by introducing new challenges and revelations for Alex and Willow, allowing for the developments of both the plot and the characters. I especially loved seeing more of Willow's mom, since she'd kind of been a rather quite character in the first two books. That being said, however, I do think that the middle parts of the novel were a little too static in terms of the storyline, but luckily not enough to make me lose interest completely and yawn and stuff my Kindle under the covers. Another thing that strikes me in retrospect was that the storyline was a tad bit predictable. I mean, it's quite obvious that Alex won't die--it was just a matter of when he was going to pop back up. Another example is how Willow saved the world (again, this much is obvious). Okay, maybe it wasn't predictable, but it wasn't as dramatic as it could be. Other than that, though, a definitely satisfying conclusion!

Moving on to the characters in "Angel Fever." Let's start off with Willow. As the heroine of the novel, I think Willow's a pretty good protagonist in that she's not the whiny, annoying type. Instead, she takes matters into her own hands, and, on a more personal level, finally completely accepts her identity as a half-angel. What's more, I found that I kind of respected Willow in the novel. Even when she's dealing with confusion and heartbreak in the aftermath of Alex's supposed death, Willow remains honest with herself for the most part, and I found myself going "you go girl" with the way she handled Alex's reappearance. As for Alex, I had pretty conflicting feelings for him. Sure, his love for Willow is clear and sweet without being overly cloying, but he was kind of a coward, breaking a pretty important promise to Willow, which made me question just how much he trusted her as an equal in their relationship. But I suppose the plot wouldn't have been as exciting or emotionally driven if it hadn't been for his jerk move. So I guess you're off the hook, Alex.

The rest of the characters were fairly great as well. Seb is a pretty likable guy, and his unrequited love for Willow makes him a sympathetic character. I'm glad Ms. Weatherly gave him a happy ending though, because, I mean, it's about time! Raziel, in my opinion, was just an okay bad guy. Yeah, he's undeniably evil and cruel and all that, but I felt like he was just that--evil and cruel. Nothing more. He does seem to show some kind of longing or nostalgia for Miranda, Willow's mom, but not enough to make him become one of those bad guys you sort of empathize with. All I'm saying is that he could've been a much more interesting antagonist had be had more dimension to him. Speaking of Miranda, I really found her character interesting to read about, as I'd said before, since she'd been a side character for the first two books. I just wish we had seen more of her, maybe through more interaction with Willow.

All in all, Ms. Weatherly fulfills her readers' expectations for a good conclusion to her "Angel" trilogy, giving us an exciting storyline and dynamic protagonists. I'd recommend this series for anyone looking for a fun, celestial read--it's worth it!

Rating: 3.5/5

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