This book has quite the interesting little history. I found "Angel Burn" on Netgalley from Candlewick Press and started reading. Then figured out (from all the reviews on Goodreads) that the book had been previously released as "Angel" in 2010 by Usborne books in the UK. The original edition is 500 pages long while this one to be released May 24th is 410 pages long. Candlewick has yet to publish the cover image for Angel Burn.
What I loved: Angel Burn has likeable main characters.
Alex, age 17 seems much older. He's been living the life of a CIA agent and angel killer since he was a child. Growing up in the desert of Albuquerque, NM. He's lost all of those close to him in the battle of the angel invasion. Closed, confident and cut, his character does a lot of growing. Readers see a completely different, more sensitive side of him as he begins falling in love.
Willow Fields is introduced as the main MC in Chapter one with he head under the hood of her best friend's car. She is considered "weird" by her friends at school. Thrift shopping, strong and independent, Willow fixes cars and reads the future to support her and her mom. They live with Aunt Jo in Pawtucket, NY. Her mother Miranda is schizophrenic and catatonic, completely disabled as a result to her interactions with Willow's father.
What I disliked: The side characters in Angel Burn are very much on the side. The bulk of the book focuses on Willow and Alex.
At times the switching in point of view from first person to third person omniscient gets confusing. And though the book is told from several different points of view, the personalities of each new character introduced is not fully fleshed out.
Weatherly introduces a much more sinister angel than those we normally see in YA fiction, a parasitic being feeding off of human life force. This was hard for me to swallow.
I hope: Angel Burn gets a new cover and book trailer. I wish we would have learned more about Beth's angel Paschar.
The main distraction: was the language. I almost put it down after two chapters because the repeated use of the Lord's name in vain- seemed like overkill for me. Also you can tell immediately that the book is written from a British perspective because of the word "right" in conversation instead of okay. I find it endearing but US readers may scratch their heads if they've never read a book from the UK before.
Overall: I enjoyed Angel Burn more than I disliked it- enough that I would read the sequel. It is unique. Alex is one worth reading about. Angel Burn ends in an unresolved resolution that makes me want to learn more. The plot is action packed and character driven. As well, Alex and Willow's trip across the United Sates via road trip while on the run was a selling point for me. (You can see author photos of their road trip online)
Content: Swearing, drinking, violence.
Sequel info: Looks like Angel Burn is part of a trilogy. In the UK Angel Fire , book two is set to be released June 2011. No word on a release in the U.S.
Thanks to Candlewick Press and NetGalley for letting me read Angel Burn.