Title: Wings of the Wicked (Angelfire #2)
Author: Courtney Allison Moulton
Publisher: Harper Collins / Katherine Tegan Books
Release Date: January 31, 2012
This second book in the Angelfire trilogy is dark, romantic and action-packed. It has angels, demons, a love-triangle, and a believable heroine. Some might find Ellie to be a touch whiny and self-centered, but I found her to be quite realistic. I mean, how would YOU react if one day you’re a normal seventeen-year-old girl, and the next day you find out that you’re ‘the Preliator’ and that the fate of the Earth, heaven and hell rests upon your shoulders? I admired the fact that she attempted to have a normal high-school life while hunting demons and practicing fighting techniques with her Guardian, Will. Since the book is narrated in the first person, I expected Ellie to act and talk like a typical teenager. I think it was smart for Moulton to portray her this way, and not have her suddenly mature into someone that she’s not just because she finds out that she’s the mortal incarnation of the archangel Gabriel.
As for the dreaded love-triangle, I actually found both male love-interests equally appealing in their own right. Will is a good guy with a hidden bad-boy persona, and Caden is a bad boy with a hidden good-guy persona. Both are ‘forbidden’ loves for Ellie – Will is her angelic Guardian who faces the wrath of the archangel Michael if he becomes romantically involved with Michael’s sister (Ellie), and Caden is a demonic reaper. Although Ellie definitely has strong feelings for Caden, it’s Will who she feels fated to be with. Will has fought beside her for over 500 years, and although he is devoted to her, there is another angelic reaper from his past, Ana, who turns their relationship into a potential double love-triangle. I guess you could say it’s complicated!
The romantic complications that Ellie endures, along with the pressures of being a centuries-old archangel trapped in a teenager’s body, makes for some pretty angst-filled moments, almost to the point of being a little clichéd sometimes. Ellie cries A LOT, for one thing. True, it does underscore her humanity, but it borders on being a bit overdone. There are also many passages devoted to scorching looks, fingers trailing over jawlines and brushing through curls of hair, and ‘swallowing hard’ to control emotions. It’s all very chaste and tortured, and really the only reason why I didn’t give this book five stars.
Where this books really excels, however, is the battle scenes. Moulton does a great job of keeping the reader on the edge of their seat during the pulse-pounding action scenes, although there are a couple of instances where I felt that Ellie hung back and observed a bit too much. The author also has no qualms about going THERE and killing off some key characters that we’ve become pretty emotionally attached to. It’s a gutsy move, but I think it ultimately pays off. This IS a battle between the forces of good and evil, after all. It wouldn’t exactly be realistic for everyone to link arms, sing Kumbaya and live happily ever after!
If you’re a fan of angel mythology, I recommend checking out the series. Moulton ends this book with quite a cliffhanger, and I’m looking forward to where she takes us in the final installment of the trilogy!
Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.
Caden, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes, the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything – including herself.
Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be Hell to pay.