Author: Courtney Allison Moulton
Publication: Katherine Tegen Books (February 15, 2011)
Description: First there are nightmares.
Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.
Then come the memories.
When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie's power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie's memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.
Now she must hunt.
Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.
My Thoughts: This book reminded me of the early seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with angels. This is not a slam. I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was well-written, exciting and had engaging and memorable characters. This book matches that in all ways.
Ellie is almost 17 and concerned with friends, school, movies and the fact that her parents are constantly arguing and her father's personality seems so changed. He is demeaning and, when he is not absent, is constantly belittling and saying hurtful things to Ellie. Ellie is troubled with nightmares and has been for years. She has had therapy and has learned to hide the nightmares from her parents.
Will shows up in her life and tells her that she is the Preliator and is reborn. Her task is to kill the reapers who kill humans and send their souls to Hell. Needless to say, Ellie is skeptical! She is just an ordinary teenager. But, when she faces her first reaper, skills she didn't know she had blossom along with two flaming swords that she can call into being. Will is her Guardian and has been for over 500 years. He is also looks like a hot 20 year old. But Ellie's life is somehow different this time. She isn't remembering her past and Will is reluctant to tell her about it.
At first the relationship between Will and Ellie is adversarial. She finds his secrecy annoying. He tells her that he is her Guardian and doesn't explain what it means. But gradually they fall in love - which they have never done before in all of her lives.
The main task in this story is to find a mystical being called the Enshi and to keep it out of the hands of the reapers since they would use it as a weapon against her. There are a great many battles and both Ellie and Will take damage repeatedly. Luckily both have magical abilities to heel most wounds.
I found Ellie's concern for her 17th birthday present - a white Audi that she names Marshmallow - especially entertaining. She doesn't have the car more than a month before it is scratched by reaper claws and then totaled in an accident when reapers attack her and Will. Coming up for creative excuses for the damage is necessary because her parents can't know about her secret life as the Preliator.
I recommend this book to young adults who like paranormal stories. It was exciting and entertaining.
"How was I created?"
"We don't know what you really are. Your body and soul are human, but your power...it's something very different. There are a lot of things about you that we still don't understand."