Author: L. A. Weatherly
Publication: Candlewick (May 24, 2011)
Description: Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces, and that he’s one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil. In the first book in an action-packed, romantic trilogy, L..A. Weatherly sends readers on a thrill-ride of a road trip - and depicts the human race at the brink of a future as catastrophic as it is deceptively beautiful.
They’re out for your soul . . . and they don’t have heaven in mind.
My Thoughts: I have been wanting to read this story for a long time. I have read such great reviews. I was not at all disappointed. I really liked this story with its new take on angels and its very sweet romance.
Alex is 17 and a veteran hunter of angels. We meet him as he kills an angel who is preying on a drunk outside a club. We also see that those who are the angels' victims are dazzled by the experience and long to see an angel again. They don't realize that they have lost some of their life energy and are vulnerable to a host of illnesses because of it.
Willow is sixteen. She is a unique individual. She dresses in thrift shop clothing, fixes cars, and lives with her ill mother and complaining aunt. She is also psychic. She can hold someone's hand and see their past and some possible futures for them. She doesn't know who her father was. Her mother has slipped into catatonic schizophrenia and can't tell her. Willow has spent her life caring for her mother and trying to use her gift to help others.
Raziel is an angel. He is part of the vanguard of angels sent from their dimension to scout out Earth as a new home since the angels' food source on their own home is disappearing. Raziel had been coming to Earth to hunt humans and feed on their life force long before the Crisis on his world. He sees humans as cattle.
Humans who have seen the angels are enthralled by them. Once an angel has taken energy from them, they are addicted to the sensation. Humans have started a church to worship these glorious new visitors and Raziel has taken it over and greatly expanded it. It is the fastest growing religion ever and has spread throughout the United States. Raziel is going to use the church as an entry point for the next wave of the invasion and the enthralled humans are thrilled to be a part of it. Only a few people outside of the new religion are aware of the dangers presented by the angels and are trying to stop it.
All these characters come together when Willow does a psychic reading on one of the most popular girls at her school and discovers that she has been feeding an angel. Willow sees that the girl who was once the most likely to succeed now has just two far less successful futures. She encourages Beth to stay away from the angel and choose the better of the two futures. Beth, however, can't believe that the beautiful angel who has come to her can possibly mean her any harm and tells him about Beth.
The angel comes to visit Beth to rip her life force from her and finds that she is something long thought impossible and something of great danger to the angels. She is half angel. He calls Raziel who puts out a hit on her. Alex is the one called upon to kill her. But when he arrives, he finds that she is not an evil angel sucking life from others. In fact, she doesn't even know that she is half angel.
Alex and Willow go on the run to try to figure out what is happening. Alex learns that his organization has been taken over by the angels. Willow is filled with self-loathing that she is part angel and so potentially dangerous. They have adventures and learn about each other as they flee to the only one that Alex can trust.
The closeness provided by the journey forces both Willow and Alex to reassess their beliefs. They learn to know each other and share their histories with each other. They are quietly and rather reluctantly falling in love.
Meanwhile, others who are opposed to the invasion of Earth including some angels who don't think it is right to feed on humans are looking for Alex and Willow too. They believe that Willow might be the only one who can stop this next wave of the angel invasion. But what will it cost her?
I got completely involved in this story. I loved both Willow and Alex. I look forward to reading the rest of this series to find out what happens next. I think young adults will really enjoy this one.
The creature had both hands buried deep in the woman's energy field, which was growing dimmer by the second, twisting feebly as if in protest. The angel had its head thrown back in gluttonous ecstasy as the woman's energy seeped away into its own, like water leaving a draining tub. And thanks to angel burn, she'd actually remember the angel as good and kind. Just as his mother had, before she'd been killed.I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley. You can buy it at Amazon in hardcover, or for your Kindle, or as an audiobook in a variety of formats. I know that I will be putting this one on my next high school book order.