Sunday, October 14, 2012

Angel by L.A. Weatherly

Title: Angel
Author: L.A. Weatherly
Genre: Supernatural, young adult, romance
Summary: On Goodreads Willow knows she's different from other girls. And not just because she loves tinkering around with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into people's futures, know their dreams, their hopes and their regrets, just by touching them. But she has no idea where she gets this power from. Until she meets Alex…
Alex is one of the few who know the truth about angels. He knows Willow's secret and is on a mission to stop her. The dark forces within Willow make her dangerous – and irresistible. In spite of himself, Alex finds he is falling in love with his sworn enemy.
Pages: 512
Reviewing: Plot, characters, relationships, narrative
Rating: 7/10
I'd been meaning to read this book for a long while now, so imagine my delight when I came across it at a CRUK charity shop as part of a 3 for £1 deal!

Anyway, I want to start off by saying that if you're going to judge a book by a cover, then you may well be very very surprised. See, what I saw was a blonde girl, presumably the main character, standing in a very strong pose, head tilted downwards, giving me the eye - and that screamed badassery in a major way. So I'm going into this book having read the blurb, and expecting a feisty female with a dark manipulative side who oozes sexuality but inevitably sees the error of her ways and turns 'good'. Tell me I'm wrong.

So what do we actually get?

A really shy, timid girl who is on the fringe of society, struggling to fit in at her school because of her psychic powers. Maybe I'll write my own story with the above expectations that I had, as whilst it may be clee to the chay, it'd make for some damn good reading.

But I digress. Plotwise, you have your standard lone huntsman, Alex Kylar, the tall dark stranger of a teenager on a mission to eliminate the world from angels. And these are not your standard angels - these are beautiful otherworldly creatures that crossed into our world and can only survive by feeding off the energy of humans. Normally, they manifest as humans, but when they feed, they transform into a form of light and are able to entrance the human mind into thinking that this is the best thing that could ever happen to them. Afterwards, the humans that have been fed upon succumb to insanity or physical diseases, growing weaker and weaker until they die. Now, Alex has been hunting angels for years, but when he receives an order to kill Willow, the shy, timid girl, he has some initial reservations, which of course are derived from her overwhelming beauty. Yet, there is something weird about her aura - she seems both human and angel...

You'll have to read the novel to find out more about the plot! I was sucked in by the intriguing premise, and I can tell you now that it's compelling enough to make you want to read more, yet the downfall is that it's also incredibly predictable at the same time. The reason for Willow's mother's mental illness is pretty easy to pick up on, as are the reasons for why Alex has no family, and I could very easily guess at the various frenemies throughout the book. As for pacing, most of it is paced very well, but there is one part that stretches out for ages - the hiding - and it did bore me to death. Sometimes there is too much of a good thing, and I think I'd rather wish there was more sappy romance than wishing for less. Kudos to the author for writing some very believable road trip and hideout scenes though!

In terms of relationships, I'm going to say this now: it is most definitely predictable, and it all escalates way too fast! After knowing each other for barely a week, they have both already decided that they love each other... Come on!! Reading those bits made me want to bang my head on the desk repeatedly.

I found the characters of both Alex and Willow to be really interesting at the start of the novel and was very emotionally invested in both of them and their backstories, but after they meet, fight, and then stop fighting, I felt that the characters lacked their original sparks of personality. Without conflict, they both seem to be flat carbon copies of the same essence, and that made me disengage with them somewhat, especially as their relationship progressed further.

I guess part of it must come down to the narration. What I found a bit odd was that the author uses third person for all of the characters apart from Willow, which is narrated in the first person. I've seen this done before (badly) with the House of Night series, so I was a bit skeptical about it. Personally, I think the narrative should've stayed consistent in terms of which tense was used as that way, we would get to know all of the characters on an equal level. Willow's voice isn't particularly strong, whilst Alex seems to be a much stronger character - first person would've suited him more than the third, as it would've been much more interesting to get his thoughts and reactions instead of something more distant, thus weakening the impact his character has on the story.

Final Thoughts 

Overall, I liked this story. It was compelling and different enough to make me want to read more. Looking back over my review, it appears that I have spent more time bashing the book rather than praising it but I kid you not, it's definitely worth a read! :)