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4.2 out of 5 stars
Angel (The Angel Trilogy, Book 1)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2012
Yes, I'm a fifty four year old grandad! Not the target market, not by a long shot! So, why did I buy this book? Well I am trying to write a book myself, one that IS aimed at the teen/young adult market. About a couple of weeks ago I stumbled across the books website, (It was to do with a choice of song in my book, and for some obscure reason, I was Google imaging Angels!) and lingered on that website awhile. I thought, OK, this is aimed at that same market, maybe I should think about buying it, to get a feel for if I'm on the right track. So, I bought it.

I know it's a worn out cliche, and one that has never applied to me before, but I just could NOT stop reading it! I was reading in bed till after midnight, I started reading this morning when I got up, and have NOT stopped all day, till I finished it. NO book has ever held that sort of grip on me before, (Much to the amusement and chagrin of my wife!) and I used to read a lot when I was younger.

The cover picture is about the only thing I disagree with, the heroine is not hard and edgy like that at all, she is frightened and vunerable most of the time. Other than that, I can recomend it to anyone, of any age, who likes a tense, pacy novel.

I have now orderd the second book and pre-ordered the third! Guess I'm still a teen/young adult at heart!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Willow has always been different from other girls her age, preferring to spend time fixing an engine rather than going to parties and worrying about clothes and make up. She has always had psychic abilities and gives readings to friends answering questions they have about their futures but when popular student Beth asks for a reading it will have a life changing effect on Willow. Through Beth Willow discovers that Angels exist, they may be beautiful to look at but it is obvious to Willow that they are not what we have always believed them to be. Looking into Beth's future she sees a life of pain and illness if she joins the Church of Angels and tries to warn her but will Beth accept her advice? Alex has been sent on a mission to destroy Willow but when he first sees her he finds that not all is as it should be. He decides to investigate further and discovers Willow's secret - something that even Willow is not aware of. For Willow nothing will ever be the same and she will need Alex's help to survive.

I was a bit worried about reading Angel by L.A. Weatherly as I don't seem to have a great track record when it comes to young adult angel books - I was disappointed with Hush, Hush and although I liked Fallen I didn't think the sequel Torment quite managed to live up to it. Now having read Angel I can honestly say I don't know what I was worried about - it was by far the best angel book I've read & I can't wait to get my hands on the next 2 books in the series!

Angel is written in a combination of first person (from Willow's point of view) and third person (from Alex's point of view). I found this was a really interesting way to tell the story and although it threw me a little at first once I got used to it I really liked the change in tone. It made it easier to keep track of who's view point we were following and I think it added something to the story.

I absolutely loved the twist on angel mythology which made it unlike any other book I've read. I'm very curious to see how things develop with the Church of Angels over the series especially after the ending of this book. I really liked Willow but it was Alex that completely captured me - move over everyone who came before, Alex is now my new inappropriate book crush! I really liked the fact that Alex wasn't the typical bad boy type character we have seen a lot of in YA books recently. Yes he was mysterious (particularly at the beginning of the book) but we actually get to find out quite a lot about his past which made a nice change. Neither Willow or Alex have led particularly easy childhoods albeit that their circumstances were entirely different. Willow grew up as the main carer for her Mother who is suffering from a mental illness while Alex grew up in the dessert amongst a camp of assassins and you can really see the effect their upbringings had on them both in their personalities.

The action is fast paced throughout most of the book and the story will suck you in and take you on a thrill ride as you travel across the US with Alex & Willow. The plot twists and turns taking you to unexpected places and I ended up staying awake until 6am just so I could finish reading it. There is a section towards the end of the book where the pace slows down and concentrates on the budding romance between the main characters. I loved that section of the story and thought L.A. Weatherly perfectly captured the magic of your first love - the awkwardness & embarrassment, the overwhelming strength of feelings and the amazement of that perfect first kiss that you've always dreamed of. This part of the book reminded me of the emotion in Shiver so I'm sure fans of that series will love it but I can understand that if you're not too keen on character driven romances you might find that part of the story a little on the slow side. Personally I loved the change of pace and was transported back in time to when I was a young teen with my first boyfriend. Not to worry if that isn't your kind of thing though - the action soon builds back up again and leads to an explosive finale!

There were a couple of things toward the end of the book that haven't been explained fully but I'm sure that will be resolved later on in the series. Although there is a cliffhanger at the end I think the book finished quite in a good place and although I'm keen to read the next installment I wasn't left screaming with frustration like you can be with some series. I'm sure any fans of young adult paranormal romance will enjoy Angel - I can't recommend it highly enough. It really was one of my favorite books of the year & definitely my favorite in the angel genre!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wow- what a clever and unique idea! Forget vampires, this is a story based upon the idea that angels are evil predators- they stalk you and appear to you and then drain you of life and energy, whilst leaving you with a feeling of blissful peace, the belief that you have seen an angel and are special- but a body drained of life. Victims of angels grow weaker over time, or become mentally incompetent, or start to develop cancer- all the while believing that their angel experience was real and magical and wonderful.

This novel also features a great cast of characters. There's Alex, who had been hunting angels since he was a child along with his father- and Willow, an ordinary girl from a small town who loves tinkering with cars and can see peoples' pasts, futures and dreams just by touching them.

Willow is a great character just because she is who she is and doesn't care if people don't like her for it. She knows her own mind, wears her own clothes, isn't bothered about fitting in with the 'popular' crowd, and just does her own thing. I loved the slow build of the relationship between these two. They start off hating each other- Alex mistrusts Willow because she is part angel, and represents everything that he has dedicated his life to destryoing, and Willow hates Alex's rudeness and attitude. They have to travel together to find one of Alex's old contacts who might be able to help them, and the adventure takes off from there.

The build up to the climax of the big battle is one of the most exciting I've read, and nearly made me cry, and the whole book is well paced and gripping but with the right mix of emotion and romance.

I just loved this. It was so much better than I expected and stood out from all the usual paranormal boy-meets-girl books out there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 3 October 2010
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Willow Fields isn't like other girls but it's only when she meets Alex the angel killer that she begins to understand why...

This is part teen paranormal romance, part war of the worlds and part road trip. It's undoubtedly better written than some of the many teen supernatural romances out there but the idea of angels as alien parasites isn't portrayed convincingly enough to make me believe in them.

Alex and Willow are pretty similar to many another pairing in this type of book, and Willow's melodramatic musings of `how could I ever have believed he liked me/ was about to kiss me when I'm such a worthless being' were a little too plentiful for my taste.

The beginning felt like the strongest part but then the centre dragged (apart from a nicely tender little interlude for our hero and heroine) and the obligatory showdown at the end was all over a little too fast.

So overall this isn't either terribly good or terribly bad - it's fairly predictable with an attractive if generic couple at the centre but lacks the depth and intensity to really draw me in. This is apparently the first of a trilogy but after finishing this I have no urge to read the sequels.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This novel is such a shocker.

When blurb says L.A. Weatherly will reinvent angels in Angel, she not only reinvents it, but does so in such a stunning way. Her portrayal of angels as deceptive predators is disturbing, yet strangely fascinating. Without foregoing the beauty that lures humanity into admiring these celestial beings, the author twists our common perception of their majesty to reveal a very frightening creature. For that alone, Angel deserves a permanent space in everyone's shelves.

What I expected with Angel, is vastly different from what I have read. Even from the very beginning I was already caught unaware by this novel. It's far from predictable, and none of my guesses were actually even remotely near the plot. There were always surprises around every corner and each caught me by surprise. Throw away all your expectations are read this book. You will not regret it!

Angel is partly narrated by Willow, and partly by an omniscient narrator. The narrative style is as fresh as its plot, allowing glimpses into Willow's character without neglecting the crescendo of suspense created by events out of Willow's control. The perfect criss-crossing of these different perspectives builds the suspense with such intensity that I was slightly floored with the thrill. It was like reading a Dan Brown thriller - so very gripping. Combined with interesting characters and the unsettling angels, the suspense is a huge driving force in making Angel such stunning novel.

While the suspense remains a constant presence in the course of the plot, there is also adventure and romance intertwined strongly within the novel. Willow and Alex are two very different, very engaging characters. I found the character development to be more intrinsic than external, linking closely to the romance and plot as a whole. I couldn't get enough of the two!

Reading about their roadtrip is like partaking in it; I particular loved their experiences on the run as it is not only vividly described but also gives a sense of urgency to escape. The blossoming romance between the protagonists and the danger that constantly hovers above them (sometimes literally) gave me an adrenaline rush. It's a very, very good read. I'm pleased at how the novel did not focus entirely on Willow's and Alex's differences, but more on their acceptance of each other, and later their romance. It isn't at all sappy - and they don't fall in love in a blink of an eye either - but there were points where I could have done with less than what was written. At some parts of the book the narrative becomes overwhelming, but as I am reviewing an ARC, I did not worry too much. The finished copy would be more polished, so there really isn't much to complain about.

With a mythology as strong as Philip Pullman's and a suspense as well built as Dan Brown's, L.A. Weatherly's Angel is a dark and fresh new twist to the celestial beings we all know and love. It's a sin to miss a book this good!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 May 2011
Alex's life task is killing angels and stopping them from taking over the world. He's only seventeen but the best assassin there is. Willow's psychic ability has made her an outsider and caring for her apathetic mom is more than a sixteen year old girl should have to handle.
When Alex is sent to kill Willow and their paths meet, their whole lifes change completly. Willow doesn't want to believe that she is an half-angel and that there are angels at all. And Alex starts to doubt that Willow is really a danger for humanity. In contrast he soon realizes that she might be the worlds only hope to stop the invasion of the angels.

So he decides that keeping Willow safe is his new mission. Even though he hates angels because they killed his whole family, he's soon fascinated with Willow. The more time they spend together on the run from the angels who realized that Willow is a real danger to them and from the humans they have under control, the closer they get.
Will they be able to survive being chased by the angels and will they be able to form a tight relationship?

Let me start this review with saying that I normally avoid books with angels because mostly, especially when they are portrayed as kind creatures, they bore me. But when I read the concept of what angels are in this series, I was immediately fascinated and interested in reading "Angel". And I wasn't disappointed with what L.A. Weatherly created, in contrast I pretty much loved everything about this book.

You are thrown right into the middle of the book with the first scene in which Alex is sent to a kill an angel. Right from this scene on I was in the story and didn't want to stop reading. And meeting Willow was just as fascinating as meeting Alex. When both came together for the first time I knew that I would love the book.
The story concentrates both on Alex & Willow and their developing relationship (which changes in a comfortable and realistic pace). I enjoyed that I got the chance to read a lot about them and to really get to know them. Both were in my opinion very likable characters and also very strong. I rooted for them right from the start on and can't wait to know how their fight against the angels and how their relationship will continue. Willow and Alex didn't have a normal childhood and had to grow up fast. Maybe that's why the book is not too youthful and should be perfect for adult readers.

Angels as the bad guys is a fascinating concept and worked perfectly for me. Instead of being bored like I'm usually are when reading about kind angels, this time I was mesmerized and interested in every little detail. It was fascinating that the beautiful angels were so cruel and definitely not pure. When L.A. Weatherly described the masses of people who blindly followed the Church of Angels I could really see them before my eyes. All in all I was able to imagine most of the events in the book effortlessly even though I'm normally not a very visual person.

I will definitely go on with reading the series because I enjoyed the authors writing style a lot and want to learn more about the characters and what will happen next.

cover
I think the UK cover is ok and I love the US cover because it's so pretty and fascinating. I got the UK version because it was published earlier however think about also buying the US version because I enjoyed the book so much and love the cover.

final appraisal
I was suprised by how much I loved reading "Angel". L.A. Weatherly has a very engaging writing style and her angels are fascinating, cruel and I want to know more about them and also about Willow and Alex. I will definitely go on with reading this series because it's thrilling and great.
I would recommend this book to all readers interested in a book in which angels are mostly the bad guys and that's thrilling & fascinating.

Angels trilogy
1. Angel /Angel Burn (2010 / 2011)
2. Angel Fire (2011)
3. Angel Fever (2012)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 18 November 2010
I admit, I bought this book reluctantly. I've been doing a bit of a crash course in the dark teen romance genre the last few months, and when I saw the cover I thought, 'Yeah yeah, another angel book.' I bought it reluctantly, and only because of the attention it's gotten from well-known reviewers.

Well, it isn't just another angel book. For one thing, the angels here are truly original. It's not just the fact that they're the bad guys, but the way in which the author has translated the mythology into something that both fits with its stereotypes, and shatters them. They make truly frightening antagonists, and I found it all too easy to believe in the dystopia the author's created.

But by far the best thing about the book is the relationship between the two main characters, Willow and Alex. It's just so brilliantly done - so simple and understated and real. Nothing that happens between them ever feels forced, or as if obstacles are being purposely added to drag out the tension. The tension has a firm basis, as does its resolution.

The other thing I loved about them - as opposed to a lot of other characters in the genre - is the fact that they meet as equals. They're both extreme in different ways, both damaged, but the balance of power never really feels skewed toward one of them or the other (at least not for long.) And it's SO nice to see a girl character in this genre who holds her own, and doesn't have to sit around waiting for her love interest to fill her in on what's going on, or continually rescue her from peril. Alex and Willow both come with their own information and abilities to contribute to the relationship, and to the action. They rescue each other. Can't wait for the sequel!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
To say I loved this book would be a massive understatement. It completely and utterly blew me away! I just loved everything about it, and yes, Alex is definitely a major plus!

The story follows Alex and Willow. Alex has been raised as an AK (or Angel Killer) and, as such, knows the truth about Angels. They are really feeding off human energy, draining them until there is nothing left, and must be stopped. But when Alex is sent information to kill Willow he is confused - because Willow is not like any Angel he's met before - she's also human...

I really liked how the story alternates between Willow and Alex. I've said in the past I really enjoy this style of narration and it works really well here. It's easy to distinguish between the two voices - helped by the authors switch from first person narratiive for Willow to a third person narration for Alex's parts of the story. I loved both characters from the get-go. Alex has that 'Dean Winchester' thing going for him - or at least he did for me. I spent a great portion of this novel itching to watch my Supernatural DVD's- but the book was too good to put down so I easily resisted! He's just... I can't quite put my finger on it but I just adored him. And Willow was a character that had me rooting for her right from the start. Really likeable, caring and strong. I could also picture the two of them together - so it was very easy for me to buy into their relationship as it progresses.

Weatherly has a very accessible writing style and a skill for writing both high action scenes and slower, more character driven ones. I was suprised by how much story is packed in to this book. There's loads of action, an epic love story and the mythology is just brilliant! The whole thing is such an adrenaline rush! So much happens that I just didn't see coming - I spent large portions of the book going 'Whoa!'or 'OMG!' and then the rest sighing (Te Amos Alex!) because the romance is soooo good!

I apologise for the rather fan-girl review but I really can't recommend this one highly enough! I can't wait for the next in the series - role on June!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As a rule I normally shy away from similarly themed books, but something about this one made me think that this would be different (not a sappy load of rubbish where good girl falls for bad boy) and to my relief: I was right - it was different.
This title reverses the roles used in other stories in this genre - there isn't a young, virginal, impressionable girl who thinks she's more grown up than she really is, falling hopelessly inlove with a pale-faced, high-cheekboned, narrow-jawlined, mascara wearing creature of the night. But rather; a strong-willed, emotionally-stable, mature, young girl who just so happens to be an angel (which again is reversed: angels are evil creatures feeding off of humanity under the guise of serene, loving, caring, divine beings) who is unintentionally drawing in the affections of Alex, our strong-willed would-be hero, who should know better, but, with this writer's keenly-penned role-reversal, turns out to be the clueless impressionable one.
I loved it. This title is so obviously lovingly written, and in my opinion is cashing in on the recent gothic-craze whilst improving the genre taking us away from the vomit-invoking-sap-fest and putting us along a more chaotic line of fiction where characters aren't so two-dimensional, where they don't fit in neat little boxes, and where angels are bad, men are more vulnerable and women don't always need saving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2010
I bought this book after reading numerous other books revolving around angels such as Lauren Kate and Becca Fitzpatrick's novels. This however, was very different. Stephanie Meyer reinvented vampires, Maggie Stiefvater reinvented werewolves and fairies, L.A. Weatherly has reinvented angels.

The story was nothing like I expected. It was a trillion times better. Rather than the usual idea of angels helping people and doing good, Weatherly's angels give that pretense, however it is only so that they can feed off our energy. An odd idea, but it works unbelievably well.

Add a physic heroine, a gorgeous guy who would die for her, plenty of unexpected twists to the story, and a romance throughout, and you have one amazing novel.
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