Angel Burn, a paranormal teen romance by l. a. weatherly, is a fascinating and controversial twist on our understanding and adoration of angels wrapped neatly inside a blossoming love story. Published by Candlewick Press, ISBN: 978-0-7636-5786-4 (electronic), it is the first novel in the Angel trilogy involving Willow Fields, a sixteen-year-old half-angel half-human and Alex Kylar, a hired assassin.
Willow has her share of dysfunctional family issues that many readers (mostly teens) can relate to: being from a single-parent household, feelings of being different from other teens, and living with extended family – and most will sympathize with her; but, though many will sympathize with Alex also, few can relate to him. He is a seventeen year old assassin who has been living on his own for many years, with no adult influence, seemingly self-sufficient. Other characters that I thought would have become major players (such as Willow’s best friend Nina) were underutilized, with only a slight mention after the story’s opening.
Weatherly writes in both first person point of view, through the eyes of Willow, and third person point of view in her descriptions of the antagonists at the Church of Angels and in scenes relating to Alex. The multiple viewpoints are written well, there’s no confusion among the character’s thoughts and actions; but the same effect could have been achieved using only the third person viewpoint.
The conflict between Alex and Willow is easily identifiable, almost predictable, but the resolution, which constitutes multiple chapters, is beautifully written and totally believable. The action scenes involving car chases and shoot-outs are balanced with romantic moments between the characters of nights spent talking until dawn or hiking through picturesque woods, adding to my enjoyment of the novel. Once hooked, I was catapulted along with Willow and Alex as they try to foster a relationship while saving the world, but the ending, somewhat clichéd, left me a little disappointed. I expected more after all of the other action-packed sequences and eloquently written, soul-bearing moments in the story.
I downloaded the first three chapters of this book for free and decided to purchase the ebook simply because I became invested in the characters. I wanted to know how they would resolve their differences, how they would get out of yet another crisis, and if they would, indeed, save the world. I have book two of the trilogy on preorder, so I can say with certainty that I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys young adult paranormal romance.