This week TLR will be featuring a bunch of really awesome guest posts by Nicole from The Reader's Antidote.
Hi there! My name is Nicole Mainardi and I'm addicted to reading. I am a college student with an English major, and an avid reader, mostly of young adult paranormal novels. I'm living in the Los Angeles area, though I've lived in Arizona and Michigan. I play soccer, but that's about the only exercise I can stand. The first book website I belonged to was Goodreads where you can find many more of my book reviews. Since then I've become a member of netGalley and Librarything. I am currently finished with a very rough draft of my first novel of 103,000 words, which is a YA paranormal romance, tentatively called Of The Broken. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me on the blog, on my Goodreads page, or at mainardi.nicole(at)gmail(dot)com.Find Nicole Online: Twitter | Facebook | Blog
Nicole's Angelfire Review:
When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.
A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.
While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.
5/5Angelfire is a great new take on the whole fallen angel genre. As all YA reader's know, there are at least a couple books a year that involve fallen angels. I was hoping this one would be different, and it definitely was. It was witty, action-packed, and filled with a sweet romance that I couldn't help devouring and then promptly weeping over. Courtney Allison Moulton, what have you done to me?
The first time I read this book was just after I had been to a signing where she made a guest appearance (Dark Days tour). I got to know Courtney a little and she's just so amazing and sweet. And I don't know if she realizes it, but her and Ellie are a lot alike. No, she's not a red-head like Ellie and her skin is so NOT pale (how she gets such a great tan in Michigan I will never know, I have tried). But their personalities are similar in that they're pretty frickin' awesome!
Soon after that (in an event completely unrelated) I started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'm now very deep into season 3, and reading this book again, I realized that this series is a lot like Buffy. But instead of vampires and stakes, it's demonic reapers and angelfire swords. She kind of has a Watcher (Nathaniel) and Will is a lot like Angel; they both think they're monsters and they're trying to do good by it. They also both know that they shouldn't be with the Preliator/Slayer. But I think that's why this series really works. It's not a rip-off by any means. Everyone who's ever watched Buffy has fallen in love with the show, so it would only make sense that I would fall in love with this book.
Ellie is totally a kick-butt kind of girl even before she comes into her powers. She has friends and is a generally nice person, but she doesn't take crap from anyone, even her friends. And then the mysterious Will comes along and changes everything. She realizes that the world is not what she thought it was, and it turns out that she's actually a very ancient being that kills what are called reapers. Only they don't have cloaks and scythes; they range from big beastly things that are like overgrown bear-dogs to human-like ones with claws and can be very pursuasive. And Ellie has faced them all in her past lives. Not only that, but one of them can consume her soul, so that when she dies this time, she can't ever be reborn.
Sounds fascinating right? Add a building romance that turns beautiful and serious, that makes your heart break and mend itself a thousand times and you've got yourself an amazing YA debut. Angelfire is one of my favorites of this year, and Will and Ellie and one of my favorite YA couples. I can't wait to see more of them and more of Ellie's powers in the next one, Wings of the Wicked.
Nicole's Wings of the Wicked Reviews:
Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.
Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.
She’s been warned.
Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes , the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.
She’ll be betrayed.
Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay.
5/5If you haven’t started this series, there’s something seriously wrong with you. It’s one of my favorite series, and Wings of the Wicked is already on my list for my favorites of 2012.
I have been in love with this series since the beginning, and I’ve always been surprised by how many people haven’t read it. I actually got to meet the author in Lansing, MI on one of the Dark Days tour stops last summer. It wasn’t actually her tour stop, but since she lives so close to the bookstore, she and Aimee Carter (The Goddess Test) decided to stop by. It’s one of the best signings I’ve ever been to. But, back to the book. Angelfire really blew me away. Not much is written about Reapers and I felt like I could really connect with Ellie. And then of course there’s Will, who is as swoonworthy as they come. We get a lot of these two in Wings of the Wicked.
I won my copy of this book from the author by writing a story, starring a new vir reaper, and my story was one of the three that she picked. Needless to say, I can’t remember the last time I was so excited about getting a book. I feel like I have been waiting forever for it, and it was all I’d hoped it’d be and more. Moulton really knows how to break your heart, lovingly stitch it back together, and then shred it again. And believe me when I say that. My heart physically ached for Ellie. She fights for so much and gets little in return. Not everyone in Wings of the Wicked survives, and there are even a few unlikely heroes. Ellie nearly loses everything she’s ever known, and from that ending, it’s about to get worse.
Speaking of the ending, it’s totally unfair and I demand a rewrite! She can’t honestly expect us to wait for the next book to see what happens. It’s not even titled for god’s sake! After I finished this one, I stared at it with a mix of anger and disbelief, placed it carefully back on my shelf, and fought the urge to punch a wall. I can't wait for the final (?) book in the series!!