Only Willow has the power to defeat the malevolent Church of Angels – and they will stop at nothing to destroy her. However, Willow is not alone. She is with Alex, a trained Angel Killer...and her one true love. Together, they must train a new generation of Angel Killers. But as a half-angel, Willow can’t help feeling like an outcast, even with Alex by her side. So when a handsome stranger with a tortured past arrives at the AK camp, Willow finds herself inextricably drawn to him... Completely irresistible, Angel Fire is a stunning story of loyalty, conflict and love.
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Firstly and most importantly, Willow actually shows a backbone in this one. Not as much as I would have liked, but there were parts in which I actually wanted to wave the book around and shout, "Look! Look closer, there's a personality hiding in there!"
I really liked Willow at the beginning of the first book, but thought she got pretty blah and compliant once the romance with Alex kicked in. There's actual TENSION between Willow and Alex in this one, guys. Granted, many of the forces are external and not internal, but it was a refreshing change of pace from the staring-deeply-into-each-other's-eyes moments.
A new half-angel shows up and (unsurprisingly) has a thing for Willow. Alex gets jealous and paranoid, and tells Willow to ditch him or Alex is leaving. Except (wait for it!) Willow tells Alex he doesn't pick her friends for her, and he's out of line. Not only this, but later, Alex actually REALIZES WILLOW WAS RIGHT.
I reread this section a few times and yes, I'd really like to copy and paste this passage into my local library's copies of Eclipse.
Now, there are some definite flaws to this book, most noticeably the length. There is a LOT in this book that drags on and should have been cut. This also connects into my biggest problem with this book, which was the alternating POVs. Weatherly alternates between 1st person (Willow) and various 3rd person POVs (including Raziel, Alex, and whoever else she feels like throwing in). It's jarring, annoying, and adds little to the plot. It also pads the book like crazy, which may very well be why she did it. If this book was whittled down to something reasonable, I wouldn't hesitate recommending it to others. As it is, it's a hefty commitment to make, time-wise.
Though the writing style left something to be desired, I was relatively pleased with Willow's character (maybe that says something about the plethora of weak female protagonists in YA literature, who knows?). Willow and Alex's relationship was still pretty sickeningly sweet at times, but the action got pretty tense (once it actually got started!) and I'm looking forward to the conclusion in 2012.more