From Goodreads: Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces, and that he’s one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil. In the first book in an action-packed, romantic trilogy, L.A. Weatherly sends readers on a thrill-ride of a road trip — and depicts the human race at the brink of a future as catastrophic as it is deceptively beautiful.
Candlewick Press has been extremely gracious to allow me to read an ARC of this novel, through Netgalley, prior to its official release in the U.S. tomorrow. I am very thankful for this opportunity, especially because this is a phenomenal book! I was pulled into the narrative instantly, completely in love with this fresh look at the angelic world in YA literature. It seems fallen angels took YA literature by storm last year, but Weatherly’s novel is completely different from the mainstream angel world, and I was drawn in by this new perspective. Whereas many angel novels tend to deal with fallen angels trying to help humanity or gain admittance back into heaven, Weatherly takes an unprecedented look at angel invasions of our world: what if angels aren’t good? What if angels actually drain our life force, and we are manipulated into believing that they are our salvation? And, if this is the case, what do you do when all these angels in our world are out looking for you? Weatherly does a superb job of mixing the token alien invasion scenario with that of the heavenly angel beliefs, leaving us with a purely original, phenomenal novel.
Weatherly shrouds the angel assassin, Alex, in much mystery throughout the novel, and I was highly intrigued by his character. Alex’s story is narrated through the third person—complete with flashbacks that allow the reader small glimpses into his carefully guarded life, yet his background and lifestyle remain cryptic through most of the novel. Willow, on the other hand, tells her story in the first person narrative, and her background quickly becomes know, creating a nearly instantaneous bond between her and the reader as her persona is completely virtuous. Weatherly is one of the only authors I’ve read that has been able to switch back and forth between first and third person narratives with ease, keeping the reader on point, even as the switches sometimes occur between paragraphs. The fact that Weatherly is able to maintain the flow of the story and not confuse the reader at the same time is a testament to her sheer writing capabilities.
While the novel is somewhat long, being over 400 pages, it is the perfect length to give the reader an in-depth look at the characters and their development without completely losing the reader. As I read, I felt like I truly knew Alex and Willow, and the character development and romance of the story becomes extremely real as the characters are fleshed out as the story unfolds. One of the reasons Weatherly is able to write such a long novel and still keep the reader interested also comes from her ability to blend action and romance together so as to keep the reader completely enamored as the story progresses. I read the entire novel in one sitting and didn’t realize the time float by as I was that enveloped in the story. Five stars.