Angel (Angel #1) by L.A. Weatherly
YA paranormal*Paperback/eBook, 512 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Usborne Publishing Ltd (first published September 30th 2010)
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 does. 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.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading Angel by L.A. Weatherly. Told in Willow's first person pov and Alex's third person pov, I was at first taken aback by his narration. There was an instant detachment from the story but I liked Willow and continued reading. Am I glad I did.
The author created a unique angelic mythology in her world, a welcome change from the usual angel fare. The typical angel in Angel is the actual antagonist here and humans flock to special churches (the Church of Angels, simple enough) to honor them. Angels freely walk the earth and are adored by unsuspecting humans who are drawn into and ultimately made into zealot-like zombies. Willow is different. As a teen girl she likes to fix motors and is psychic. She sees an angel with her friend and notices the being is hurting her friend. Hurting? Intervening, Willow stops the angel and her action creates a domino effect. Angels feed off of humans and seeking retribution, sends one of their hired hands to kill Willow. That killer is Alex. He doesn't do as ordered, instead curious enough to watch her from afar. When another angel tries to dispatch the teenager, Alex steps in, saving Willow and taking her on a get away road trip.
On this trip they get to know each other. Killer and psychic. Human and half-angel. For once, falling in love took longer than five seconds. The longer these two spend together, the more they find themselves falling for the other which was really sweet. There was a part where the pacing slowed and there was an abundance of Willow's thoughts about Alex. When the ones chasing them show up, the story took off again.
I liked both Willow and Alex, despite his distracting pov. I think if his pov was written in first person, we could relate faster and more to his character. As it was, I liked his character but felt distanced from him--this was not the case with Willow. I immediately liked her. His background was very interesting and his stories about his brother, Jake, and how Angel killers use a "chakra radar" to spot angels was insightful and cool. As both sides race for a climatic showdown, the author kept the story enticing and exciting. Despite a few minor bumps, I'm thrilled to have read Angel.
I have to say I prefer the cover from Angel Burn with the back shot of the model's hair. This cover makes me think the story has a humorous or flirty bent from the model's slight smirk.