Weatherly (Child X) launches a supernatural YA trilogy with a terrific, action-packed romantic thriller. Sixteen-year-old Willow is a gifted mechanic and psychic living in upstate New York. When she does a reading for her classmate Beth, who is planning on joining the cultlike Church of Angels, Willow becomes scared; Beth thinks she's been blessed by an angel, but Willow sees that the "angel" feeds on humans' life force, poisoning bodies and damaging minds while leaving the victim euphoric. At 17, Alex has been an angel assassin for years, but when he receives orders to kill Willow, he's confused--she's not his typical target, and he's suspicious about why she's been marked for death. Looking for answers, Alex rescues Willow and takes her on the run, trying to foil the angels' plans before all of humanity is lost. Weatherly's plot and writing are first-rate, adrenaline- fueled while still taking the time to thoughtfully develop the characters and build the romance. This elevated twist on the angel genre deserves to be spread far and wide. Ages 14-up. -- Publisher's Weekly - Starred Review
Weatherly's dark paranormal romance, the first in a trilogy, distinguishes itself by taking the already-saturated angel market in a new direction. Angels aren't benevolent guardians or Gods messengers; they are interdimensional beings that feed on energy, and with their world dying, humans are their best source. Though people who've been visited by an angel believe they've had a transcendent experience, they've really been drained of life; those with angel burn develop serious illnesses before an untimely death. Alex is a trained Angel Killer sent to assassinate Willow, a psychic unaware that she is half angel, but when he learns that Willow might have the power to stop the Invasion, he takes her on the run. Alex and Willow are equally distinctive characters - one driven and grim; one compassionate but headstrong - and the slow progression of their relationship is believable. Their intense romance eventually draws too much focus away from the more exciting angel takeover, but when on point, this is a thrilling, action-packed story with insidious villains and a disturbing conclusion. -- Booklist
A beautiful blond half-angel and the dark, handsome assassin sent to kill her fall in love in this fast-paced thriller romance, the first installment of a series first published in Britain (the sequel, Angel Fire, is due out in December 2011). Due to an energy crisis, the ethereal sphere is dying and angels are crossing over to feed off humans, who are too bedazzled to connect visits from heavenly beings with growing mental/physical illness, aka angel burn. Alex, raised to be an AK (angel killer), is one of the few to realize the danger. When he tracks down his assigned target, he is surprised to discover she's only half-angel and that the Church of Angels cult wants her dead. Willow is just as surprised. She thought the only reason she was considered "Queen Weird" at school was because she was psychic and a whiz car mechanic. The two go on the run and eventually become involved in a plan to save the world from a Second Wave of angelic invasion. The story is told alternately via Willow's voice and a third-person account that provides the perspective of Alex and others. It's worth noting that the secondary but substantial falling-in-love plotline is quite chaste (they don't kiss until three-quarters of the way through the book). Perfect for the Twilight crowd. -- Kirkus Reviews
Angels are not, in fact, benevolent, divine creatures but parasitic energy fiends who feed off of humans' psychic auras, leaving people's bodies broken and their minds warped enough to believe that the vampiric creatures were actually helping them in their time of need. Alex has known about this since he was five years old, when his mother's unnatural death spurred his CIA-trained father to form an angel-killing organization. Willow, on the other hand, knows absolutely nothing of any of this until her psychic abilities reveal her to be half angel.
Although Alex has been sent to kill Willow, he soon realizes something else is going on, particularly when it becomes clear that the angels are hell-bent on destroying her as well. It turns out that Willow might be the weapon needed to eradicate the angels for good, but no one seems to know how and when that will go down. The angelic twist on soul-sucking creatures is certainly an entertaining one, but it is the hard-won romance between the two immensely likeable protagonists that will have readers following Alex and Willow as they attempt to flee the angels on a cross-country road trip. Alex somehow manages to be alluring in both his broody angst and his wry humor, while Willow is adorably spunky but appropriately vulnerable; the teasing development of their relationship is patient and unhurried, based upon shared experiences and pain as opposed to the convenience of fate. There is also plenty of action, and the culminating scene features an epic battle of divine proportions, although the resolution leaves room for future installments. Readers who like their romances slow and steady and their heroes real--even as they battle otherworldly forces--will find Willow and Alex just to their liking. -- Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books
L. A. Weatherly is the author of several books for young adults, including Child X
. About Angel Burn
, she says, "I've known Alex for a long time. He first came to me as a character almost twenty years ago, when he was a thief in a fantasy setting - an expert with knives rather than guns. Nothing came of that particular novel, but Alex always stayed with me. He refused to go away, in fact! And over the years, I began to wonder about redoing his story completely and placing him in a contemporary setting." L. A. Weatherly was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and now lives in England.