Lyndsey's Reviews > Wings of the Wicked

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton
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Hah. More like Wangst of the Wicked! I kid, I kid.

I made a comment about the first book being Buffy Season One: Disney Channel Version. Well, the sequel jumped straight into Buffy Season Six territory. It's dark, sexy, and witty. Much more so than the first.

Admittedly, I wasn't too impressed with Angelfire, the first book in this series, but Wings of the Wicked is abundantly more fun than it's predecessor.

The characters are starting to get into a comfort zone with each other and the chemistry between them is coming alive. The straight forward no-frills prose carries you right into the action and drama.      

The Rundown

With the help of her guardian Will, Ellie battles the forces of darkness. She is the Preliator, the only one in the world who wields awesome reaper-slaying, sickle-shaped swords that are infused with the heavenly flame of Angelfire, and she's getting even better in battle. Things have gotten complicated with angelic Will, and he and Ellie fight the feelings they have for each other. A demonic reaper named Cadan begins to make advances toward Ellie, but can she trust him?  Now a strong force of darkness is rising up and it will take everything the Preliator and her friends have got to face this new evil.

Characterization and Romance

In the first book, even though it's written in first person, I never felt like I was getting to know Ellie because of her Mary Sue tendencies. Yet somehow, I've really grown to care about her in the sequel, as have many of the other characters. There is Love Triangle. I know what you're thinking: Noooooooooooooooo! Or maybe: Yes, yes, YES! But I actually really liked both of the boys. 

First, there's Will. (Why does every book have a Will these days?) His mouth says, "I love you but I can't be with you." But his eyes say, "I can't stay away."

Then there's Cadan. His mouth says, "I love you whether or not want to be with me." But his eyes say, "I'm gonna lock you in my basement."

Guess which one she goes for? NOT the creepy stalker guy. Oh wait, they're both kind of stalkers. Well, they call themselves "guardians" or "protectors" but we all know what that means. (view spoiler)

One thing I appreciated: Ellie considers having sex before marriage. Gasp!! Blasphemy! As long as no one puts a fanged supernatural baby in her, I'm fine with it. And PHEW! There were some hot scenes. Ellie was much less chaste and she liked it!

Shockingly, this book took a turn for dark. Several important characters are lost. And man... The characters in this book truly know how to grieve. It's not at all like other similar YA books where close friends or family members die and no one seems to care. So many intense moments of pain and rage fill these pages. They scream, they cry, they bawl their eyes out. Their agony is so believable in those moments.

The characterization is infinitely better in this book. I looked forward to the exchanges between Ellie and almost everyone this time around. Whereas the first book was mainly Ellie being confused and asking questions and being all "Woe is me," our heroine really came into her own in Wings of the Wicked. 

The World-Building  

This book threw in even more aspects of Buffydom, namely patrolling, which was not an aspect of the first book due to the whole "getting to know you" phase that Ellie was going through with Will and the new world unfolding around her. Patrols were always a important part of the storylines in Buffy, but I had mixed feelings about them being brought into the Angelfire series. Don't the two share quite a bit of similarities as it is? It makes me wonder what's next: turning Ellie's bestie, Kate, into an evil black-eyed witch lesbian?

Still - I have to admit that I ended up enjoying seeing the patrols included. It brought a sense of familiarity to it, complemented by the fact that the characters began to vibe with each other so well in battle. 

Despite the obvious similarities to other series, the world was intense and more evolved this time around. They delve a bit deeper into Ellie's past and the specifics around it, but still left a lot to be learned in the upcoming books.

The Verdict  

The plotline revolves strongly around action and romance and seems to be setting up for tons of love triangle tension in the next book, which I am greatly looking forward to.  Though the writing is  "filled to the brim" with cliche, it didn't matter. I found myself reading compulsively with a stupid grin on my face the whole time.

If you're a fan of angel mythology and looking for that next thing, this series just might be it! If you read the first book and are unsure about continuing, let me assure you that I greatly enjoyed it and did not regret it for one second.

As much as I liked this one, I still can't give it five stars, mainly because of an excess of cheesy lines and cliche. However, I enjoyed this one exponentially more than the first book. In fact, I wouldn't have believed how much better it is if I hadn't read it with my own two eyes.

Much less Seventh Heaven (When I see their happy faces smiling back at me-eeee. Yep, now it's going to be stuck in your head. Bwuahahahaha!) and much more Buffy and Supernatural. Really. It was like watching some sort of bizarre crossover spin-off of the two shows and I LOVED it.   
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Comments (showing 1-27 of 27) (27 new)

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~Tina~ Oh I want this. Glad you liked it!:)

Lyndsey It was so much better than the first, Tina! Will and Ellie got so intense in this one and much MUCH closer. :D

message 3: by Emily May (last edited Dec 10, 2011 09:17PM) (new) - added it

Emily May Ooh, BTVS season six. Crazy Buffy. Dark Willow. Naked Spike. I clearly need to read this!

message 4: by Lyndsey (last edited Dec 10, 2011 09:44PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lyndsey Buffy Season Six is the BEST!! Yes, yes. Naked Spike definitely deserves to be in bold. Always!

I was seriously waiting for Ellie's friend to go all black-eyed. Never happened. :-/

message 5: by Rogier (new)

Rogier ha ha, great review

message 6: by Johnny (new) - added it

Johnny Glad to know that the sequel's better than the first one! And I totally agree; Buffy Season Six is the BEST!

message 7: by Rose (new)

Rose I wasn't sure about reading this one, but I'll give it a try

message 8: by Vi (new) - added it

Vi Vi Interesting. I'm glad she improved, though ultimately though I love Buffy, I've grown tired of knock offs even if they're well-executed knock offs. Plus I hated Buffy Season 6. So I'm not sure I'll like this much more than the first, but I will at least get it from the library and read.

Did you get an arc? or a galley?

Lyndsey I got an arc from a friend. But Really, Vi? You hated Season Six... even the musical?!

message 10: by Vi (new) - added it

Vi Vi Hated the musical. Sorry, I know that that's like a cardinal sin in Buffy fandom. S6 was a mess, though. All wangst all the time (though what I usually find humorless wangst other ppl find dark and edgy so...)

message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael Fournier Hmm. I didn't love the overdrawn angst in parts of S6, but hating it and the musical? Downside of 6 and 7 for me: Less Marti Noxon and because Season 5 / 6 was a switch in networks, I think they have a different feel. More drama, less witt.

Lyndsey Gah, Season 7 was the worst. The Slayerettes? That is the one season that I have never rewatched an episode. And if I see a rerun on TV, I scream and turn it off. Barf.

The Buffy Musical is the light of my life. *sigh* Plus, I'm a huge Spuffy fan. I don't think you could be on Team Spuffy and hate Season 6.

message 13: by Michael (new)

Michael Fournier I'm a huge fan of the musical as well. Team Spuffy. I just chuckled. Never heard that before. For reasons involving timing and connection to my personal life, I'm more of a Buffy/Angel fan.

message 14: by Katya (new)

Katya Dude, Hot Demolition Sex FTW! (Yes, I'm that shallow. I can't wait to get my DVDs back just to rewatch that scene)

Lyndsey Demolition Sex must be hot. I believe that scene won hottest sex scene of all time in TV guide or something.

Angel is too stalky and broody for me. He's like a beefy version of Edward.

message 16: by Crowinator (new) - added it

Crowinator Wow, you've actually made me excited for this book. The amateur writing bugged me in the first, but this sounds more polished.

Maybe in the third book, someone will build a Ellie-bot to confuse Will and all of her friends. Wacky hijinks ensue!

As for my Buffy opinions, Season 6 is much better watched on DVD when you don't have to wait a week in between episodes. The super dark angst feels more bearable and the strong episodes stand out more. But Season 7 can go die in a corner.

Lyndsey Die, Slayerettes, DIE!! I was hoping they'd would be demolished along with the school in the big final battle. No such luck.

I've watched Season 6 multiple ways. When it aired, on DVD and on netflix. I think you either love the angsty anticipation of serial type episodes or you don't.

message 18: by Vi (last edited Dec 11, 2011 03:22PM) (new) - added it

Vi Vi Ew S7.

Also, yeah, still hate the musical.

Yeah Crow, I'm actually excited for the book. Well, cautiously excited. I don't mind Buffy knockoffs, really. Though the author's comments on and about goodreads struck me as a little too Special Snowflakey for my tastes, and that sort of thing usually discourages me from reading an author's work. But I do definitely want to give this a chance because I figured if I was twelve again this would definitely be the sort of thing I'd want to fawn over. Magical girl anime series + Buffy. How can you go wrong unless you suck at writing? Actually, if you're even just passable at the writing, the fact that you're referencing much greater works already does half the work for you.

Still, I'm in love with books that really try to do something different and fresh while still hitting those sweet spots, but hitting them in a way I didn't know they could, and hitting the spots I didn't know I had (oh dear, that sounds kinda dirty but....). So even if I can turn off my brain and enjoy something like WoW, it sounds like the kind of thing whose existence I'd forget about 10 days after reading.

Really, I'm looking for books that really push themselves in terms of content, not the ones that adeptly use an already boringly well-trodden formula to great effect. But there's nothing necessarily wrong with the latter if you're looking for time to kill.

message 19: by Lyndsey (last edited Dec 11, 2011 03:31PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lyndsey That's usually me too, Vi. I typically enjoy books that revolve around a strong concept or do something new and different. It just depends on my mood. Sometimes I just want to space out and go somewhere else.

If I'm being completely honest. I went into the first book expecting to HATE it but surprisingly I didn't even dislike it, despite the rather juvenile tone. But the sequel really surprised me. I didn't think she could pick up the pace and intensity so much. In fact, it almost seems like a new author. From happy-go-lucky to dark and depressing, from prim and pure to sexuality fueled by despair, from slow and repetitive to fast-paced and crazy. I was NOT expecting it.

message 20: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Lyndsey wrote: "Gah, Season 7 was the worst. The Slayerettes? That is the one season that I have never rewatched an episode. And if I see a rerun on TV, I scream and turn it off. Barf.

The Buffy Musical is the li..."

I loved the musical. It must be about time I got the Buffy dvds out and gave them all another go *sigh* oh to find the time.

message 21: by Michael (new)

Michael Fournier Have you seen this video? I wonder if she ever did this song for Buffy? She should have. This is my ultimate geek girl hero. I adore her.

Lyndsey Sandra, you should watch it! I'm really hoping that more shows will do the musical thing. Though, not many could pull it off as well as Joss did. I'm still waiting for that musical episode of Fringe.

Michael, YouTube is a paradise for finding geek girl heroes. There are so many great parodies of geek cult phenomenons. I get lost for hours in them sometimes!

message 23: by Summer (new) - added it

Summer I quit reading the Angelfire and returned it to the library when in the first couple of chapters "assistant principal" was spelled "assistant principle". I love Buffy, even the crappy seasons, so maybe I should give it another shot.

message 24: by Lyra (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyra Glad you enjoyed this one. I LOVED it. Huge improvement from the first book. I give the author some credit because it was written in just a couple of weeks for NaNoWriMo and happened to be good enough to get published. Angelfire was veeery clearly a first book by a young, inexperienced author. Wings of the Wicked made Moulton look like a real writer. I'm frothing at the mouth waiting for the third book.

Summer, most errors in ARCs and final books are errors by typesetters, not the author/editor/copy editors. There's no way that principle/principal got past the legion of editors before typesetters got a hold of the book. I'd bet my right lung this error was created post-edits.

message 25: by Johnny (new) - added it

Johnny Lyra wrote: "Glad you enjoyed this one. I LOVED it. Huge improvement from the first book. I give the author some credit because it was written in just a couple of weeks for NaNoWriMo and happened to be good eno..."

Was it really a NANO?! I did not know that. I absolutley love it when NANO books get all big time published! I agree that Angelfire defintley had the first book syndrome. But I cannot wait to read this one (I'm waiting to see if I win an arc, so I'm trying really hard to not just go out and buy it :P)

Michelle Awsome review cant wait to read it!!! :D

Arianna Wow now I really want this book! :)

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