Kat Kennedy's Reviews > Angelfire

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
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I’ve thought long and hard to deter­mine if there was a sin­gle aspect of this book that I even liked.

The char­ac­ters, the story-telling, the writ­ing, the themes… was there anything?

 

No.  I tried but this book was painfully bad.  I am not at all exag­ger­at­ing when I report that I fell asleep twice within the first twenty pages.  This book was highly rem­i­nis­cent of both Buffy and Bleach.  So what?  Pretty much half the things pub­lished in YA these days are rem­i­nis­cent of Buffy.  Unfor­tu­nately, you want to at least stand up a lit­tle in the com­par­i­son.  This is not com­pa­ra­ble to Buffy. This is Buffy if Buffy weren’t Buffy but Dawn was Buffy.

Would you really want to watch Buffy if Dawnnwere Buffy?

I would like to take this oppor­tu­nity to remind peo­ple that there is noth­ing wrong with writ­ing a real­is­tic teenager.  Ellie was cer­tainly real­is­tic – for a cer­tain type of teenager.  She was vapid, shal­low, thought­less, com­pletely stuck in her own world and hope­lessly self-centered.  This is a prob­lem for two reasons.

 

1. Nobody takes issue with this.  Will men­tions twice that she doesn’t take her duties seri­ously enough but this is laughed off and treated by the text as if he takes them way too seriously.

2. The fuck­ing world relies on her and her alone.

We're doomed
Look, I don’t want to be nit­picky, but this girl has our lives in her hands.  What I want to know is, is there a way that can…not be the case?

 

She’s so bor­ing, and the novel becomes bor­ing because of how bor­ing she is. This is sup­posed to be a book about an immor­tal war­rior girl who fights Reapers to save human­ity.  It ends up being Gos­sip Girl with the occa­sional mon­ster.  What con­tin­u­ally amazes me is that Ellie even has friends – because she has all of the wit and charm of a mouldy mop.  Yet Req­ui­site Best­friend and Req­ui­site Friend­zone Fred­die just hang off every word she says.

 
She wields magical boring powers
 

We have Will who is one of those annoy­ing, brood­ing male roman­tic inter­ests.  There’s not much to say about him because he’s like ALL brood­ing male roman­tic interests.

I hope Caden jumps on that like a woman in the prime of her life who needs love-squeezings
They could have over­come the insur­mount­able obsta­cles to their love and found a way to be together but he was too busy brood­ing and she was too busy shop­ping.  Also the world ended along the way.

 

The writ­ing is bor­ing and the plot is painfully slow.  The plot is barely there and Moul­ton com­pletely fails to marry the overtly long and com­pli­cated world build­ing with any kind of rea­son­able story arc.  The only method she knows of con­vey­ing infor­ma­tion is in mas­sive info dump con­ver­sa­tions.  After you fin­ish wad­ing through mean­ing­less, vapid social inter­ac­tion after mean­ing­less, vapid social inter­ac­tion you dis­cover that the few fight scenes there are in this book are painfully short and bor­ing.  How am I sup­posed to care about the end of the world and the pos­si­bil­ity of a Reaper con­sum­ing my soul and con­demn­ing me to an eter­nity in hell when all Ellie fuck­ing cares about is her par­ties and social stand­ing?  Oh, I’m sorry.  She also cares about Mr Tall, dark, mys­te­ri­ous and broody.  They spend a lot of time talk­ing.  A. Lot. of. time.

It’s not like I expected her to go from 0-kickass in five sec­onds.  But Ellie never at any point in this novel has a real rev­e­la­tion about the fact that she’s got a divine fuck­ing mis­sion here.  And it’s not to attend par­ties.  Think about it.  Every time she’s going to the movies with friends or cof­fee, or a party, some­one is out there dying.  And not just dying. Their soul is going to burn in hell and suf­fer eter­nal tor­ment and be used in Lucifer’s fight to con­demn ALL the souls.  Every time Ellie decides to take a break and not be so seri­ous about her duties, which she does with alarm­ing fre­quency – a child, a woman, a man, SOMEONE will suf­fer for­ever for it.  Every time she needs to inves­ti­gate some­thing or train and she says, “Oh, I’m busy at the movies tonight, can we do that in two days time?” she’s per­son­ally let­ting peo­ple down.

The hor­ror she expe­ri­ences every time she faces off against one of the Reapers (the hor­ror for which we are meant to sym­pa­thize as one of her strug­gles) yeah… well, she has both Will and a cou­ple of kick arse swords when she faces off against them.  Think of the chil­dren who have had to face that hor­ror on their own and have not survived.

I have no sym­pa­thy or emo­tional invest­ment in her at all.  Sure, she doesn’t have her mem­o­ries, but even in flash­backs she is com­pletely disin­gen­u­ous as an immor­tal war­rior fight­ing for human­ity.  When Buffy got her mis­sion, she woke up fairly quickly and real­ized that her hopes and dreams and free time were all com­pletely incon­se­quen­tial com­pared to her mis­sion.  Ellie did not have that real­iza­tion in this entire novel.  Every­thing took a back­seat to her social life and school cal­en­dar.  Every­thing.  And this was not per­ceived to be a prob­lem.  Not even by the nar­ra­tion which gives far more time and invests far more heav­ily in Ellie’s star-crossed lovelife than it does in the fact that there is an apoc­a­lypse coming.

There is some­thing supremely wrong about that.
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Reading Progress

July 10, 2010 – Shelved
February 8, 2012 – Started Reading
February 16, 2012 –
page 13
2.87% "This book starts out almost exactly like a Buffy episode. Not looking good."
February 16, 2012 –
page 20
4.42% "I've literally fallen asleep twice and Lost interest in favor of paying on the Internet four times already. It's only page 20."
February 17, 2012 –
page 36
7.95% "Was this book based off an anime? I'm trying to remember which one but I feel like I'm watching reruns. Very reminiscent."
February 17, 2012 –
page 47
10.38% "I'm finding it hard to relate to someone who discovered they had kickass powers for destroying hellbeasts, and then cried and denied it all. I, for one, would wake up the next morning and high five myself."
February 17, 2012 –
page 64
14.13% "*snore*"
February 17, 2012 –
page 66
14.57% "Oh, more denial. So endearing as a characteristic."
February 17, 2012 –
page 95
20.97% "This book is the never ending story - without a flying dragon."
February 18, 2012 –
page 158
34.88% "First world problems - you have them, Kate."
February 19, 2012 –
page 225
49.67% "" Then again, he probably didn't care that I had all the High School Musical movies next to Sailor Moon on my top shelf. I was such a dork. At least Gossip Girl was up there too, so I was sort of redeemed." Wait... What?"
February 19, 2012 – Finished Reading
February 21, 2012 – Shelved as: books-that-deserve-painful-death
February 21, 2012 – Shelved as: death-by-paranormal-romance
February 21, 2012 – Shelved as: kat-s-book-reviews
February 21, 2012 – Shelved as: kat-s-rants
February 21, 2012 – Shelved as: to-ya-or-not-to-ya
February 21, 2012 – Shelved as: ya-pnr-maddness

Comments Showing 1-50 of 76 (76 new)


message 1: by Vi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Vi Vi I'm really looking forward to your review on this one. I read the first 30 pages and it was pretty awful, but all these good reviews is making me totally confused. So I leave it to you guru (since I find your reviews are usually bang on).


Kat Kennedy Oh gosh! That bad? I don't know where I'm going to find a copy though so it may be a while.


message 3: by Vi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Vi Vi Yeah, I figured, I just really hope that eventually you get around to reviewing :)


Crowinator I'm reading it right now and I'm about 40 pages in, and I agree that it's pretty awful. I'm hoping it improves.


message 5: by Vi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Vi Vi Crowinator wrote: "I'm reading it right now and I'm about 40 pages in, and I agree that it's pretty awful. I'm hoping it improves."

Gah ( Would you mind writing a review when you're done?


Crowinator Vi, I will definitely write up something, though it may not be as long as some of my reviews. I don't always write the long ones for books I dislike this much. I mean, the premise is interesting, but the writing is kind of killing me. I agree, the good reviews on GR are confusing for me, too.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Really? I think it's wonderful so far.


message 8: by Vi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Vi Vi Hana Joy wrote: "Really? I think it's wonderful so far."

yeah I know some ppl will love it, as there is always an audience. I didn't care for it, unfortunately.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Everyone has an opinion


Kat Kennedy Wait... are you guys going to have a chick fight?

Cause if you are - please tell me so that I can bring the appropriate amount of honey/jelly, and a good quality camera.


message 11: by Vi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Vi Vi ....no mud? Girl, without mud, no deal ;)


Kat Kennedy You can't lick mud off your opponent!


message 13: by Vi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Vi Vi unless I'm feeling REALLY kinky XD


message 14: by Kiki (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kiki Kat, this book sucks. Trufax.


message 15: by Kelli (new)

Kelli I have been vacillating for awhile now on whether to read this book or not. My reasons were because it's allegedly a Buffy ripoff. I wanted to see for myself. But after the comment the author made on twitter - obviously towards Kira, which I did read with my own eyes - I just can't support that kind of behavior. It might sound childish, but I can't.


message 16: by Ellie (new)

Ellie I sure hope this is good. What was the author's behavior on Twitter?


Kat Kennedy She engaged in abusive tweets about a goodreads reviewer.


message 18: by Vi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Vi Vi Yes. What's more, she stands by the abuse: http://i40.tinypic.com/33tifdh.jpg.

There are too many fantastic authors and books out there to bother with people like this. That's just my personal opinion.


message 19: by Ellie (last edited Jan 06, 2012 05:00PM) (new)

Ellie Kat wrote: "She engaged in abusive tweets about a goodreads reviewer."

Oh, that's awful. :o

*sigh* Guess I won't read it, unless it turns out to be amazing. :/


message 20: by Kasha (new)

Kasha Now I like Twitter better (never use it), these authors just doing a woderful job of lightening my to-read pile.

English ís not my mother tounge so forgive me for being illiterate.


message 21: by Margarita (new)

Margarita Wow really?Why would she write that about one of her reviewers?That's the whole point of goodreads. Its to recommend books to other readers that might be to their liking.It also helps the writers to know what us as readers think about their writing skills. This site was created for us the users to write either a good review on a book or a bad one.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

yeah this book is pretty lame. i hope you write a verh awesome review about how shitty this book is.


Amanda The Book Slayer lol. I borrowed this one from the library and sent it back the next day. If I could rate it a 0 I would.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

lol haha i cant stomach any more pages and im only on page 50


shady boots | #WatchPOSE Interesting how?


message 26: by Lavi (new)

Lavi I am so curious to hear your review of this, mostly because everyone seems to fall on their ass in front of it, claiming it is oh, so amazing, but I find this hard to believe judging from excerpts, similarities with other works and the cliched arms in which it seems so lovingly wrapped...


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, wow, those are some comments *rubs palms* I'm so waiting for the rant :D


Kristin The book reminded me of Blood+


message 29: by Lavi (new)

Lavi Excellent review, Kat! I especially loved the memes, very appropriate. Also, it is sad that this seems such a rip off of Buffy, but fails to come close to the original's value...


message 30: by rameau (new) - added it

rameau I wouldn't watch Buffy if Dawn was Dawn in it. No, wait. I didn't watch Buffy with Dawn. Well, not until I got the DVDs and was utterly disappointed with seasons 4-7. I originally quit after season 3.


message 31: by Lord Nouda (new)

Lord Nouda Your description of Angelfire kinda reminds me of Awakened by Ednah Walters. Chick who's destined to save the world/destroy it + is uber-powerful and yet whines constantly about how she ain't that great while everyone else fawns over how awesome she is, and is emotionally erratic up to the point where it seems like all she does is throw temper tantrums, randomly, just to help further the plot. "OMG you guys don't want to save my grampa. You cold-hearted bastards should do what I say because I'm oh so much more powerful and "wiser" than all of you centuries-old douchebags even though I'm only 16.

^ Scene in Awakened. True story. Oh and the brief few paragraphs where after she finds out that her dead mother's dress which was sent to her, was in fact from her evil father, and decides that she should burn it just because HE sent it (even though it wasn't contaminated by any weird spells or magic, she even stated that she checked it with her God-Hack magic knife), eventually flip-flops on that decision and ends up keeping it. Meets up shortly afterwards with her grampa in the kitchen, tells him she got a dress from dad and asks him whether he thinks she should burn it. W.T.F.. That had insecure, bratty, uber-bitch written all over it.


message 32: by Kaia (new)

Kaia rameau wrote: "I wouldn't watch Buffy if Dawn was Dawn in it. No, wait. I didn't watch Buffy with Dawn. Well, not until I got the DVDs and was utterly disappointed with seasons 4-7. I originally quit after season 3."

Considering that Dawn is what made me stop watching Buffy...*shudder* The idea of reading an entire book like that kinda makes me want to gouge my eyes out.


message 33: by Lucy (new) - added it

Lucy I was going to read this and then there was the tweet and then there was the apology for the tweet but then there was your review. It sounds like I'd want to rip my eyes out. Thank you for the review.


message 34: by Cory (new)

Cory Lucy wrote: "I was going to read this and then there was the tweet and then there was the apology for the tweet but then there was your review. It sounds like I'd want to rip my eyes out. Thank you for the review."

Yeah, I made it until chapter two. It wasn't worth the effort. Horrible, amateur prose and selfish one dimensional characters.


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

I got up to page 50 and then it i just stopped reading and stuff.


message 36: by Laramay (new)

Laramay I enjoy reading your reviews as much as I enjoy reading good books.


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

"Would you really want to watch Buffy if Dawnnwere Buffy?"

Well, I say you just turn out even the Buffy lovers, lol.


message 38: by Kelli (new)

Kelli Zanahoria (Taly) wrote: ""Would you really want to watch Buffy if Dawnnwere Buffy?"

Well, I say you just turn out even the Buffy lovers, lol."


Even being a diehard Buffy fan, i can honestly say that during most episodes I had wished upon a star that Dawn would meet her maker at the end. Couldn't stand her! So not that I was going to read this book, but that's the final nail in the coffin for me. Great review!


Kat Kennedy Thanks! Yeah, I love Buffy but Dawn drives me insane. Ellie was a lot like Dawn...


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

BAHA! Great review, Kat, as usual!


message 41: by Vi (last edited Feb 21, 2012 04:26PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Vi Vi Beautiful review. Expected nothing less!

Honestly, Buffy did try to do the vapid "lol I'm a high schooler so Imma party" thing, except there was always tension involved. Buffy knew she had responsibilities. But the narrative never let her forget what happened when she decided to forgo those responsibilities. Her inner struggles with trying to maintain some semblance of a normal life, knowing that she's destined never to have one, and the heartbreak over failing someone - this was all part of what made us invested in her character. The scene where she's shrieking at Giles and Angel in the final episode of season 1 after hearing about how she's destined to die fighting the Master honestly was one of the most powerful scenes in the entire show. I mean she's sixteen goddamn years old and still has to fight the most powerful (?) vamp in the world to death (knowing she's going to lose). That's why it's that much more epic when she does it anyway.

Ellie has none of that. She's just vapid. The entire story is hollow. I heard that WoW gets better, but I read the first chapter and couldn't get over the cheesiness of the reapers. I want them to be bad and frightening, but it's like they all have twirly mustaches (we'll get you next time.....PRELIATOOOOOO00000r!111!). Not to mention the fight scenes or so mechanical and prefunctory, there's no emotion in them. She gives us every little detail of what happened with as little passion as possible.

Honestly, I'm amazed the first book got passed an editor. It's partly why I can't take her seriously when she's going off about 'bad reviews.'


message 42: by Mir (new) - added it

Mir They could have over­come the insur­mount­able obsta­cles to their love and found a way to be together but he was too busy brood­ing and she was too busy shop­ping. Also the world ended along the way.

Bwahaha! Nicely put, Kat.


Kat Kennedy Vi, yes! That's exactly what I was trying to say. Buffy had this tension between her duty and her desires but she always came back to recognizing the gravity of her mission - something Ellie never does.

Thanks Miriam! Sorry, the book brought out the snark in me.


message 44: by Annie (new) - rated it 1 star

Annie "This is Buffy if Buffy weren’t Buffy but Dawn was Buffy."


And there goes any possibility of me sleeping tonight. *shudders*


message 45: by Jade (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jade I liked the book but I agree with you on the 'I have to go to a party and I don't really care that there are people dying out there.. They just have to wait until my make-up is done' I just couldn't believe she didn't take the fate of the world seriously.. O.o


message 46: by Ellie (new)

Ellie :/ Guess I won't be reading this, then. It was so weird to be reading this review and then seeing my name in there....


message 47: by Mir (new) - added it

Mir Yeah, Ellie, stop wasting time on goodreads and get back to saving the world!


Kat Kennedy I'm so disappointed in you, Ellie. How could you spend your time on GR instead of killing Reapers.


message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

Lol, the bad side of sharing names with a character: It may me a sucky one.


message 50: by Ellie (new)

Ellie Kat wrote: "I'm so disappointed in you, Ellie. How could you spend your time on GR instead of killing Reapers."

To spend time with all you lovely people, of course.


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