Series: Ignite #1
Author: Erica Crouch
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Published: June 11th, 2013
This ebook was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Synopsis: Penemuel (Pen) fell from grace over a millennium ago, yet there are still times she questions her decision to follow her twin brother, Azael, to Hell. Now that the archangel Michael has returned, threatening Lucifer’s vie for the throne, she begins questioning everything she has always believed.
As Hell prepares for war - spreading a demonic virus and pilfering innocent souls to build an army - the lines separating the worlds blur. Fates erase and the future is left unwritten. Azael is determined that he and his sister will continue to serve as demons together, but for the first time in her life, Pen is not ruled by destiny. She has the freedom of choice.
With choice comes sacrifice, and Pen must decide which side she’s willing to risk everything fighting for: the light, or the dark.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
"Being good is hard. It takes a conscious effort to do the right thing, especially when doing the wrong thing is so simple."
Pen and her brother Az are demons who fell from heaven centuries ago, and now call hell their home. They serve Lucifer, Pen killing the innocent and Az reaping their souls. The life Pen has known for centuries, however, is interrupted when Michael, an archangel who has been dead for centuries, returns. Pen is given the task of trying to recruit him for a new war against heaven, but finds that she might have deeper feelings for him than just a normal assignment.
Let me first say what I liked about this novel: It was beautifully written. Crouch really had a way with words, which is what made this book two stars instead of one. The characters spend a lot of time in this city in the Pacific Northwest. They are surrounded by mountains and trees and brooks, and it's described well. There are times where the descriptions get to be a bit too much (for example, Pen compares her brother's speaking to pissing from his mouth), but most of the metaphors were beautiful. They really helped me get through all the slow parts and exposition.
That, actually, was one of the bad aspects. This book had way to many slow parts and bulks of exposition. The first third of the novel is solid exposition about Adam and Eve and the first war between Heaven and Hell. And once you get through that, nothing speeds up. There's an invasion of Heaven, battle meetings, and a virus slowing consuming humanity, but all you get is Pen and Michael going on and on about how in love they are. Nothing happens! I expected their to be war and betrayal and adventure, but all we got was two teenagers spouting poetry looking into each other's eyes. This may be a case of "it's not you, it's me," since I'm generally not a huge romance reader, and a lot of reviewers seem to be big fans of this series.
And, since I'm on a roll, I think Pen and Michael's relationship made no sense! Pen is hundreds of centuries old, and she is pretty much ready to leave behind everything she's ever know for a chance to get with Michael even though she met him THREE DAYS AGO. Their relationship is the very definition of instalove. Three days is nothing more than a blink to her! She has never expressed any attraction to anyone at any point in her life, and this angel just shows up and she's automatically smitten.
"Since you've been back, you've seen me, what? Three different times? And suddenly you have this complete understanding of who I am? Of what I am and where I belong?"I read this quote, and thought yes! Yes! Address these problems! Your relationship makes no sense! Unfortunately, this statement was immediately glossed over in order to have more monologues about love. Logically I don't understand why they even trust each other enough to form a relationship, since they're on opposite sides of a war. Their relationship isn't given time to develop, but just happens.
The characters also get pretty pretentious. They quote Shakespeare, Frost, and Milton, practically screaming "Aren't I intelligent? Can't you see how smart I am?" It's nice to know all these demons got their PhDs in literature between slaying humans. I'm fine with some references, but they were constantly spouting quotes. On top of that, Michael sometimes got on my nerves. He needs to learn there is a thin line between being noble and stupidity.
This book seems to be generally well liked on goodreads however, so if you like paranormal romances you might enjoy this one. It just wasn't my cup of tea. I won't continue the series, but I hope the next books have more action.
Want another opinion? Here are some other reviews for Ignite (may contain spoilers):