Author: Erica Crouch
Genre: YA, paranormal, angels
Series? Yes, Ignite #1
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Synopsis from cover: 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.
While I was beyond excited for Ignite, it didn’t live up to my wishes at all. The first 1/4 was okay, and the characters had some promise, but once Michael returned, it all went downhill. The characterization was spotty, the protagonist was whiny, needy, and damsel-in-distress-y, and the story didn’t have any impact at all. I was looking for an all out battle in the apocalypse – what I got was a demon girl convinced she’s evil and an amnesiac archangel trying to convince her she’s worthy of love. Hardly the stuff I was looking for. If you don’t mind a romance that takes over every interesting part of a story, then Ignite might be for you. If you hate girls who wilt the moment they meet a boy who gives them a second glance, stay far away.
So Chiara, I am really sorry, and you might want to stop reading right now. But I’m about to go on a rant. And I don’t think I’m really going to be highlighting any “but I did like this part”, because there really wasn’t much about this book that I truly did enjoy. Basically, this was me the entire time:
My main issue was with Pen, the “anti-heroine” of the novel. I don’t think that term can be applied to her, because honestly she more of a “whiny, traumatized fallen angel held hostage on threat of her brother’s death” rather than “badass demon who finds the error of her ways and maintains her awesomeness while fighting for the powers of good.” Pen was definitely a damsel in distress who needed to have her hand held every step of the way, and it became annoying after about two pages. Her entire focus, chapter after chapter, was how horrible she was and how evil her soul was and how no one would ever love her and she would never be redeemed and OH WOE IS MEEE. And it got even worse when she met Michael – and don’t get me started on the instalove. Their entire relationship is based on Michael trying to convince Pen that she’s “worthy of love.” Queue more face palming.
Then there’s the two other main characters, Az and Michael. Az had a lovely brand of dark snark, but that was all he was. There was nothing else of his character to add some depth or substance, and soon his snark turned into crass jokes that just grated on my nerves. Michael was perhaps my favorite character, but by only a little bit. In his amnesia and attempt to remember what happened with Lucifer and the battle, he was supposed to be naive and innocent, but it came across as flat and dull.
As far as the rest of the book, it was largely directionless. Like I said, it was mostly Pen and Michael angsting in a cave together. The plot was flimsy, hardly believable, and just plain boring most of the time. Really, I was left feeling very meh about the whole thing.
So there – I’ve said my peace. The book had some great promise with the angels and demons, but the characters killed it for me. I’ll either buy the second book if I really really have to find out, but most likely I’ll pester Chiara once she reads it and she can spoil it for me. All right – I’m done ranting now.
My Final Rating: