by Erica Crouch
Series: Ignite #1
Published on June 11, 2013 by Patchwork Press
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
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.
Ignite tells the tale of an angel and a demon amidst a war between Heaven and Hell. Pen, our resident demon is charged with the protection of the angel, Michael, who’s forgotten his past life as an archangel. Michael brings warmth to the coldness of Pen’s heart, showing her that there is more to life than good or evil. Both over a hundred centuries old, they’ve been taught what they believe is the truth only to realize there’s more to the world than black and white.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Ignite. It captivated me and I finished it in a matter of hours. Crouch gave new light to the world of angels and demons, and the gray area between. I think Ignite is a good young adult book. The characters are easily relatable and the story of good versus evil with the uncertainty of what the world really holds is classic. Ignite fits in with many of the other YA novels in the stores, containing elements that would draw teen readers in. I’d definitely recommend this book to fans of the whole “Heaven versus Hell” concept.
While I enjoyed Ignite, I did wonder about the age of the characters. Pen and Michael are both supposed to be a hundred centuries old yet they act and look like teenagers. I was able to forget about their age while reading but each time talk of the upcoming war between Heaven and Hell, I remembered and it struck me as odd and out of place. The way Pen and her brother Azael acted wasn’t like demons who remembered Adam and Eve. They were your typical teen brother-sister team, rebelling against what was “good” in the world while being some of the snarkiest characters I’ve ever read about. I appreciate snark, I really do, but I think that Crouch went a little over the top here. Either Pen was snarky or depressed over her angel ward.
I also wanted to see more of the characters. I think we caught a glimpse of what the characters could be but they didn’t truly sparkle in this book. I wanted more from Pen and Michael. For being so old, they didn’t seem to know a whole lot. I liked Pen a lot, but I really would have liked to get to know here more, her history and the reasoning behind all her changes from supposedly evil to neither good nor bad. I just wanted…more. So much time was spent on the romance between our leading angel and demon that it took away from more character and story development. This book could have definitely been drawn out into two books.
Despite the character and story details that just didn’t sit well with me, I did enjoy reading Ignite and look forward to reading its sequel. The characters are relatable, especially for a younger crowd, and make Ignite a good paranormal romance (which is the only way I could really describe this book). Don’t let the negatives keep you from reading this book. It’s worth taking the time to read, especially if you aren’t a stickler for details. Give Ignite a chance. While I didn’t like all aspects of it, I enjoyed it and do recommend it for YA paranormal romance fans.