My Rating: 4/5
Author: Erica Crouch
Title: Ignite (Volume 1)
Genre: Paranormal, 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 is the first book of a series that centers on a demon and an angel. Pen is a demon, fallen from heaven at the start of God’s creation of man. She and her twin brother, Azael, kill and collect souls on earth hoping to make their way up (or maybe it’s down if you think about it) the demon levels. Pen and Azael are a tag team. Pen kills the people, and Az collects the souls. At the very beginning while they collect souls, they encounter Michael the Archangel. Michael was actually killed and taken into hell. Now, he seems to have escaped but with no memory; he is reborn. This is the beginning of something big, not only in hell but in heaven. Pen and Az are given special missions. Az is to help spread a demonic virus among humans – in preparation for the apocalypse. Pen’s task is to get Michael on the demon side. Going their separate ways for the first time, Pen discovers her own freedom and questions her fate without Az there to remind her of her demon ways.
The story is written in first person following Pen. Pen was once an angel who had fallen from heaven. During an earlier battle between heaven and hell, she was also partly responsible for the death and capture of the famous archangel Michael. Later, while collecting souls, they discover Michael is no longer trapped in hell but reborn. Pen must bring Michael to the demon side or eventually kill him. Things do not go according to plan. Pen faces freedom away from her brother and discovers that she is different than what she thought. She is not completely a demon or an angel. She is conflicted. She doesn’t believe that she is good, nor does she act completely evil. Trying to complete her assignment with Michael, she becomes aware of her place – or lack thereof – in the world. Her brother, Az, fits in perfectly as a demon with a smart mouth and evil personality. He aspires to be great in hell and takes every possible advantage to do so. He feels connected with his sister, but he doesn’t let anything stand in his way. Michael is not the same as he once was. Reborn and now retraining as an archangel, Michael does not remember his past. He is also trying to find his place in this book. He tends to disagree with some things in heaven, but he is not evil. The characters (Pen and Michael) show that there is no black and white with angels and demons in this story.
The plot follows Pen on her self-discovery, but it also incorporates the preparations of an upcoming battle between heaven and hell. A virus is being spread on earth, causing humans to become demonic. It kind of reminds me of zombies, but rather they are called demons. Hence, hell’s army is growing fast. The plot itself moved along well. I was a little disappointed in the ending. I was expecting at least some kind of battle, but there was not. From the way the story ended, it sounds like the battle and more Azael time will happen in the next book.
The Bottom Line:
Overall I enjoyed the story. If you like stories about angels and demons (especially from a demon’s side), then you might like this book.