Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Ignite Review; Not just a pretty cover.

Author: Erica Crouch
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Source : Proof copy Patchwork Press via Netgalley (In exchange for an honest review. Thank you!) 


  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.

 Fallen from Heaven, Penemuel and her twin brother Azael followed in Lucifer’s steps, and plead to do his word. At first, Pen and Az were amongst highest demons, having a part in the taking down of Archangel Michael and corrupted the balance of Heaven and Hell, ending the raging war between them, for now.  Failing in their plan to corrupt the first man, Adam, Pen and Az were mocked, and slowly slid down in ranks, having to claw their way back up the Level 3 demons they are now...

On a mission by their advisor, Gus, they discover two significant things that could tip the balance and proclaim war, start the apocalypse.
  1.     In a reanimation of a reaped soul, they find out sneaky Lilith has been spreading the Lilim virus.
  2.     Something that is as impossible as them becoming Angels again.

He was slain and trapped in hell.
They found Michael. The Michael.
Only Michael isn’t the same as he once was, young, shiny and new, this Michael seems like an angel in training and not the all-powerful Archangel Michael once was.
This Michael doesn’t remember anything, he knows what happened to him by what the other Angels had told him, and he has no idea how he got out of hell or that a part of Lucifer resides in him as in Lucifer and if one was to be destroyed, the other would in connection.
Pen and Az start on a chance that could change their ranks, and everything as they know it.
Azael, ordered to follow Lilith around and track the Lilim virus, to form a calendar of how close the apocalypse is, as the written future is rewriting itself in Michaels sudden reappearance and Pen, ordered to influence questioning Michael to fight with her on Hells side, or eliminate Heavens risqué card. After all, he would be easy to kill.
Only, upon doing her job Pen finds herself questioning everything she’s encased within herself, because questions didn’t serve her in Heaven and weakness is petulant in Hell.

Ahh! Where to start? Let me firstly start by saying how much I loved Ignite. For many reasons really , mostly though, because of the depth of the writing. The heart of the book, and Pen’s surprising one, that though it’s the usual Heaven Vs Hell debate, and a star-crossed love story, it’s also a journey and observation of someone discovering both oneself, and in what was lost.

As of the rivalry and betrayal of brothers Lucifer and Michael, shall Penemuel and Azael follow. It was heart-breaking really, that Azael had so much of a hold over Pen, even after a millennia.
Pen never found her own two feet, not believing she belonged or fitted the guidelines of Heaven, she fell with Azael, he never questioned his belonging in Hell.

She never found her own two feet, she was dependent on Az, both emotionally (Though she’s not supposed to have any), and powerfully. One cannot outstand the other. For to kill, you need to reap, and to reap, you need to kill. Pen, the skill to kill and Az, the power to reap, these twins balance each other. However, whereas Pen is dependent on Azael for security and familiarity, Azael wasn’t.

He was dependent on Pen for her power and skill to kill, and Pen let him use her to wilfully kill and inflict pain that is unnecessary, and cruel, whereas Pen prefers quick and precise, and underneath it all, despises what she’s doing while on the outside she pretends to revel in it, and over the years, she even believes she does enjoy it. Azael didn’t questions things the way Pen tries not to, in fear that if she voices out loud her life may very well depend on it.,
Az is confident and sure of his place and rightfulness of belonging in Hell. Pen wasn’t always so sure, she didn’t feel that she belonged in Heaven with the righteousness in authority in distinguishing right from wrong, from good and evil, it didn’t settle with Pen, she questioned the rules and laws of what Heaven defined bad and evil. She doesn’t see things in black and white, as Heaven, as Hell, as Azael did. Nothing is black and white, neither one thing good, nor evil. There’s grey, Pen saw the grey. Heaven didn’t like grey. She didn’t belong there. So when Azael chose to fall, so did Pen, in fear of losing the one thing she was sure of. She had Azael, she couldn’t lose him.

In her mission of Michael, with his questions, his views that The Michael would never, in a million years questioned the rules, slowly the façade Pen kept around her starts breaking. She believe she’s beyond help, she has no heart, she doesn’t need to breathe, though she likes to pretend she can, after all her wings are black after she fell, her blood runs black and the ice of hell runs through her veins.
There is nothing good within her.

But Michael…Michael believes she has goodness inside her, because just as she, he questions, he sees the grey areas, and he sees the conceptions Heaven likes to proceed, but can be as viscous than the demons themselves, after all, the demons don’t pretend to be something they’re not.
With Michael’s help she forget whom she’s supposed to be, she forgets whom she’s not, and finds herself once again, and he ignites something in her that was long forgotten, something that she’s not supposed to feel, so she can’t feel.

Yet she does.
Pen, was a thoroughly thought out character that though, unsure of herself, is so sure of the beauty the world holds, and the power of words and literature, in all forms, and to me, it’s the thing that makes Pen, not an angel, or a demon, but a person. Her passion, and her torn loyalty, her relationship with Azael.

I loved their interactions with each other, and Azael’s sharp wit. .
I honestly adored Ignite, and it was a pleasure to get sucked into this world where the characters have meaning, have weight on their shoulders and eventually hold themselves up. Pen wasn’t afraid to be weak, she was just afraid to be alone.   

There’s good in balance, but evil hangs there too.
Beyond recommended this, for the thoughtfulness and questions it invokes.

Rating 4.5/5