One thing I do after reading a book is compare the summary (or synopsis) on the back of the book, inside of the jacket, or on Goodreads to what the actual story was about. A lot of times I find that the story's main plot points are nothing like what is highlighted in the summary. But this time, it's pretty close. But if you look at the actual Library of Congress summary on the inside, it actually adds a little "umph!" to the intrigue of the story: "A seventeen-year-old girl discovers she has the reincarnated soul of an ancient warrior destined to battle the reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell." Well, "Hell", that just got a who lot creepier!!!!
Ellie is your not-so-typical 17 year old teenager. She's from an affluent area just outside of Detroit where the norm is outrageous birthday parties and gifts of $20k cars to teenagers. I can totally picture this because I grew up in a town like this just outside Cleveland, Ohio. I currently live outside Detroit so I know EXACTLY where this story is taking place (one of my favorite things when reading a book is knowing the setting of a book). Since Ms. Moulton also lives in the area, she nailed the setting and kids perfectly!! I could see many readers being turned off by Ellie's posh life but I think it's there for a reason. I think Ms. Moulton uses it to contrast the life Ellie's soul has lived vs. her current life; how far she's going to have to go to remember her past lives.
The pacing of the story was good. Details came forth at a good rate. I became frustrated (okay, not really) right along with Ellie when Will wasn't telling Ellie much about himself. Oh, I understood why. You'd much rather have someone remember you than have to tell them about your relationship. I just really liked Will so I wanted to know more, like, NOW!
The one nagging question I had while I was reading the book was why the fiercest, strongest warrior was living just outside of Detroit, MI. I kept wondering if there were more of these warriors around the world. I won't answer that question. I will say that I resolved my prickly little question by remembering that there were Hellmouths in Sunnydale, CA and Cleveland, OH (see Buffyverse) so we can have battles between reapers and the Preliator outside Detroit. Hey, it's all about using your imagination!
Towards the end we get the addition of some awesome characters and some really cool revelations. Some things that I thought were going to happen didn't happen, which removed predictability from the book. Overall, this was a fantastic debut novel with an intense world building that I can't wait to see develop in the next book of the series.