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  • Halo
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on 15 October 2017
Grrat company will use again
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on 19 October 2016
Halo is one of those books where I don't know how I really feel about it...

Is love a great enough power against evil?
Three angels are sent down to bring good to the world: Gabriel the warrior; Ivy the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. But she is the most human, and when she is romantically drawn to a mortal boy, the angels fear she will not be strong enough to save anyone - especially herself.

I don't know who I was annoyed at the most: Gabriel or Bethany. I got very annoyed at Bethany because whilst I was reading it, I was yelling at her to not fall in love with anyone because she's got a job to do. I mean come on, if I was an angel I would not want to let some boy stop me from doing my job. Hello! I would work for God. How awesome is that? I'd have powers and wings. No mortal boy is stopping me from being an awesome angel. Bethany was so stubborn and would go against anything that Gabriel said. He's Gabriel, you do not want to mess with him (yes, he's exactly the Gabriel that you're thinking of.)

However, I wanted to yell at Gabriel because even though being an angel would be super cool, I can completely understand why Bethany would be fascinated with Earth. It's completely different to anything that she's ever experienced before and because she's a young angel, she's going to be influenced very easily. Gabriel would be so stern with Bethany and expect her not to pique an interest in anything. I know he's an archangel and everything but come on, give the girl some slack.

"One of the most frustrating words in the human language, as far as I could tell, was love. So much meaning attached to this one little word. People bandied it about freely, using it to describe their attachments to possessions, pets, vacation destinations, and favourite foods. In the same breath they then applied this word to the person they considered most important in their lives. Wasn't that insulting? Shouldn't there be some other term to describe deeper emotion?"
- Alexandra Adornetto, Halo

Even though I could see both of the characters points of view, I admit I was absolutely sick of hearing how much Xavier and Bethany loved each other, or how gorgeous Xavier was. We get it, you find him attractive. Get over it already. I also hated how overprotective Xavier was. If I had a boyfriend and he was like that, I would tell him to stop and that I could handle carrying my own school books. And I hated when he decided he could just answer for Bethany is class. I seriously wanted to punch him. But everything was ok, it was fine that he was overprotective because he was attractive *sarcasm* (I hate books like that, that get the male to do everything for the female because we're apparently so weak we can't even carry our own books.)

Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the book as well. It started to get good when Jake Thorn was introduced but again another cliche of a British guy being evil. Us British people aren't all evil ok? I finished this book in two days and even though there were some very annoying bits with the romance and the characters, I found the whole idea of the book very interesting.

I am in no way religious (if I was, I'd be a Buddhist) but I like reading books about heaven, hell or limbo. I find it fascinating when it gets a fantasy twist put on it and I think it was this that made me keep reading it. I like reading about evil trying to take over and the good guys trying to fight it.

I also found Adornetto to be very descriptive in her writing. Sometimes I found it brilliant as it made me imagine the setting of Venus Cove much more clearly and made me understand the characters better, but on the other hand, sometimes it got annoying because she would repeat herself when describing things. However, I would say that the descriptive side of the book is more positive than negative in its storytelling.

Because of this, I will be reading the second book in the series: Hades. I don't think I will thoroughly enjoy the second book because I wasn't a big fan of the second, but let's hope that I like it enough to not put it down for the second time.

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on 10 April 2016
On the surface it’s frivolous material based pleasure, but the faintest breeze of logic or critical thinking sends this book crashing down.

I can understand why this book can be fun to read, it’s a wish fulfilment fantasy where you can to live vicariously through the protag Bethany as she gets a rose-printed en suite room with a balcony overlooking the beach in her large, airy beachfront house with her siblings and perfect dog, hangs out with the most popular girls in school, gets stared at for being beautiful, comes top of the class in everything, gets the perfect fantasy boyfriend while living in the quaintest small town in the world, gets an awesome prom dress.
Oh yeah she’s an angel send from God on a heavenly mission too.

Three angels are send to the sleepy town of Venus Cove to stop the growing evil developing there, only this book had a serious case of telling and not showing.
We’re told repeatedly that Venus Cove is a sleepy, hick town of around 3000 people along the coast of Georgia, only what’s shown is an uber-rich commuter town. A tiny, sleepy, rural town in Georgia yet it has a French bakery, several quirky cafes where the kids can milkshakes from after school and dance to music on the jukebox and high tea is served on mismatched china, a high-class restaurant, a retro cinema, botanical garden, two beauticians, a hospital, a tennis club, a collection of local artists, several boutiques, and a massive private Christian school with more faculties then you can spread out across a few hundred children who attend.
It’s a town where apparently everyone knows everyone else yet a no-one calls the police on an extremely loud, underage party with liberal amounts of alcohol which sounds like it’s in danger of veering into a full-on orgy at any moment in the heart of the Baptist Deep South.
Only it doesn’t sound like the south at all, it barely sounds like it’s set in America. There’s a school Captain who’s a star at playing rugby, rugby is apparently now huge in the South, football isn’t mentioned at all, the school’s water polo team is apparently huge, people take the train to The City.

Yet apparently in this charming town some sort of evil is growing. Again, we’re told that a great evil has started engulfing the town and there’s no time to waste and the angels need to stop it by gently nudging people into buying organic food and doing volunteer work. What we’re shown is the most perfect town ever which has had a few freak accidents over the course of about a year. A house fire with one death, a student fell off the roof of the school and died, there was a measles outbreak, a cook burnt themselves with hot oil. Combined that those few freak accidents and lavish, purple prose descriptions of how lovely and charming and quaint everything is in Venus Cove as a reader I never felt any sort of challenge presented to the protagonists.

We’re told that the angels are almighty warriors of God who can reign terror and destruction, who are a source of pure light and powerful, heavenly beings. What we see them lazing about all day eating fruit, playing games and having splash fights on the beach.

We’re told that the antagonist of the story is evil, heartless and manipulative, an “Agent of Darkness”, who will stop at nothing to destroy the town of Venus Cove and capture Bethany along with it. What we see is him telling us that he’s responsible for the deaths of two characters the reader doesn’t care for and him forming his own goth cult. He might as well be wearing a sign which says “I am the bad guy.”

The plot makes next to no sense because it’s not there half the time. Instead we get treated to chapters on end of Bethany going to a house party, adopting the perfect dog, shopping for prom dresses, having a splash fight in the sea, meeting her boyfriend’s family, hanging out with her friends.
Also, any plot holes which get brought up, like why on earth these angels are at Venus Cove in the first place or why Bethany is allowed to stay on the “mission” when she’s proven herself all but useful are hand waved as, literally, “He works in mysterious ways.”
And the angels send aren’t just like Bethany, a very young mere angel. Nope, there’s a Seraph, Ivy (such a Biblical name) the highest rank of angels and the guardian of God’s throne. Yet somehow the archangel Gabriel (yes, the Gabriel) outranks her despite being only one rank higher the the mere angels which Bethany belongs too. That’s probably to do with the book’s insufferable sexism and gender roles but I’ll discuss that in a bit.
Ivy is a housewife who happens to also be an angel who does volunteering and makes the perfect prom dress for Bethany while they all scoff at newspaper about how terrible all of this killing is and do nothing about it.
Gabriel is the Man; the stern authority figure who Ivy always defers to despite him being a full six ranks below her. He does things like be a music teacher, conduct a church choir and dislike Bethany’s love interests.
And I can’t understand why they’re in Venus Cove. They even acknowledge there are worst things happening in other parts of the world, you know, like famine and war. I’m sure even in Georgia they could be faced with actual issues, rural poverty, urban poverty, lack of healthcare, substance abuse, prejudice – anything else will do apart from a handful of freak accidents.
Bethany even listens to the prays and dreams of the school students and all of them are really shallow, apparently no-one is praying for the insurance company to cover their dad’s illness, for their mother to stop drinking, for a family member to stop abusing them, for them not to be pregnant, for their sister’s cancer to be cured, for their parents to get a job, for them to move out of a toxic home, for a bully to stop harassing them. Nope, everyone just wants perfect hair or to get a boyfriend.

But of course, it wouldn’t be a Mary Sue dream fantasy if things were hard or difficult so they get to live in the most perfect, quaint town on the planet because God works in mysterious ways.

Apparently they’re meant to not be conspicuous yet they still have wings and apparently look enchanting, and little children see their halos to which I say why? Also, they’re meant to being keeping their distance from humans which means not making friends in a tiny town, being the strange, beautiful loner family in a supposedly, tiny sleepy town is not fitting in.
And despite being angels they love material wealth, staying in a large beachfront property with only the best interior design, en-suit rooms, a large garden, balconies over looking the beach and a seemingly endless budget.

This book is stupid and really sexist, as shown in these lovely quotes from the love interest.
“Because I’m a man,” Xavier said. “And men don’t wear makeup unless they’re emo or play in a boy band.”
“Me?” Xavier growled in mock anger. “Poetry’s for girls.”
“I’m a boy. We like engines.”
“Girls that are fake or try too hard are a major turnoff.”
It is full of statements like that, even if it’s meant to be passed of as a joke it doesn’t change the fact that they’re sexist jokes. Apparently enjoying dressing up and going to prom is the abandonment of feminism for some reason. All of the girls are obsessed to a near clinic level with boys, Bethany included as she will stand in front of her mirror practicing things to say to her own love interest.
Again, Ivy, a Seraph, defers leadership to Gabriel despite her being a being only second to God and Gabriel one rank above Bethany. Ivy does feminine things while Gabriel does masculine things. Despite being an angel it’s clear that Bethany defers to her love interest, Xavier and comes so co-dependent it’s acceptable for him to pick her up and carry her across a beach after she cut her foot on a shell. At one point Xavier has to come and recues Ivy from a teenage boy trying to ask her on a date.
Makeup isn’t for boys; boys are meant to be a provider, only boys care about cars and mechanics. Girls are meant to be innocent and delicate, only girls care about dresses, a boy is meant to ask a girl on a date, if you’re a good girl you don’t need makeup and go the parties, you nibble at desserts dainty and even if you’re an angel of the Lord you still need a man to save you.
If you’re a good and ideal girl like Bethany then you remain virginal, you don’t wear makeup, you don’t wear revealing clothing, you don’t party, you don’t drink, your skirt covers your knees.
Also, there aren’t any LGBT people at all in this novel. Like, there are angels and not one student who prefers to same gender.

On a similar note, this might be one of the most judgmental fictional novels I have ever read. It’s blatantly belief pushing. There have been works which include the angel/demon mythology and do it well, Halo is not an example of that. Just because the book doesn’t explicitly state other religions are wrong that does not mean that this book does not present the Christian truth as the only truth.
And it reads like the author is simply talking about what she learnt in Sunday school and put in her novel because half the time its brought up out of nowhere. Part of their duties is to bring spiritually to the town they’re send, which includes brining the town’s people into church. As a reader who holds no belief it kind of makes me feel a touch uncomfortable and excluded because you can’t go a chapter without Bethany going “btw the Christian belief is real and there is a heaven and hell and you’re going to one of them.” And it’s the inclusive of Judeo-Christian mythology which makes me uncomfortable either, it’s the handling of it and the handling is terrible.

The non-religious judgement is awful too. Every single character is a near caricature, the school is seemingly populated with no-one but bland, 1980s teen film stereotypes while Bethany will list out which cliques they belong to and judge them all for it. Apparently literature students are know-it-alls, the goths are wannabe Satanists and Too Edgy 4 U who they call weirdos (how enlightened) which turn out to be a plot-point, the artists were berets, the nerds are obsessed with being neat and scuttle about to avoid the wrath of the thuggish jocks. Bethany and her siblings will constantly lecture the audience on everything that comes to mind, that most people see religion has a fashion statement, that TV and social media are evil, true love is forever, don’t be sexually promiscuous, don’t drink alcohol, don’t have tattoos, conform to your properly assigned gender roles circa 1950.
At school Bethany becomes friends with the interchangeable popular girls and I’m fairly sure she’s only friends with them so she looks better in comparison. Apparently there aren’t any conservative, pious, religious girls (because boys and girls can’t be friends because of gender norms) for Bethany to hang out with. At a Christian school in Georgia.

Basically, there are two main plotlines; Bethany adapting to life on Earth and finding herself too drawn into human life and falling in love with a human boy which is forbidden, and the dark forces trying to take over Venus Cove.
Spoilers below.

Bethany eventually begins to date the love interest, Xavier Woods after several pointless plot points happen and I think the author, really, really wanted to push the “forbidden love” angle on their relationship and failed. There is some melodrama with Bethany dramatically tearing up Xavier’s phone number, Gabriel forbidding the relationship, Bethany worrying about keeping her secret away from Xavier, and how an angel and a human cannot fall in love but it all gets completely resolved by the mid-point of the novel. Bethany reveals herself to be an angel to him, apparently this is a serious no-no so instead of fighting demons and general evil a high council of angels decide that a mere angel revealing herself herself to a lone schoolboy is of the upmost importance. And then He Works in Mysterious Ways happen and Bethany is allowed to stay.
And then she gets to date Mr Perfect, probably one of the most boring love interests ever written. He’s perfect, he’s handsome, he’s the school Captain, he’s the best at sports, he’s aims to go to medical school, his family life is perfect. Oh yeah his old girlfriend died in a house fire two years ago and one of his friends was the guy who fell of the roof and died, it’s brought up as supposedly emotional baggage but as zero impact on the plot. Though Bethany will spend time waffling about how he’s suffered through so much at such a young age, and how it’s a miracle that he’s still able to smile through it and not be bitter in a tone which suggests that he deserves a medal for it and not that children much younger suffer much more.
Then, once Bethany and Xavier have their perfect relationship the main antagonist arrivals nearly two thirds of the way through the novel and he might as well be called Demon McEvilton, but instead he went for the slightly less evil name of Jake Thorn. He might as well introduce himself by saying “I’m the bad guy”, in case you missed his leather jacket, tattoos (of a snake), piercings, rebellious attitude, dogs snarling at him, oily tone of voice, fedora, motorbike and British accent. But you know, he writes poetry, Bethany’s stupid and the author’s a Twilight fan so you might as well throw in an awkward love triangle because why not?
And despite Bethany, an angel, acknowledging that he makes her uneasy, he’s untrustworthy, he’s not what he seems – she decides to ignore all of that and befriend him.
Then Jake does something really evil, using his demon powers to cause Xavier to fracture his ankle playing rugby and is left with a concussion, Bethany notices a mysterious stranger on the pitch and then just forgets she saw it. Then it turns out that because of that Xavier can’t go to the prom, which apparently is a once in a lifetime event second only to your wedding day, with Bethany so instead of just going stag, or going with some friends, or not going at all, she decides to go with Jake instead. He arrives at her house and the Seraph and archangel can’t figure out he’s a demon too.
During prom Jake sexually assaults Bethany, forcing her to kiss him, a photo of this emerges on social media and Xavier immediately blames Bethany for it and refuses to even let her explain what happened and makes it all about his manpain not that his girlfriend was assaulted. Yet somehow they are an amazing couple and it’s true love.
This drama lasts for a few pages until they make up and it’s like it never happened.
Then it turns out that Jake is actually a demon. What a shocking twist. He makes one of Bethany’s interchangeable friends commit suicide and starts to gather a high school cult. And it turns out that Jake isn’t just killing people, he’s making them turn into goths. A fate worse then death.
Then there’s an extremely stupid and badly written climax, turns out Jake is luring his goth cult, which are written to be as offensive as possible to goths everywhere, to a graveyard because apparently the heart of goth culture is death?
Bethany’s an idiot and gets herself spirted off with Jake, who tells her that unless she decides to be his he’ll kill her like he killed Xavier’s girlfriend and make it look like an accident by tying her up to her bed while he set fire to her house. And no-one spotted that? I get that he’s a demon but it sounded like Jake physically tied her up and even the most intense fires usually live behind some forensic evidence.
Gabriel tries to kill him, and Ivy, a creature second only to God, really does nothing until Bethany defeats him with the power of love the end and everything is back to being perfect with a large footnote for the sequels.

All of it makes Bethany look like a complete idiot. She rejects God and heaven to be in puppy love with a boy who she’s only known for a few weeks at the most. She doesn’t know anything about alcohol and when at a party she begins to fell drunk because she doesn’t know anything about it she decides to drink more. She can’t even say the word ‘sex’, she doesn’t recognise that Jake is a demon despite the author not being able to make it any more obvious unless she gave him horns and a tail.

Overall I can see why this book would be fun to read, but it’s shallow and utterly stupid.
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on 11 January 2012
I was dubious on picking up Halo - whilst I'm a fan of Twilight, Hunger Games, Mortal Instruments, etc the thought of reading about the battle between good and bad, angels and demons, seemed a little airy-fairy for my liking. Boy was I wrong. Alexandra Adornetto is a mere 18 years old and already has a stack of published books under her belt.

Halo is a series set in current times, about Bethany, a teen angel who is sent to earth along with her brother Gabriel, and sister Ivy, to set things 'right' in a small town in America - Venus Cove. She attends the local highschool, though is supposed to be there as a compulsory right rather than to be the new girl and settle in. however, she quickly begins to make friends, and even falls in love - an action certainly not approved of by her siblings, OR the leaders of Heaven. However, Bethany, as we soon learn, is stubborn, strong-willed and just quite simply born to love. Things take a rocky turn when a discarded suitor turns out to be not entirely what he says he is either - and all Hell (literally) breaks loose.

Alexandra writes of Heaven vs Hell is a plausible, believable manner yet steers away from preaching and the usual stereotypes. At times, I found myself feeling for the 'demons' of Hell, and others, rolling my eyes at the Angels' way of dealing with events. Each come across as human - or previously human in many ways, and it's this key factor, I think, that makes Halo the success it is. If you enjoy the usual paranormal, supernatural, dystopian genres that are taking over the market now, don't hesitate in buying Halo. It is by far one of my favourites out there now in this area, and already has a sequel out - Hades. Perfect for those of you who, like me, always hunger for more after reading the last page.

Five stars - I adore this author!
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on 25 March 2011
Halo has a fantastic cover and even if I hadn't known about it before its release, I would have wanted to buy it had I seen it on the shelves. In front of a bright sun stands a floppy haired boy with a beautiful angel. This cover has a very Romeo and Juliet-ish feel to it, which is perfectly fitting, considering the Shakespeare play is brought up in the story. It is eye-catching and mesmerising and I don't know many YA lovers who would have been able to walk past this without buying it.

So even though Halo started extremely well on the outside, the same cannot be said for the inside. I had a really hard time with the beginning of this book and was close to the point of not even carrying on with it. The story is really slow starting and has a lot of long winded descriptions, so much so that I stopped caring what anything looked like or what anyone was feeling. It was just too much, too soon and I would have preferred the beginning to be a little bit simpler. Throughout the book, the descriptions began to get better, more refined and I actually ended up finding them to be beautiful and poetic in parts.

I was glad that I didn't give up so easily on this book though because it got a lot better. Halo is told in the first person from Bethany Church's point of view, one of the angels sent down to help on earth. I didn't really like her too much to begin with but I think a lot of that was down to the fact that the book didn't begin well for me and the story was being told by her. She really grew on me over the course of the book though. As an angel, Beth doesn't really know anything about what it is like to be human or any of the things that humans do and feel. Because of this, she was really funny at times when she didn't understand what was going on. As soon as Beth started to see Xavier, she spent most of her time with him and neglected her friends a little bit, even though some effort was clearly made.

Xavier was mysterious to begin with but that soon disappeared. As soon as he found Beth, everything about him changed. The change from being himself to being 'Beth's boyfriend' happened very quickly and it was like he had a personality transplant, although all we know about him before this is from gossip. I much preferred the secretive Xavier though and I felt like he lost some of the great stuff about him. He was really sweet though and there was no way in hell that you could mistake how strong his feelings were for Beth. As he was so sweet, I didn't dislike him at all but he would not have been the kind of guy that I went for. I loved how understanding and cool he was about finding out what Beth and her family were and for not completely freaking out.

For me, the story really started to get interesting when Jake turned up, even if that was over half way through. Even though he is the new guy in school, it doesn't take him long to get himself a reputation and I loved him for that. His character was a bit too obvious though, even though he was supposed to be really mysterious. As the first half of the book is dedicated to Beth and Xavier finding each other and defining their relationship, the action really begins to happen in the second half. Jake wasn't around as much as I would have liked and I think the story would have been so much better if he had been introduced earlier.

Even though I didn't totally love this book, it was so much better than I first thought it would be. The characters were well written and the story inventive. As this book is part of a series, I think that the second book holds a lot of promise now that the world building and pace has been set. I will be looking forward to the sequel in order to find out what is in store next for Beth and Xavier and how they will overcome the evil in the world.
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on 11 April 2017
Predictable teenage fiction which might be OK if you are in your early teens. I should have read the blurb properly before reading this. It says it all. I kept reading the whole book in the hope that there would be a good twist (like Xavier and his family turned out to be very devious demons aiming to discredit an angel by making her fall in love) but no. The entire plot was laid out by the end of the first chapters.
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on 14 August 2015
I am not a teenager anymore, but have retained my love of reading young adult books.
I am seriously impressed firstly that this book was written by an 18 year old - its well written and reads really well. I did not get bored during reading this an the story itself is a fresh twist in the existing 'twilight' culture of books there now are.
Bethany Gabriel and Ivy are angels - a small group of many that have been sent to earth to try and tackle the darkness that has been spread around the globe by the devils minions.
Bethany was an unusual choice - she is actually 17 years old unlike her other siblings, and seems more 'human' than the others two, and it is implied she has been pushed to be a part of this mission by an unknown celestial higher being - maybe this being is revealed in the other books which I have not read. I like that there is a description of heaven as well as an explanation of the different functions of angels - and that only some can hold court with God. This made the whole thing a lot more imaginable I guess.
Bethany enrols in school and becomes infatuated with a boy and visa versa, and falls in love. The love story for me was a major let down - it was really really predictable and the book kind of lost focus on the mission of the angels and becomes focused around the star crossed lovers. She even shows him her angel powers in one scene which was really reminiscent of twilight. I liked Gabriel and Ivy more than the love story, but Gabriels role is relegated to eye candy for Bethanys friends and cook at home and even Ivy was not that present in it.
I think teenagers and anyone who likes twilight should definitely read this, it is well written but for me, I think I have read this tale in various forms too many times before hence the three stars.
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on 4 December 2011
I was killing time in a bookshop for the first time in ages and the title of this story intrigued me. Then I saw the exquisite cover. Then I lost myself in the opening chapters. The elegant and, dare I say it, heavenly style compelled me to purchase this book without a further thought.

Essentially Halo is a love story, a beautiful love story, although it does not start out as such. In the beginning there are three angels: the archangel Gabriel, his sister Ivy and their younger sibling Bethany Rose Church, who journey to earth, to Venus Cove, a backstreet coastal town to do their Lord's bidding. Even though it is unclear exactly what their mission is, they keep faith and spend precious time acclimatising to life on earth, in corporeal form, before starting at school - Gabriel as a music teacher and Bethany as a student. There are as many humorous incidents during this time, nearly as many as there are rules for them to adhere to. At the top of this list is: they cannot expose who they are or what they are to anyone, not even the priest at the local church.

Bethany, an Angel who finds she has an easy affinity with humans, rather than a loving, caring, yet distant regard for humankind, finds herself falling in love despite the strictures from her elder brother and sister. But she cannot help herself. Cannot control her emotions, her love. And then she does the unthinkable. The Covenant are consulted to determine Bath's punishment whereupon the real reason for their visit becomes clear: the English student Jake Thorn arrives at school and spontaneously all manner of bad things happen...

This is not a happy clapping, sermon spreading, bible bashing book, but there are enough religious references to make it believable. I certainly found it easy to suspend credulity but then I have always been fascinated by Angelology, ever since an `A' level project on the subject whilst at Technical college decades ago. And as for love stories, an incurable romantic since birth, I am always sucker punched by them. Indeed, upon finishing this story during lunchtime at work, I had to mask the tears in my eyes. Later, I found out this is the author's first novel. Incredible, maybe even miraculous.
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on 27 March 2011
Halo was a new concept for me, having read the angel genre before, as the angels were not Fallen, and there were actual attempts to describe Heaven, Hell, Lucifer and God. Whilst these were interesting reading, the continuous religious overtones and persistent references to "Saving Mortals" through spirituality, the worship of God, and the church, began to get grating, and in some instances felt as if the author was trying to convert me, which began to sour the narrative somewhat.

Though a typical teen supernatural romance, there is also a clever (though slightly predicable) plot which managed to bring something new to the genre.

The two main characters were vivid and well written, though the suddeness and seriousness of Bethany and Xavier's relationship, particularly given her mission, felt a little rushed. The character of Bethany begins well, but starts around the middle of the story to sound rather thoughtless and immature, more of a schoolgirl with her first crush than an angel in love. She is partially redeemed at the end, but I'm not quite convinced. This aside, the character of Xavier, whilst beginning somewhat 1-dimensional, had far greater character development and became rapidly more interesting as the story continued.

Oddly, it was the secondary characters that continued to hold my interest, particularly her depictions of Gabriel and Ivy, Bethany's angelic companions, and my favourites. They were much easier to imagine and understand, even though they were much more remote and "unknowable", and in some cases, overly mysterious, their familial relationships and parental treatment of Bethany made me laugh, particularly Ivy and her maternal sprit, and Gabriels fashion sense, quite unfitting for an Archangel. Also engaging were Jake Thorn, the villain of the piece, and her friend Molly, who begins as the typical teenage sidekick, but becomes far more likable, with a slowly growing hint of mysteriousness. Jake, though typically diabolical, was congruent with my imaginings of an Agent of Darkness, and managed to be both charming and sinister.

Overall, this book was interesting, but not quite great- it has the potential to become a good series, and if she continues it I will probably buy the next one, but it all hangs on the next book. Hopefully the focus will shift, becoming more of a romantic fantasy than a teen supernatural romance.
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on 21 February 2011
Halo is a book about angels. Specifically the angel Gabriel and his sisters...Ivy and Bethany. They have come to a small seaside town to begin to try to save it from some very dark forces that are threatening to take over all that is righteous and good within the town. A house has been readied for them...clothes are there and the three angels just sort of appear...wings tucked in and as normal as anyone can be. They do have to learn a few things and they do have to hide a few things. They don't have navels...who knew? They have creases in their backs where their wings must stay tucked and they don't understand why they get lightheaded at noon...they actually have to learn how to eat!!! Plus they have amazing hair and gorgeous glowing skin and they don't leave footprints in the sand even in human form.
Gabriel is the head of the household...get it? The Angel Gabriel...he is flawless and perfect in every way and he becomes the new music teacher at the high school. Of course the number of girls who sign up for music grows tremendously due to his beauty. Ivy stays at home but involves herself in tons of volunteer work. Bethany becomes a student at the high school and tries to assimilate into the student body. People in the town have no clue that they are angels other than Father Mel...the local pastor...and the three angels go about their lives quietly changing the town.
Good things happen...people start to care more about the poor and the elderly and the sick...and then Bethany becomes more involved with a classmate, Xavier, than a heavenly body should and this is where stuff starts happening. A new mysterious student comes to town and very bad things happen when he is around and there is prom...and a huge major confrontation...and that is all that I can share...seriously...or you will know more than you should before you read the book.
I found this book to be fascinating. The entire premise of angels...and major ones at that coming to live and work in this lovely seaside town was intriguing. The idea that angels are agents of a higher power was fascinating. Gabriel acted with the blessing of a Covenant and could be powerful yet merciful at the same time.
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