RATING: 3/10 – Wish I hadn’t bothered
Three angels- Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human- are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They must work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.
Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong.
The angel’s mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?
The first in a trilogy, ‘Halo‘ tells the story of three Angels who have been sent to a small town with the task to keep the dark forces at bay. To fit in, Bethany, the youngest of the Angels, enrols at the local school where she meets Xaviar. They soon realise their attraction and Bethany gets far more involved with him than a teen angel should. A new student, Jake shows up and his arrival brings trouble for the townsfolk and the Angels.
Ok, first of all I would like to say the cover is beautiful. Really beautiful and even though the old chestnut phrase of not judging a book by its cover should apply, it’s really unavoidable at times. You see a pretty cover and you want to know more, right? Good, it’s not just me then. The cover of Halo is one of the best I’ve seen from last year. My role at BCC is to review books, so why am I reviewing the cover instead of the story? Well sadly, it’s the best thing about the book.
This story is one we have read many times, especially since the Twilight-explosion. Two teenagers, one is a supernatural being attracted to a mortal even though it’s forbidden and a dark force hangs over the whole thing threatening to ruin it all. Some books brings a fresh twist to this plot, others take the genre a few steps back. I’m afraid to me, this was the latter.
The plot was really slow, with explanations and details about Angels, heaven and lots of things I felt it wasn’t really important to know. It seemed it was only in the last 80 pages that the plot was taken into effect and something actually happened. The characters were not very likeable. We have Angels, who are portrayed as domesticated celestial beings rather than the strong, powerful entities I think of. One of them is Gabriel, as in the Gabriel, the archangel! But what does he do? Nothing. Sits around, does some cooking, sings a bit and that is pretty much it for most of the book. Bethany as the main character was unlikeable, and moped around after Xaviar for a lot of the book. When they weren’t together, she was complaining about wanting to be with him. She felt clingy, obsessive, and insipid and she is a freaking Angel, sent to Earth to save mankind. How can she do that if she is stuck to a boy like a limpet? Bethany got tiring really quickly, as well as frustrating. Xaviar is a nice boy, and that is all. He felt flat and had no personality.
I do read YA a lot, and enjoy a lot of what I read. I do get frustrated when the female characters become obsessed with boys, and fall madly in love in a minute. I like love, and I’m a big fan of it, so please don’t think this is me not believing in love and soul mates. I just don’t enjoy reading about female lead characters becoming insipid, moon-faced drips constantly thinking of boys. Bethany is an angel, and even if she wasn’t, where is the strength, determination and intelligence that so many young girls should aspire to? I do respect this is a young adult book, but I do honestly feel if I read this at 14 years old I would still be thinking how whiny and annoying Bethany is over a guy, and I also think that books transcend any age anyway. There are so many YA books out there with really strong female characters that do not turn into the ‘damsel in distress’ stereotype once they meet their ‘soulmate’. If this trilogy doesn’t end in Bethany married and pregnant, then I will eat my hat. It’s very disappointing, and I don’t want to sound like a meanie because I do understand this book has many fans, but Maggie Stiefvater, Diana Peterfreund and Suzanne Collins, for instance, write really fantastic YA females in relationships that don’t cost a girl her personality and strength. If you are looking for smart, brave, strong and appealing female characters, and brilliantly written novels then I’d recommend them.
Slightly tedious and slow, the lead up and the character were not enough to enjoy this story. Even with the pretty cover, there are far better books out there with characters that do not sacrifice their brain for a boy.
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