What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said? Honestly, I really can't find much fault in this. It's well-written, the characters areWhat can I say about this book that hasn't already been said? Honestly, I really can't find much fault in this. It's well-written, the characters are well fleshed-out and distinct, and I can't wait to read the next book! My one quibble is that I find some of the characters, namely the Stark children, to be a bit too young for the complexities of their situation, and their feelings sometimes read as too mature (I continually forgot Sansa was eleven!). I don't know if it's too early to say, but the comparisons to J.R.R. Tolkien don't seem to be too far from the mark!...more
“Halo” is a trite paranormal romance in which Bethany, a recently created angel, in the guise of a seventeen year-old girl, comes to the town of Venus“Halo” is a trite paranormal romance in which Bethany, a recently created angel, in the guise of a seventeen year-old girl, comes to the town of Venus Cove with her brother and sister to combat the sinister forces that have been growing there. Gabriel, the warrior, poses as a music teacher at the local high school while Bethany becomes a student, and Ivy, the healer, stays at home and does nice things for the community—all to bring the people back to God, of course. At school, Bethany meets the resident heartbreaker, Xavier Woods, and immediately falls for him. But what happens when an angel loves a mortal?
Not a whole lot, I’ll tell you that! Bethany and Xavier’s love is fast and furious—she’s pretty much infatuated by page ten. For the next 400 pages Bethany is constantly preoccupied with Xavier, and not doing a whole lot of anything else. She barely seems to care about her friends and ditches them whenever Xavier calls her name. Bethany may be a “newer” angel and more vulnerable to human emotions, but her ineptitude is truly staggering! While she is physically flawless, she has no personality, power, or charisma, or any other quality one would associate with an angel. Worst of all, she is utterly dependent on Xavier and needs him to protect her! You're the immortal angel, sweetie...remember? Unfortunately for us, Xavier is equally beautiful and perfect, making the not-exactly-thwarted romance extremely tedious.
An even bigger problem is that we are consistently reminded the angels are there to save the town from something, but we never figure out what that is or see any evil behavior from the residents (unless you count not going to church)! When the villain is finally introduced, after nearly 300 pages, he is so clichéd and non-threatening, it’s almost insulting—-he has black hair, black clothes and an English accent! The climax is all of three pages long and consists of Bethany being useless and the boys coming to her rescue, ugh.
I understand the author is only seventeen, and it shows. There is nothing special about the writing style--too much "telling" rather than "showing". There is a lot of exposition that does nothing to add to or move along the plot. There is no character development and no discernible story arc (yes, it’s a trilogy, but you can’t have nothing happen in the first installment because you’re saving it for later, that’s just over indulgent and lazy). In fact, the setting is so vague I'm not even sure where it's supposed to be! Australia? The U.S.?
Lastly, the angels are so boring and uninteresting they might as well be humans. There is nothing powerful or otherworldly about them. Using Gabriel was a strange choice to me. Why would the archangel Gabriel (described on p. 16 as “one of the Holy Seven” and “…a warrior…[who:] watched Sodom and Gomorrah burn”) have nothing better to do than slum around at some insignificant beach town with an incompetent baby angel? (And isn't Michael the warrior, for that matter? Gabriel is associated with justice, which could extend to fighting, but it seems odd.) Why is he not in, say, the Middle East fighting against the forces of evil there-—they even mention how bad the situation is there after seeing a story in the newspaper!
"Halo" is utterly underwhelming and unoriginal. There is nothing to like about the characters or the love story— the characters are too flawless, too vanilla, and too boring. The heroine is among the weakest I have ever had the displeasure of reading and, finally, the book was far too preachy for my taste (for example, the pre-marital/angel-human sex issue presented as immoral, the townspeople not attending church/returning to God, etc.) That said, I think people who liked “Twilight”, “Shiver”, “Fallen” and “Hush, Hush” will eat this up, but I would encourage most others to steer clear of this one! ...more