Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
|Halo by Alexandra Adornetto|
|Reviewer: Loralei Haylock|
|Summary: A lesson in not judging a book by its cover. A promising start that descends into fairly vapid boy-swooning. With a plot near identical to Twilight, there's nothing original or entertaining enough to sustain the story over 400+ pages. Borrow don't buy.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 496||Date: January 2011|
When three angels – Gabriel, Ivy and Bethany – arrive in a quiet town, their mission is to bring good to a world in danger of falling into darkness. They have to conceal their true nature – hiding the glow of their skin, their wings – a task not easy for Bethany, the least experienced of the trio. She's overwhelmed by human life, fascinated by all the experiences available to her in human form. A fascination that leads to a dangerous attraction to human boy, Xavier. Falling in love was not part of the holy mission, and Gabriel and Ivy fear Bethany won't be in the position to save anybody if she continues down the path she's on.
This book is a clear example of why we have the saying 'Don't judge a book by its cover.' The cover is exquisite. The story… not so much.
Halo starts with newly incarnate angel Bethany getting used to her life on Earth. I loved this bit of the story – it was well observed, well written and spoke of great promise for the rest of the book. However, when the story (and I say story in the loosest sense of the word) kicked in, Halo went from intriguing to banal in about three lines.
Why would an angel go to high school? It's never really explained beyond 'fitting in' and Beth seems to be as unclear on her purpose as I was reading it, which didn't help matters either. The fact that she wasn't targeting vulnerable, impressionable teenagers for a bit of the good will treatment made the whole situation ridiculous. Instead, Beth spends her time swooning over Xavier, while her friends swoon over Gabriel. Now, a bit of boy swooning is fine, but Halo is a chunky book. Swooning can't sustain 400+ pages.
Bethany's innocence, intended to be cute, I think, got annoying very rapidly – especially as she's an angel and supposed to know everything in human knowledge. Surely she'd know the effects of alcohol? For a superpowered angel, Beth was at best vulnerable and in need of a knight in shining armour, at worst a pathetic sap about as endearing as a mouldy potato.
Then there's the rather major issue of the plot being a near direct echo of Twilight. The story is all about Bethany being in love with Xavier, until about three quarters of the way through a threat turns up in the shape of the most overly foreshadowed, 'so obvious to everyone but the character it's actually painful to read' bad guy I've had the displeasure of reading in a long time. What his motivations were beyond, 'hey I'm evil, let's cause some chaos,' I'm not sure. I know angels and demons don't really need motivations, but they have to be logical. Some of the things this bad guy did, much as with Bethany and her siblings, made next to no sense.
It does have its moments of well written observations on humanity, but with most of the plot revolving around a love story with no chemistry, only occasional, throwaway characters ever facing any real peril, and a plot structure so closely echoing Twilight you'll just want to put the book down and actually read Twilight, Halo falls far short of a heavenly read. Borrow don't buy.
My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.
The obvious recommendation for this book is clearly Twilight, but as I highly doubt there are many people who haven't read Twilight that would want to, I will suggest LJ Smith's Vampire Diaries for another supernatural romance-centric story.
You can read more book reviews or buy Halo by Alexandra Adornetto at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
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