Halo (Halo, #1) by Alexandra Adornetto
Paranormal Young Adult
August 31, 2010
Hardcover, 496 Pages
Feiwel & Friends
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “She had the face of an angel
I saw mirrors in her eyes
We were one and the same, she I
Both bound by potent lies.”
Bethany is an young angel sent to Earth with her “brother and sister” to bring good well and stop the spread of darkness. Bethany is the least experienced but the most human in her emotions.
As Bethany and her counterparts try to adapt to life as mortals, Bethany falls in love with a human boy. This sets off a chain of events that could led to all their destruction. Can true love combat the forces of darkness?
Bethany is your average 16 year old. Well almost average. She is actually an angel. But her emotions and personality reflect that of a teenage girl. Having been sent to Earth with 2 much older angels-arch angel Gabriel and healer Ivy-Bethany’s experiences at playing human are rich in detail and enchantment. As Bethany relishes her new found freedom, she meets Xavier. Xavier represents the ultimate experience for Bethany-true love. Soon she finds herself head over heels and not so focused on her mission anymore. As Gabriel and Ivy try to steer her back towards the reasons they are there, a new player comes into the game. Jake Thorn. Handsome and rebellious; Jake brings with him an air of mystery and seduction aimed right at Bethany. As darkness begins to fall upon their town, Bethany learns about love, loyalty, and sacrifice.
This is a hard review to write. On one hand, Ms Adornetto has a real gift in creating a rich detailed world that draws you in and making you a part of each and every scene. Quite astonishing when you consider her age when she wrote this. Halo is more of a emotional journey the characters go through then a suspenseful plot rich story and I found myself captured by her prose. On the other hand, I just saw to many parallels between this book and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series to feel comfortable.
The character development stays true when dealing with a younger persona; though a bit slow in the over all fleshing out. Bethany is an interesting mix of old world experience and naivete. Her angelic profile is a refreshing change from the usual dark and tortured angels you read about in most YAs. I really wasn’t sure where she was going with Bethany though. She starts out strong but peters out about half way through. I found her more tedious as she became more human and her relationship with Xavier progressed. I would have liked to have seen more angelic interaction and revelations from the powers that be concerning this. Bethany’s friend Molly was a joy to read about and added much humor to the book. Her constant “boy crazy” attitude and advice to Bethany had me rolling my eyes while laughing. Gabriel and Ivy seemed a little stiff to me. Their development stagnated and they felt like two puzzle pieces being forced into the wrong placement. For being so experienced, they really seem to be a day late and a dollar short on keeping up with Bethany and her adventures.
Xavier is astonishingly mature in his attitude and views for his age. And this is where I ran into problems with the story. I saw Bella in Bethany, Edward in Xavier, and Jake as an evil Jacob. The parallels were similar enough to give me pause. An unlikely pairing of two teenagers with an outside attraction and forces striving to tear them apart.
Xavier’s attitudes on sex and relationships mirror Edwards. As do Bethany’s and Bella’s. Xavier becomes Bethany’s entire world. She completely loses herself in him. In one scene Xavier and Bethany have a fight that leads to Bethany’s utter demoralization. She becomes despondant and invalid. Just like Bella in Mew Moon. In Jake and Bethany’s relationship, you see a friendship develop only to discover that Jake wants Bethany for more. Of course, Bethany will only be friends because she loves Xavier to which Jake becomes more tricky in his perusal. Just like Jake & Bella. References to Cathy and Heathcliff and Romeo and Juliet -all points of connection between Bella and Edward
The over all arc flows smoothly but slow. Very slow. At 500 pages this book really could be paired down to about 300 pages without losing it’s integrity. There are actually three story lines to follow, but they intertwine and blend well together as they work towards the ending. The finale comes on you fast and felt rushed. I would have liked to see the more interaction between the angels and demons and some exploration in to the “why” of the situation.
I found the story a pleasant read; but the underlying problems caused an issue for me. Hopefully in the next in the series, Hades, we will see more growth and plot development and less Twilight.