Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
The small town of Venus Cove has always been a peaceful place, but lately, there have been darker happenings. A girl died in a local fire and small troubles and misdeeds have sprung up around town. In response to the growing darkness around Venus Cove, three angels have been sent down from Heaven to renew the town's faith and to bring goodness back.
Ivy is a healer, Gabriel a warrior, and Bethany a young angel who is still trying to figure out what her gift is. Bethany is the youngest of the three angels sent to Venus Cove, and also the most human--something Ivy and Gabriel often worry about. Bethany is an angel, but is also prone to human mistakes, and begins to get far more involved and emotionally invested than other angels would consider safe.
Ivy, Gabriel and Bethany try to blend in, working subtly to help set things right. Bethany wants to experience what being a teenager is like, but even she catches the Ivy and Gabriel by surprise when she starts to fall for the handsome Xavier Woods. How can an angel fall for a mortal boy? The other angels had expected Bethany to know better and to have more control, but Bethany has never experienced anything like falling in love before and craves Xavier's company.
Soon Bethany's amorous feelings for Xavier will the be the least of the angel's worries when a newer, more powerful dark force arrives to wreck havoc on Venus Cove. Will it undo everything the trio has worked so hard for? And what will they do when a dark, handsome, seductive stranger arrives in town and sets his sights on Bethany?
Halo is not an action-heavy novel. It not a book that focuses entirely on plot but rather, focuses on the journey the characters go on. Although it slow at times, it was nice seeing how Bethany tried to fit in. She was rather clueless at times and I wish she was stronger, but she did grow a bit as the novel progressed.
If you're into books that have a set and clear plot and are filled with action, you might find Halo a bit slow. In my opinion, Ms. Adornetto was not focusing just on the end product, but also on the journey. In a way, Halo reminded me of the film Children of Men in the way that both gave more attention to the journey the character experience, rather than just what happens at the end. Both have key occurrences that move the plot along, but the focus is on how characters reach the end, not just the end.
Despite featuring angels and their battles against dark forces, I did not find Halo very preachy. It was not over the top and was not trying to force religion down your throat, which was nice and allows you to just enjoy the book.
I thought Halo was very well-written and was very impressed to learn that the author is only seventeen years old! Halo is an interesting story and provided an intriguing take on angels and their differences (in both expectations and existence) from humans as well as the structure of Heaven . I definitely enjoyed Halo and am really glad I was able to snag a copy at BEA this year! It lived up to my expectations and I am eagerly awaiting the next novel in the trilogy, Hades!