Release Date: January 10, 2012
Publisher: Zondervan Publishing
Source: Copy provided by publisher for review
After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with.
A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.
I had high hopes for this novel! The angel genre really seems to be taking off right now and this sounded like a high-stakes adventure with a touch of forbidden romance--tempting, no? Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed after reading Halflings.
It felt like the entire book was just to set up another book. Back story, some action scenes placed here and there, more back story, and some very tell-but-not-show character development. Instead of revealing hints about the halfling's character through the actions, a lot of it was done through statements and dialogue--'the youngest halfling is a protege' 'the eldest halfling is a player because of this'--which seemed to slide the three halflings into very general, cookie-cutter roles: the good boy, the bad boy and the naive young one.
Sadly, our leading lady, Nikki, did not seem all that more three-dimensional either. I thought the author was trying a little too hard to make Nikki a strong female character who could kick butt. Nikki is athletic, brave, and a karate student. I definitely like a strong female lead, but Nikki's character seemed too forced, especially the most obvious character trait--she must be strong, so she does karate! Despite the author's attempt to make Nikki a courageous heroine, the other characters she created seem to counter that. The novel had a real Twilight-feel to it; Nikki's in trouble?--halflings to the rescue! While I get that a mortal can't fend off a handful of demons from hell by herself, it would have been nice to see Nikki put her skills to use to get out (or out-smart her way out) of some of those sticky situations she found herself in! She played damsel in distress one too many times for me to see her as a bold, independent girl.
The romance was a bit of a let down too; while it was nice to see the 'nice guy' (Mace) get a chance for once, there was also the aforementioned love-triangle. The romance between bad-boy Raven and Nikki seemed too sudden; I mean, she didn't like him for so long then suddenly one day, boom! she changes her mind. The romance between Nikki and Mace was much more believable though at first the main focus was purely on looks.
I'm sorry to say that this book fell flat for me. The writing wasn't even a redeeming factor; it was not very engaging and I found it rather flat and uninspired. The novel was unoriginal, poorly written and boring at points; I really had to push myself to keep going through the novel. Here's hoping the series improves, but unfortunately, I don't think I'll be sticking around to read on.
Overall: 2.25 out of 5
Plot: 2 stars
Characters: 2.25 stars
Writing: 2.25 stars
Cover: 3.50 stars