Monday, November 8, 2010

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Title: Halo (Book 1)
Alexandra Adornetto

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings. But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.
The dark forces are causing many disasters; floods, fires, and generally spreading mishaps around the world. Three angels, Gabriel, Ivy, and Bethany go to Venus Cove to stop the catastrophes happening there. Out of the three, Bethany is the most inexperienced, and the most human. She is torn between her mission and her humanity. In Venus Cove, she experiences friendship, happiness, and falls in love. But the dark forces are gaining ground in Venus Cove, and somebody close to Bethany will betray her.

is a vivid, powerful, and meaningful novel that elicits so much emotion as well as forces the reader to contemplate the religious references made in the novel. Halo's atmospheric difference is perceivable in the contrasting environments of Bethany's house and out of it. Inside Bethany's house, there's almost always an unsettling tension and it embodies a perplexing, complicated mood. Outside, there's a sense of freedom and an impression of limitless possibilities.

Bethany's growth throughout Halo is palpable from her transformation. At the beginning, her personality is naive and afraid; always careful and observant, never forgetting that this is her first mission. But as she befriends other people and gets closer to Xavier, she begins to change. Her yearning to be with Xavier is relatable as Bethany reveals her vulnerabilities and fears as an angel. She becomes more assertive, permissive, and independent, but her true values are genuine and never change.

Despite his guarded exterior, Xavier emanates a very genuine and honest personality from the very beginning. He isn't the cliché hero-type, instead, he's an honorable person with a past that still haunts him. Most of the time, people define others based on their pasts; in this case, the characters make assumptions and form opinions of Xavier with regards to his past. His relationship with Bethany is developed and extremely romantic. Their intense connection is tangible with the way they act towards each other; both depend on each other equally. Their relationship is symbolically sublime and profound.

Ivy and Gabriel (yup! THAT angel), the siblings of Bethany both holds an air of confidence and sophistication, whilst still holding their individual values and characteristics. Gabriel is serious, high-strung, and sometimes quite brooding, but he's caring and his carefully constructed façade of sureness and assurance hides his fears and inner-most vulnerabilities. This conveys his few imperfections. Ivy, although also serious, is more positive and reassuring. As the older sister, she withholds motherly characteristics and plays the role of the guiding, and understanding family member.

In Halo, the concept of differing between good and evil, and right and wrong is elaborately contemplated in different ways. Complete opposites such as heaven and hell, angels and demons, and light and dark, are re-introduced with religious connotations but without being preachy or assertive. The historical aspects in Halo are established in a non-pious, non-platonic way, making for a less religiously-biased read.

With new and old conceptualized ideas, fresh prose, and symbolic, vivid descriptions, Adornetto entices readers with contemporary and original characters and vivid imagery. Halo captures readers with the characters' magnetizing chemistry and the blend of both au courant and old-fashioned views of angels and love. A+ =)

The Bottom Line: Halo is a beautifully-woven tale that will definitely persuade readers to look forward to the next installment.

---Field Report---
Originality: 9/10
Ending: 7/10
Characters: 10/10
Plot: 9/10
My reaction/enjoyment: 10/10
Theme: 10/10
Imagery: 10/10
Setting: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Style: 5/5
Tone: 5/5
Cover: 10/10
Total Score: 95/100 (A+)

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Ella Preuss November 8, 2010 at 9:04 PM  

This book is coming out in Spanish soon, so I'm trying to see if I should buy it or not. This tells me to do it!
Awesome review, Reg.


Unknown November 8, 2010 at 10:13 PM  

Thanks for this review! I definitely am pushing Halo towards the top of my TBR pile now.

Rachel Harris November 8, 2010 at 10:55 PM  

Thanks for this spotlight! I just picked this up from the library but had already forgotten much of what it was about so I put it at the bottom of the stack. Based on this review, I'll be moving it up. Great job :-)

Anonymous,  November 8, 2010 at 11:24 PM  

I have this book on my bookshelf and your review makes me excited to read it :)

Unknown November 9, 2010 at 12:09 AM  

I just finished this book this weekend. I LOVED it.
Xaviers character was a nice change. He wasn't obsessive in love. Just a normal teenager, in love and wholesome.
Bethany's learning of Earth made me really look around and appreciate what we have here.

Savannah November 9, 2010 at 12:18 AM  

I'm currently reading this and I am enjoying it! Nice review :)

Unknown November 9, 2010 at 12:52 AM  

I've been thinking about picking up a copy of Halo. Thanks for the honest review, Reggie :)
Hafsah @ IceyBooks

Cindy November 9, 2010 at 2:25 AM  

I need to read this! Great review :)

Pisinat November 9, 2010 at 5:25 AM  

THAT's a good score ^^
This book intrigues me by its gorgeous cover, and now I read so many good things on it... Its seems tha I have to read it^^

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