Halo Chapter One

I should probably start by saying that I’m not Dottie. My name is Cecilia, and I’m guest posting on Dottie’s blog to bring you a review of this:

Halo was published in the post-Twilight teen paranormal romance boom, and round about the time that angels became the new vampires. And trust me, you can see the Twilight influences. It may not be as creepy as Twilight, or (shudder) Hush, Hush, but there is a lot of stupid here.

The author, Alexandra Adornetto, was seventeen when this got published, and for that reason I wasn’t quite sure whether I should review this – I mean, I’ve got some pretty stupid writing from when I was seventeen. But then, this is published stupid writing. Also, this book provides examples of several things that have become trends in YA fiction, giving me an opportunity to point them out and rant.

So, we have a couple of quotations before the book begins: one from Romeo and Juliet, the other from a Beyoncé song. Classy.

Our arrival didn’t exactly go as planned. I remember it was almost dawn when we landed because the streetlights were still on. We had hoped our descent would go unnoticed, which it mainly did, save for a thirteen-year-old boy doing a paper round

This kid is understandably freaked out when he sees three figures appear in the road in a column of white light, and crashes his bicycle. Our narrator tries to smile at him in reassurance, but isn’t used to facial expressions, and the boy runs away.

I imagined the boy bursting through the front door of his home and relating the story to his stunned parents. His mother would push his hair back from his forehead to see if he had a temperature. His father, bleary-eyed, would comment on the mind’s ability to play tricks on you when it has time to wander.

Uh, aren’t you taking a bit of a risk assuming that everyone he tells will just shrug it off? For all you know, his parents are UFO enthusiasts. Or they might think something’s really wrong with him. For that matter, how do you know that no one else was looking out their window?

The angels start looking for the house they are supposed to be living in, and there’s a lot of description of how strange the world feels to our narrator in her new human form, which I kind of like. We also learn the names of the angels. Gabriel, Ivy, and our narrator, Bethany. I looked up Bethany and found that it is actually a Biblical name. Ivy, on the other hand, is Old English. Neither of them are really angel names.

They find the house, which is big and expensive. Why do angels need such a luxurious place to stay? Do they even need to sleep at all?

Those first few weeks were spent hibernating and getting our bearings

She goes on about how everything is so strange to them and they need time to adjust. Even Gabriel. Yeah, um… we don’t know yet if he’s THE Angel Gabriel, but if he is:

This ain’t exactly your first rodeo, pal.

Some evenings we were visited by a faceless, white-robed mentor. (…) we knew he acted as a messenger between the angels on earth and the powers above.

Why do angels need messengers? They are messengers. That’s literally what the word ‘angel’ means.

There is a brief mention of other emissaries, some of whom have been ‘thrown straight into battle’ in ‘corners of the world riddled with Agents of Darkness’ So why aren’t these angels there too, helping?

More on how unused they are to having bodies and needing to eat. They avoid human contact, except for the local priest, Father Mel. Bethany says that their mission is to encourage people to reconnect with their spirituality, to ‘restore their faith and teach them to believe in miracles. Also, the town they are in, Venus Cove, is small and untroubled. Sounds like they don’t need that much angelic intervention, then.

One night, the angels all go walking along the beach, and Bethany spots a boy there fishing.

(His) light brown hair was the colour of walnuts. It flopped over his brow and had a lustrous sheen in the fading light. His pale eyes were almond shaped and a striking turquoise blue in colour.

Uh-oh. Unusually purple character description – I think I spot a love interest! And Bethany feels instantly drawn to him, just like that. But before she can talk to him, Ivy and Gabriel drag her away, saying that they aren’t ready for human contact yet. You’ve been on earth for weeks, people. How long does it take? Bethany sulks, and the chapter ends.

Next chapter, wrong angel lore and more purple prose.




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