Tag Archives: review

Review: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends; 1st edition (August 31st 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312656262
ISBN-13: 9780312656263
Source: Purchased from Powerbooks

First Sentence: “Our arrival didn’t exactly go as planned.”
Favorite Line from the Book: “Some say we can’t choose who we fall in love with; love chooses us. Sometimes people fall for the complete antithesis of everything they believe they’re looking for.”

Book Summary: Three angels- Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human- are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They must work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.

Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong.

The angel’s mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?

I got interested in reading this book because it was something new.  Although there are already a couple of books about angels, this is something new because the angel is the lead girl character.  At the same time, I loved the cover’s simplicity which promised a great story.

The first part of the book measured up to the cover’s radiance.  But as I went along, I felt unsatisfied.  I felt that the story was dragging.  Although it was a fresh breath of air that the story-telling perspective came from Bethany’s point view, I somehow felt that there were parts wherein if scrapped, the story can still go on.  I appreciated that you can really “see” through the eyes of an angel-turned-human through Bethany’s perspective as opposed to the other angel-themed novels.  I got fascinated how the brand new experiences and newly gained knowledge was presented by the author through Bethany, how the experience of falling in love for the very first time was clearly defined, how the thoughts of an angel about the world was voiced out.  BUT, what I wasn’t able to really dig into was Bethany’s clinginess to Xavier, how she was so impulsive.  And yet, I thought, that any teenager is like that.  Xavier on the other hand was too good to be true. I am interested to see in the next books if he will get a flaw or something.  Moving on the secondary characters, Gabriel and Ivy, it seems like the author still has a lot in store for them in the succeeding books.  Both stood as the parental components of the book and even considered as the guiding pillars for Bethany.  I would definitely like to see more stories developed around Gabriel and Ivy.  The villain, well for me he was very well thought off.  I was able to feel the how cruel he is and the menace of his voice and actions.  But my only problem was he just showed up rather late in the book.  It’s as if the author just thought about inserting a conflict to build some kind of tension.  The ending of this conflict was rather abrupt.  It feels like I could have gotten more from the action.  Well, I hope the rest of the action will be seen in the next book, Hades, which will come out this year.

Over all, I liked the book enough to finish it and perhaps buy the next one just for me to see how the characters develop and how the conflicts are resolved and what happens to the love story of Bethany and Xavier.  It was still a refreshing read even with some of the flaws.

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Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 471 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Book; 1st edition (October 1st 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 015206396X
ISBN-13: 9780152063962
Source: Purchased from Book Depository

First Sentence: “In these dungeons the darkness is complete, but Katsa has a map in her mind.”
Favorite Line from the Book: “I know you don’t want this, Katsa. But I can’t help myself. The moment you came barreling into my life I was lost. I’m afraid to tell you what I wish for, for fear you’ll… oh, I don’t know, throw me into the fire. Or more likely, refuse me. Or worst of all, despise me,” he said, his voice breaking and his eyes dropping from her face. His face dropping into his hands. “I love you,” he said. “You’re more dear to my heart than I ever knew anyone could be. And I’ve made you cry; and there I’ll stop.”

Book Summary: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.
When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

Okay, so where should I begin?  I badly wanted to get this book after reading Fire, its companion novel.  I looked everywhere for this, but since it has been published years ago, it’s not available here in Manila anymore.  I then looked for it in BookDepository where they have worldwide shipping.  When the book finally arrived, I am in awe of the book cover.  The cover looks bold, with the sword and all, and yet it also has a look of softness in it.  The cover was able to reflect the entirety of the story.

During the fist few chapters of the book, I struggled reading it as I felt that it was rather slow moving.  But after a hundred pages or so, I finally got hooked and couldn’t put the book down even though I knew I should already be sleeping.  I liked how the author formed the characters.  I instantly fell in love with Po and started understanding Katsa.  What I really loved about this book is how Katsa learned self acceptance, how Po overcame the tragedy which fell on him, how Bitterblue fought hard to survive, and how Katsa and Po accepted each other’s shortcomings and points of views.  Although this is set in a whole new world so foreign to us, the author was able to inject these components flawlessly.

I will definitely re-read Fire and excitedly anticipating the release of Bitterblue in September.

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