Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

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Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Postby rocklobster » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:27 am

I just read a great book called Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, an Australian writer who just got her books published in the US. (She's 18 and her first book was written when she was only 14. Just to put this in perspective) This is the first part of a trilogy which will include a book called Hades in Fall 2011. This book is about three angels named Gabriel, Ivy, and Bethany who have assumed human form are sent to a town called Venus Cove on a mission of goodwill. But there's just one problem: Bethany has fallen in love with a human named Xavier Woods.
Now I know what you're thinking. No, it's not Twilight with angels. It's actually quite well-written. Adornetto does a good job of not making Bethany seem perfect--she makes lots of mistakes throughout the story and not just falling in love with Xavier. I think this is a great book and I recommend it.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. I appointed you to be a prophet of all nations."
--Jeremiah 1:5
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Postby Atria35 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:21 am

Well, since I have now read this book-

I liked the first half of the book. While it did fall into some cliches, the characters seemed decently believable and, to my amazement, the party girl wasn't depicted as a bad character! Everyone was a good person and shown as such, even though their choices may not have been entirely responsible or mature. The writing was also very fluid and well-done. I really liked reading it, even though the author was a bit fond of info dumps. The author also had a way of generalizing people. It was almost too much in some places, but overall seemed decently accurate.

My only issue was the unrealisticness of the setting and behaviour of the side characters. The mains had moved into a small town. But no one in that town acts like someone who lives in a small town.

Then you got to the second half, and the story fell into the stereotypes and preachiness that dooms many Christian literature to mediocreness or worse. First you have Beth's boyfriend's mother start up a while discussion on pre-marital sex at the dinner table- where the whole family is present. Even her four-year-old son. You can tell that it's an author tract on it. While it does serve to bring up an important emtional plot point with the characters, it's awkward and obvious. The author later does it again with an explanation of who Lucifer was and the Downfall. It was completely unnecessary- 95% of the native English-Speaking World knows the story. And since the author is from a native English-speaking country, there was no need whatsoever to put it in there. I ended up skipping it since it bogged down the story for 2 whole pages.

Then you have the bad guy. Virtually every modern Christian story depicts the demons/servants of Hell as wearing black, with dark hair and striking eyes. So how does she depict the baddie in her story? She doesn't exactly break the mold. His followers- the Goths, initially- are also made into horrible Christian stereotypes. It's fairly obvious that the author has never actually sat down and talked with one from what is said about them.

Mix this liberally with a bit of brain-deadness from the main characters. The Boyfriend is shocked when the new kid knows about his old girlfriend being dead. It's a small town. Beth had been told within her first ten minutes at school. So why wouldn't the new kid, who'd been there a few weeks, know about her? There are a few instances of similar things near the end, where things that had been made obivious or apparent during the beginning of the book had been forgotten - by both the characters and author- by the end.

In the second half the writing also seemed to get weaker. For example, Beth's best friend thanking her by saying "Thanks, Bethie. Lucky I have you around to stop me from making bad decisions." Seriously, that is the worst of the worst of Bad Christian Writing.

The second half is also where characterization issues crop up- for instance, the BF's mother is said to be a religious conservative. So a few weeks after her son starts living at his girlfriend's house and then comes back after a week or so (I would be spoiling things to say what happened and why, but rest assured there was no hanky-panky), all is forgiven. I have to say that the author must really not know how religious conservative parents work. That would never be accepted with ease! The mother doesn't know what happened at the girlfriend's house, and has no reason to think that she's as good as she first appeared! "Forgive and forget" with sin is NOT a priority if they have reason to believe that the sin continutes. Of course, that may be me going off my impressions of conservative parents, but I have met so many of them that I have solid reasons to believe that only Mary and Gary Stus would be that okay with it, and that's what the author turned that parents into.

So overall I was incredibly frustrated. Good characters were put into a mediocre story. And it wasn't even mediocre at first- it was the second half of the story that really brought my rating down and leaves me emotionally frustrated with the story and author.
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Postby Nate » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:48 am

So when does Master Chief show up?

Ezekiel 23:20
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Postby Atria35 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:34 pm

Nate (post: 1442794) wrote:So when does Master Chief show up?

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