Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto: Book #1
Finally, after weeks of FORCING myself to listen this audiobook, I have finished Halo. Let me begin by saying that Alexandra Adornetto is currently only 19 years old. She wrote Halo when she was 17 and it wasn't her first novel. This is a major undertaking for someone so young. As a creative writer, Adornetto does have talent. However, she needs guidance and a better editor!
This book is long-winded, moralistic and judgmental. It lacks cohesion and maturity. It reads like the work of an amateur.
The premise of Halo is that the Christian God has sent the archangel Gabriel and two female angels down to a small town called Venus Cove to combat the forces of darkness that are affecting the town. However, Bethany, the teenage angel who is the most human, falls deeply in love with a boy at school and this distracts her from her mission.
I don't think I have ever encountered a heroine more annoying, impotent, helpless, and unintelligent than Bethany Church. I don't believe for a moment that she possesses any angelic power. She is a whining, naive, melodramatic goody goody who lacks any appeal. Her relationship with Xavier Woods is nauseating and juvenile. This would be completely acceptable if they were two normal high school kids- but Bethany is an ANGEL! She should be strong and serene but, instead, her boyfriend coddles her like an infant. There is no evidence that she is a powerful celestial being. She doesn't even realize when the villain enrolls in her high school (and I am not giving anything away here because it is PAINFULLY obvious!).
Adornetto has such stark judgments of people in Halo that it is offensive. The high-school kids that like to wear black and dress in an avant-garde manner are the ones who follow the path of evil. She only shows praise for students who are conservative and chaste. It seems that, in her moral rubric, black lipstick and an appreciation for goth fashion mean you are destined for Hell. You are likely to find this book on the shelves of more conservative Christian bookstores. Halo is highly dogmatic and very preachy.
I don't mind reading a novel that has a specific moral agenda- if that novel is well written. Halo is NOT well written. Adornetto needs a more attentive editor to help her slash countless tedious passages that ramble endlessly. I get it, Xavier is gorgeous and Bethany's love for him is all-consuming...SO all-consuming that she pretty much forgets that she has any responsibility to humankind. I found myself saying out loud "are you kidding me?" when listening to this book. The book was even more unpalatable because, unfortunately, Alexandra Adornetto read it herself. Her young voice just heightened the whiny, weak, and pathetic demeanor of Bethany church. I truly couldn't take the pouty, trembly, baby voice Adornetto chose to use when speaking as Bethany.
I would be lying if I said this book was a complete waste. There were scenes in which I was engrossed and moved to emotion. Those moments, however, were short-lived and ruined by serious overkill.
I think Adornetto has talent which, if properly developed, could produce some amazing work. She isn't there yet, however. I wish her the best of luck with her novels but I will not be recommending this series to any of my students.
I will end my review with a quote from Halo that literally made me laugh out loud:
“Just because you're a rugby player doesn't mean you can take on the forces of Heaven."
Again I say- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!