Halo (Halo Trilogy #1)

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Overview

Three angels are sent down to bring good to the world: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. But she is the most human, and when she is romantically drawn to a mortal boy, the angels fear she will not be strong enough to save anyone?especially herself?from the Dark Forces.

Is love a great enough power against evil?

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Overview

Three angels are sent down to bring good to the world: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. But she is the most human, and when she is romantically drawn to a mortal boy, the angels fear she will not be strong enough to save anyone—especially herself—from the Dark Forces.

Is love a great enough power against evil?

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Junior angel Bethany, “created only seventeen mortal years ago,” has accompanied senior angels Gabriel and Ivy on a mission to Earth, the exact nature of which is yet to be seen. While awaiting events, Bethany attends high school and quickly acquires a best friend and a boyfriend, though she knows she ought to remain focused on her angelic mission. Much of the book details Bethany and Xavier’s travails as their Romeo and Juliet relationship develops; it is not until the end that Agents of Darkness make an appearance that will, presumably, feature more prominently in the rest of the planned trilogy. Teenage author Adornetto’s U.S. debut shows an impressive command of language; while there are some holes in her world-building (Bethany’s knowledge of earthly things is all over the place--she knows what a Peter Pan collar is, yet is ignorant of seatbelts), they aren’t likely to bother the target audience much. The fantasy is sweet and enjoyable, if theologically superficial, but the white and Catholic character of both Heaven and Earth may alienate some readers who don’t fit the assumed demographic. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Dana Benge
If you think being a typical teenage girl is hard, try being a teenage angel. As if that is not enough of a challenge, try being a teenage angel whose big brother is the archangel Gabriel. Bethany Church is a seventeen-year-old angel sent to earth on her first mission along with her brother Gabriel and her sister Ivy. The angel siblings' mission is to watch over the small town of Venus Cove, which has been targeted by the Dark Forces. To accomplish this, Gabriel and Bethany are sent to a local school as the new music teacher and his younger sister. Gabriel has his doubts about Bethany's ability to feel compassion for the human race without getting emotionally involved with them, and his fears are realized when Bethany falls in love with fellow student Xavier Woods. But that is the least of the angels' problems when a new international student, Jake Thorn, enrolls at school. Wherever Jake goes, trouble follows and that includes prom night when he forces his unwanted attentions on Bethany. But Jake is much more dangerous than any one of them ever thought, and by the time they realize the evil they are fighting, it might be too late for Bethany, Xavier, and the entire town. The eighteen-year-old-author weaves a beautiful story of the meaning of true love and faith that will touch all who read it. Reviewer: Dana Benge
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Three angels in human form are sent to the small town of Venus Cove to offset the forces of evil and restore faith in the community. Bethany, young by human and celestial standards, was chosen for the mission because of her seemingly natural affinity with humans. She attends a local high school and despite the edict to avoid close relationships and exposure as an angel, falls deeply in love with fellow student Xavier Woods. The arrival of an exchange student, Jake Thorn, leads to conflict between the couple and danger for the community as it becomes clear that Jake is not what he seems. The first title (Feiwel & Friends, 2010) in a planned trilogy is narrated by Australian author Alexandra Adornetto, herself a teen, with a fairly consistent American accent. Her youthful voice reflects Bethany's innocence and naïveté and lends authenticity to the performance. The narrative is slowed by overly descriptive passages and is at times weighed down by Bethany's dependence on Xavier, but fans of supernatural or paranormal romance will likely overlook this.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Since the Dark Forces started targeting the sleepy beachside town of Venus Cove, angel Bethany Church, 17 in mortal years, and her siblings Ivy and archangel Gabriel have been sent to restore order. On her first trip to Earth, Bethany is only supposed to observe human behavior, not to befriend any of them. But how can she help succumbing to adolescence when the prom is only months away, she has a burning curiosity about human love and Xavier Woods, the hottest guy at her private high school, asks her out? The first half of this longwinded, repetitious novel with Catholic overtones explains the differences between angel and mortal lives and sets up Bethany's obsessive, abstinent relationship with Xavier, which begs for Twilight comparisons. The second half finally brings tension when manipulative transfer student Jake Thorn begins recruiting classmates to the dark side. Although the angels thwart Jake in a trite battle of forces, an open ending leaves room for his return. Readers who want to avoid flat, stereotyped characters should end here. (Paranormal romance. YA)
From the Publisher
“[Adornetto’s] dialogue feels fresh and real, pulled from the mouths of her peers without any cultural markers necessary to prove relevance. . . . If it were not for young adult readers like her, the Y.A. boom never would have happened and publishing would be much gloomier.”—New York Times Book Review

 

“These angels are the optimistic, hope-filled cousins of the tormented fallen angels in other paranormal romances. . . . Xavier is gorgeous, honorable and so protective of Bethany that you’ll be crushing on him after the first chapter.”—Justine magazine

 

“The 17-year-old author’s angel mythology is solid . . . there never seem to be enough lengthy tomes to satisfy the legions of paranormal-romance fans, and this first title of a planned trilogy fits the bill.”—Booklist

 

“This is the first book of a trilogy. The next installment is Hades, due in the Fall of 2011. Look for it. Doubtless it will be another winner.”—New York Journal of Books

 

Halo was absolutely brilliant! I am in complete love with Halo! The characters are so complex and the plot is a rollercoaster you will not want to get off of. The writing is so intricate yet it is read with an ease that one can truly appreciate. Adornetto has raw talent and I can’t wait for the next novel in the series to come out!”—Moonlight Book Reviews

 

Halo is addictive, passionate and coarse with vibrancy. Alexandra Adornetto has drawn a beautiful start to what I can only imagine will be an epic trilogy.”—Book Crazy

 

“I was swept away when I was reading Halo. The setting is beautiful and the characters quickly captured my heart.”—YA Book Addict

 

“It’s one of those stories you want to live in . . . feel what they feel . . . all of that. It’s just a beautifully written story.”—The Ninja Librarian

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312656263
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publication date: 8/31/2010
  • Series: Halo Trilogy Series , #1
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 104,870
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.52 (w) x 11.06 (h) x 1.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexandra Adornetto

Alexandra Adornetto was only fourteen when she published her first book, The Shadow Thief, in Australia. Halo was her U.S. debut and debuted in Fall 2010 on The New York Times bestseller list a week after it was published. It has been published in over twenty countries. The daughter of two English teachers, she admits to being a compulsive book buyer who has run out of shelf space, and now stacks her reading “in wobbly piles on my bedroom floor.” Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Ally is now a college student in the U.S.

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Read an Excerpt

1
Descent

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.
He was on his bicycle with the newspapers rolled like batons in plastic wrap. It was misty and the boy was wearing a hooded jacket. He seemed to be playing a mental game with himself to estimate where exactly he could get each paper to land. The newspapers hit the driveways and verandas with a thud, and the boy smiled smugly whenever he estimated right. A Jack Russell terrier barking from behind a gate caused him to glance up and alerted him to our arrival.
He looked up just in time to see a column of white light receding into the clouds, leaving three wraithlike strangers in the middle of the road. Despite our human form, something about us startled him—perhaps it was our skin, which was as luminous as the moon or our loose white traveling garments, which were in tatters from the turbulent descent. Perhaps it was the way we looked at our limbs, as though we had no idea what to do with them, or the water vapor still clinging to our hair. What ever the reason, the boy lost his balance, swerved his bike, and crashed into the gutter. He scrambled to his feet and stood transfixed for several seconds, caught between alarm and curiosity. In unison we reached out our hands to him in what we hoped was a gesture of reassurance. But we forgot to smile. By the time we remembered how, it was too late. As we contorted our mouths in an attempt to get it right, the boy turned on his heel and fled. Having a physical body was still foreign to us—there were so many different parts that needed to run concurrently, like a complex machine. The muscles in my face and body were stiff, my legs were trembling like a child’s taking his first steps, and my eyes hadn’t yet adjusted to the muted earth light. Having come from a place of dazzling light, shadows were foreign to us.
Gabriel approached the bicycle with its front wheel still spinning and righted it. He propped it against the closest fence knowing that the boy would return later to collect it.
I imagined the boy bursting through the front door of his home and relating the story to his stunned parents. His mother would push the hair back from his forehead to check his temperature. His father, bleary-eyed, would comment on the mind’s ability to play tricks on you when it has time to wander.
We found Byron Street and walked along its uneven sidewalk, scanning for Number 15. Already, our senses were being assaulted from all directions. The colors of the world were so vivid and so varied. We had come from a pure white world to a street that looked like an artist’s palette. Apart from color everything had its own different texture and shape. The wind brushed against my fingertips, and it felt so alive I wondered if I could reach out and catch it. I opened my mouth and tasted the crisp, sharp air. I could smell gasoline and burning toast mingled with pine and the sharp scent of the ocean. The worst part was the noise. The wind seemed to howl, and the sound of the sea beating against the rocks roared through my head like a stampede. I could hear everything that was happening in the street, the sound of a car ignition, a slamming screen door, a child crying, an old porch swing creaking in the wind.
“You’ll learn how to block it out,” said Gabriel. The sound of his voice startled me. Back home, we communicated without language. Gabriel’s human voice, I discovered, was low and hypnotic.
“How long will it take?” I winced as the shrill cry of a seagull sounded overhead. I heard my own voice, which was as melodic as a flute.
“Not long,” Gabriel answered. “It’s easier if you don’t fight it.”
Byron Street rose and peaked in the middle and there, at its highest point, stood our new home. Ivy was immediately charmed.
“Oh, look.” She clapped her hands in delight. “It even has a name.” The house had been named after the street and BYRON was displayed in an elegant script on a copper plaque. We would later discover that the adjoining streets were named after other English Romantic poets: Keats Grove, Coleridge Street, Blake Avenue. Byron was to be both our home and our sanctuary while we were earthbound. It was a double-fronted, ivy-clad sandstone house set well back from the street behind a wrought-iron fence and double gates. It had a gracious Georgian façade and a gravel path leading to its flaking front door. The front yard was dominated by a stately elm, wrapped in a tangled mess of ivy. Along the side fence grew a profusion of hydrangeas, their pastel heads quivering in the morning frost. I liked the house—it looked like it had been built to weather any adversity.
“Bethany, hand me the key,” said Gabriel. Looking after the key to the house was the only job I had been entrusted with. I felt around the deep pockets of my dress.
“It’s here somewhere,” I assured him.
“Please tell me you haven’t lost it already.”
“We did fall out of the sky, you know,” I said indignantly. “It’s easy for things to go missing.”
Ivy laughed suddenly. “You’re wearing it around your neck.”
I breathed a sigh of relief as I slipped off the chain and handed it to Gabriel. As we stepped into the hallway we saw that no expense had been spared in preparing the house for our arrival. The Divine Agents who’d preceded us had been meticulous in their attention to detail.
Everything about the house suggested light. The ceilings were lofty, the rooms airy. Off the central hallway were a music room to the left and a living room to the right. Farther along, a study opened onto a paved courtyard. The rear of the house was an extension that had been modernized and was made up of an expansive marble-and-stainless-steel kitchen that spilled into a large den with Persian rugs and plump sofas. Folding doors opened onto an extensive redwood deck. Upstairs were all the bedrooms and the main bathroom with its marble vanities and sunken bath. As we walked through the house, its timber floors creaked as if in welcome. A light shower began, and the rain falling on the slate roof sounded like fingers playing a melody on a piano.
THOSE first weeks were spent hibernating and getting our bearings. We took stock, waited patiently as we adjusted to having a physical form, and immersed ourselves in the rituals of daily life. There was so much to learn and it certainly wasn’t easy. At first we would take a step and be surprised to find solid ground beneath us. We knew that everything on earth was made up of matter knitted together in a complex molecular code to form different substances: air, rock, wood, animals. But it was very different experiencing it. Physical barriers surrounded us. We had to navigate our way around these barriers and try to avoid the accompanying feeling of claustrophobia. Every time I picked up an object, I stopped to marvel at its function. Human life was so complicated; there were devices to boil water, wall sockets that channeled electrical currents, and all manner of utensils in the kitchen and bathroom designed to save time and increase comfort. Everything had a different texture, a different smell—it was like a circus for the senses. I could tell that Ivy and Gabriel wanted to block it all out and return to blissful silence, but I relished every moment even if it was overwhelming.
Some evenings we were visited by a faceless, white-robed mentor, who simply appeared sitting in an armchair in the living room. His identity was never disclosed, though we knew he acted as a messenger between the angels on earth and the powers above. A briefing usually followed during which we were able to discuss the challenges of incarnation and have our questions answered.
“The landlord has asked for documents regarding our previous residence,” Ivy said, during our first meeting.
“We apologize for the oversight. Consider it taken care of,” replied the mentor. His whole face was shrouded from view, but when he spoke small clouds of white fog appeared from beneath his hood.
“How much time is expected to pass before we understand our bodies entirely?” Gabriel wanted to know.
“That depends,” said the mentor. “It should not take longer than a few weeks, unless you resist the change.”
“How are the other emissaries coping?” Ivy asked with concern.
“Some are adjusting to human life, like yourselves, and others have been thrown straight into battle,” replied the mentor. “There are some corners of the earth riddled with Agents of Darkness.”
“Why does toothpaste give me a headache?” I asked. My brother and sister flashed me stern looks, but the mentor was unfazed.
“It contains a number of strong chemical ingredients designed to kill bacteria,” he said. “Give yourself a week, the headaches should pass.”
After the consultations were over Gabriel and Ivy always lingered for a private discussion and I was left hovering outside the door, trying to catch snippets of the converation I couldn’t be part of.
The first big challenge was taking care of our bodies. They were fragile. They needed nourishment as well as protection from the elements—mine more so than my siblings because I was young; it was my first visit and I hadn’t had time to develop any resistance. Gabriel had been a warrior since the dawn of time, and Ivy was blessed with healing powers. I, on the other hand, was much more vulnerable. The first few times I ventured out on a walk, I returned shivering before realizing I was inadequately clothed. Gabriel and Ivy didn’t feel the cold. But their bodies still needed maintenance. We wondered why we felt faint by midday, then realized our bodies needed regular meals. The preparation of food was a tedious task, and in the end, our brother Gabriel graciously offered to take charge of it. There was an extensive collection of cookbooks in the well-stocked library, and he took to poring over these in the evenings.
We kept human contact to a minimum. We shopped after hours in the adjoining larger town of Kingston and didn’t answer the door or the phone if it happened to ring. We took long walks at times when humans were occupied behind closed doors. Occasionally we went into the town and sat together at sidewalk cafés to observe passersby, trying to look absorbed in one another’s company to ward off attention. The only person we introduced ourselves to was Father Mel, who was the priest at Saint Mark’s, a small bluestone chapel down by the water.
“Good heavens,” he said when he saw us. “So you’ve finally come.”
We liked Father Mel because he didn’t ask any questions or make any demands of us; he simply joined us in prayer. We hoped that in time our subtle influence in the town might result in people reconnecting with their spirituality. We didn’t expect them to be observant and go to church every Sunday, but we wanted to restore their faith and teach them to believe in miracles. Even if they stopped by the church on their way to do the grocery shopping and lit a candle, we would be happy.
Venus Cove was a sleepy beachside town, the sort of place where nothing ever changed. We enjoyed the quiet and took to walking along the shore, usually at dinnertime when the beach was mostly deserted. One night we walked as far as the pier to look at the boats moored there. They were so brightly painted they looked like they belonged in a postcard. We reached the end of the pier before noticing the lone boy sitting there. He couldn’t have been more than eighteen, but it was possible to see in him the man he would someday become. He was wearing cargo shorts that came to his knees and a loose white T-shirt with the sleeves cut off. His muscular legs hung over the edge of the pier. He was fishing and had a burlap bag full of bait and assorted reels beside him. We stopped dead when we saw him and would have turned away immediately, but he had already seen us.
“Hi,” he said with an open smile. “Nice night for a walk.” My brother and sister only nodded in response and didn’t move. I decided it was too impolite not to respond and stepped forward.
“Yes, it is,” I said. I suppose this was the first sign of my weakness—my human curiosity drew me forward. We were supposed to interact with humans but never befriend them or welcome them into our lives. Already, I was disregarding the rules of our mission. I knew I should fall silent, walk away, but instead I gestured toward the boy’s fishing reels. “Have you had any luck?”
“I come out here to relax,” he said, tipping up the bucket so I could see it was empty. “If I happen to catch anything, I throw it back in.”
I took another step forward for a closer look. The boy’s light brown hair was the color 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 color. But it was his smile that was utterly mesmerizing. So that was how it was done, I thought: effortlessly, instinctively, and so utterly human. As I watched, I felt drawn to him, almost by some magnetic force. Ignoring Ivy’s warning glance, I took another step forward.
“Want to try?” he offered, sensing my curiosity and holding out the fishing rod.
While I struggled to think of an appropriate response, Gabriel answered for me.
“Come away now, Bethany. We have to get home.”
I noticed how formal Gabriel’s speech pattern was compared with the boy’s. Gabriel’s words sounded rehearsed, as though he were performing a scene from a play. He probably felt like he was. He sounded like a character in one of the old Hollywood movies I’d watched as part of our research.
“Maybe next time,” the boy said, picking up on Gabriel’s tension. I noticed how his eyes crinkled slightly at the corners when he smiled. Something in his expression made me think he was poking fun at us. I moved away reluctantly.
“That was so rude,” I said to my brother as soon as we were out of earshot. I surprised myself with those words. Since when did angels worry about coming across as slightly stand-offish? Since when had I mistaken Gabriel’s distant manner for rudeness? He had been created that way, he wasn’t at one with humankind—he didn’t understand their ways. And yet, I was berating him for lacking human traits.
“We have to be careful, Bethany,” he explained as if speaking to an errant child.
“Gabriel is right,” Ivy added, ever our brother’s ally. “We’re not ready for human contact yet.”
“I think I am,” I said.
I turned back for a final look at the boy. He was still watching us and still smiling.

Excerpted from Halo by Alexandra Adornetto.
Copyright © 2010 by Alexandra Adornetto.
Published in 2010 by Feiwel And Friends.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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First Chapter

Halo


By Alexandra Adornetto

Feiwel & Friends

Copyright © 2010 Alexandra Adornetto
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312656263

1
Descent
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.
He was on his bicycle with the newspapers rolled like batons in plastic wrap. It was misty and the boy was wearing a hooded jacket. He seemed to be playing a mental game with himself to estimate where exactly he could get each paper to land. The newspapers hit the driveways and verandas with a thud, and the boy smiled smugly whenever he estimated right. A Jack Russell terrier barking from behind a gate caused him to glance up and alerted him to our arrival.
He looked up just in time to see a column of white light receding into the clouds, leaving three wraithlike strangers in the middle of the road. Despite our human form, something about us startled him—perhaps it was our skin, which was as luminous as the moon or our loose white traveling garments, which were in tatters from the turbulent descent. Perhaps it was the way we looked at our limbs, as though we had no idea what to do with them, or the water vapor still clinging to our hair. What ever the reason, the boy lost his balance, swerved his bike, and crashed into the gutter. He scrambled to his feet and stood transfixed for several seconds, caught between alarm and curiosity. In unison we reached out our hands to him in what we hoped was a gesture of reassurance. But we forgot to smile. By the time we remembered how, it was too late. As we contorted our mouths in an attempt to get it right, the boy turned on his heel and fled. Having a physical body was still foreign to us—there were so many different parts that needed to run concurrently, like a complex machine. The muscles in my face and body were stiff, my legs were trembling like a child’s taking his first steps, and my eyes hadn’t yet adjusted to the muted earth light. Having come from a place of dazzling light, shadows were foreign to us.
Gabriel approached the bicycle with its front wheel still spinning and righted it. He propped it against the closest fence knowing that the boy would return later to collect it.
I imagined the boy bursting through the front door of his home and relating the story to his stunned parents. His mother would push the hair back from his forehead to check his temperature. His father, bleary-eyed, would comment on the mind’s ability to play tricks on you when it has time to wander.
We found Byron Street and walked along its uneven sidewalk, scanning for Number 15. Already, our senses were being assaulted from all directions. The colors of the world were so vivid and so varied. We had come from a pure white world to a street that looked like an artist’s palette. Apart from color everything had its own different texture and shape. The wind brushed against my fingertips, and it felt so alive I wondered if I could reach out and catch it. I opened my mouth and tasted the crisp, sharp air. I could smell gasoline and burning toast mingled with pine and the sharp scent of the ocean. The worst part was the noise. The wind seemed to howl, and the sound of the sea beating against the rocks roared through my head like a stampede. I could hear everything that was happening in the street, the sound of a car ignition, a slamming screen door, a child crying, an old porch swing creaking in the wind.
“You’ll learn how to block it out,” said Gabriel. The sound of his voice startled me. Back home, we communicated without language. Gabriel’s human voice, I discovered, was low and hypnotic.
“How long will it take?” I winced as the shrill cry of a seagull sounded overhead. I heard my own voice, which was as melodic as a flute.
“Not long,” Gabriel answered. “It’s easier if you don’t fight it.”
Byron Street rose and peaked in the middle and there, at its highest point, stood our new home. Ivy was immediately charmed.
“Oh, look.” She clapped her hands in delight. “It even has a name.” The house had been named after the street and BYRON was displayed in an elegant script on a copper plaque. We would later discover that the adjoining streets were named after other English Romantic poets: Keats Grove, Coleridge Street, Blake Avenue. Byron was to be both our home and our sanctuary while we were earthbound. It was a double-fronted, ivy-clad sandstone house set well back from the street behind a wrought-iron fence and double gates. It had a gracious Georgian façade and a gravel path leading to its flaking front door. The front yard was dominated by a stately elm, wrapped in a tangled mess of ivy. Along the side fence grew a profusion of hydrangeas, their pastel heads quivering in the morning frost. I liked the house—it looked like it had been built to weather any adversity.
“Bethany, hand me the key,” said Gabriel. Looking after the key to the house was the only job I had been entrusted with. I felt around the deep pockets of my dress.
“It’s here somewhere,” I assured him.
“Please tell me you haven’t lost it already.”
“We did fall out of the sky, you know,” I said indignantly. “It’s easy for things to go missing.”
Ivy laughed suddenly. “You’re wearing it around your neck.”
I breathed a sigh of relief as I slipped off the chain and handed it to Gabriel. As we stepped into the hallway we saw that no expense had been spared in preparing the house for our arrival. The Divine Agents who’d preceded us had been meticulous in their attention to detail.
Everything about the house suggested light. The ceilings were lofty, the rooms airy. Off the central hallway were a music room to the left and a living room to the right. Farther along, a study opened onto a paved courtyard. The rear of the house was an extension that had been modernized and was made up of an expansive marble-and-stainless-steel kitchen that spilled into a large den with Persian rugs and plump sofas. Folding doors opened onto an extensive redwood deck. Upstairs were all the bedrooms and the main bathroom with its marble vanities and sunken bath. As we walked through the house, its timber floors creaked as if in welcome. A light shower began, and the rain falling on the slate roof sounded like fingers playing a melody on a piano.
THOSE first weeks were spent hibernating and getting our bearings. We took stock, waited patiently as we adjusted to having a physical form, and immersed ourselves in the rituals of daily life. There was so much to learn and it certainly wasn’t easy. At first we would take a step and be surprised to find solid ground beneath us. We knew that everything on earth was made up of matter knitted together in a complex molecular code to form different substances: air, rock, wood, animals. But it was very different experiencing it. Physical barriers surrounded us. We had to navigate our way around these barriers and try to avoid the accompanying feeling of claustrophobia. Every time I picked up an object, I stopped to marvel at its function. Human life was so complicated; there were devices to boil water, wall sockets that channeled electrical currents, and all manner of utensils in the kitchen and bathroom designed to save time and increase comfort. Everything had a different texture, a different smell—it was like a circus for the senses. I could tell that Ivy and Gabriel wanted to block it all out and return to blissful silence, but I relished every moment even if it was overwhelming.
Some evenings we were visited by a faceless, white-robed mentor, who simply appeared sitting in an armchair in the living room. His identity was never disclosed, though we knew he acted as a messenger between the angels on earth and the powers above. A briefing usually followed during which we were able to discuss the challenges of incarnation and have our questions answered.
“The landlord has asked for documents regarding our previous residence,” Ivy said, during our first meeting.
“We apologize for the oversight. Consider it taken care of,” replied the mentor. His whole face was shrouded from view, but when he spoke small clouds of white fog appeared from beneath his hood.
“How much time is expected to pass before we understand our bodies entirely?” Gabriel wanted to know.
“That depends,” said the mentor. “It should not take longer than a few weeks, unless you resist the change.”
“How are the other emissaries coping?” Ivy asked with concern.
“Some are adjusting to human life, like yourselves, and others have been thrown straight into battle,” replied the mentor. “There are some corners of the earth riddled with Agents of Darkness.”
“Why does toothpaste give me a headache?” I asked. My brother and sister flashed me stern looks, but the mentor was unfazed.
“It contains a number of strong chemical ingredients designed to kill bacteria,” he said. “Give yourself a week, the headaches should pass.”
After the consultations were over Gabriel and Ivy always lingered for a private discussion and I was left hovering outside the door, trying to catch snippets of the converation I couldn’t be part of.
The first big challenge was taking care of our bodies. They were fragile. They needed nourishment as well as protection from the elements—mine more so than my siblings because I was young; it was my first visit and I hadn’t had time to develop any resistance. Gabriel had been a warrior since the dawn of time, and Ivy was blessed with healing powers. I, on the other hand, was much more vulnerable. The first few times I ventured out on a walk, I returned shivering before realizing I was inadequately clothed. Gabriel and Ivy didn’t feel the cold. But their bodies still needed maintenance. We wondered why we felt faint by midday, then realized our bodies needed regular meals. The preparation of food was a tedious task, and in the end, our brother Gabriel graciously offered to take charge of it. There was an extensive collection of cookbooks in the well-stocked library, and he took to poring over these in the evenings.
We kept human contact to a minimum. We shopped after hours in the adjoining larger town of Kingston and didn’t answer the door or the phone if it happened to ring. We took long walks at times when humans were occupied behind closed doors. Occasionally we went into the town and sat together at sidewalk cafés to observe passersby, trying to look absorbed in one another’s company to ward off attention. The only person we introduced ourselves to was Father Mel, who was the priest at Saint Mark’s, a small bluestone chapel down by the water.
“Good heavens,” he said when he saw us. “So you’ve finally come.”
We liked Father Mel because he didn’t ask any questions or make any demands of us; he simply joined us in prayer. We hoped that in time our subtle influence in the town might result in people reconnecting with their spirituality. We didn’t expect them to be observant and go to church every Sunday, but we wanted to restore their faith and teach them to believe in miracles. Even if they stopped by the church on their way to do the grocery shopping and lit a candle, we would be happy.
Venus Cove was a sleepy beachside town, the sort of place where nothing ever changed. We enjoyed the quiet and took to walking along the shore, usually at dinnertime when the beach was mostly deserted. One night we walked as far as the pier to look at the boats moored there. They were so brightly painted they looked like they belonged in a postcard. We reached the end of the pier before noticing the lone boy sitting there. He couldn’t have been more than eighteen, but it was possible to see in him the man he would someday become. He was wearing cargo shorts that came to his knees and a loose white T-shirt with the sleeves cut off. His muscular legs hung over the edge of the pier. He was fishing and had a burlap bag full of bait and assorted reels beside him. We stopped dead when we saw him and would have turned away immediately, but he had already seen us.
“Hi,” he said with an open smile. “Nice night for a walk.” My brother and sister only nodded in response and didn’t move. I decided it was too impolite not to respond and stepped forward.
“Yes, it is,” I said. I suppose this was the first sign of my weakness—my human curiosity drew me forward. We were supposed to interact with humans but never befriend them or welcome them into our lives. Already, I was disregarding the rules of our mission. I knew I should fall silent, walk away, but instead I gestured toward the boy’s fishing reels. “Have you had any luck?”
“I come out here to relax,” he said, tipping up the bucket so I could see it was empty. “If I happen to catch anything, I throw it back in.”
I took another step forward for a closer look. The boy’s light brown hair was the color 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 color. But it was his smile that was utterly mesmerizing. So that was how it was done, I thought: effortlessly, instinctively, and so utterly human. As I watched, I felt drawn to him, almost by some magnetic force. Ignoring Ivy’s warning glance, I took another step forward.
“Want to try?” he offered, sensing my curiosity and holding out the fishing rod.
While I struggled to think of an appropriate response, Gabriel answered for me.
“Come away now, Bethany. We have to get home.”
I noticed how formal Gabriel’s speech pattern was compared with the boy’s. Gabriel’s words sounded rehearsed, as though he were performing a scene from a play. He probably felt like he was. He sounded like a character in one of the old Hollywood movies I’d watched as part of our research.
“Maybe next time,” the boy said, picking up on Gabriel’s tension. I noticed how his eyes crinkled slightly at the corners when he smiled. Something in his expression made me think he was poking fun at us. I moved away reluctantly.
“That was so rude,” I said to my brother as soon as we were out of earshot. I surprised myself with those words. Since when did angels worry about coming across as slightly stand-offish? Since when had I mistaken Gabriel’s distant manner for rudeness? He had been created that way, he wasn’t at one with humankind—he didn’t understand their ways. And yet, I was berating him for lacking human traits.
“We have to be careful, Bethany,” he explained as if speaking to an errant child.
“Gabriel is right,” Ivy added, ever our brother’s ally. “We’re not ready for human contact yet.”
“I think I am,” I said.
I turned back for a final look at the boy. He was still watching us and still smiling.
Excerpted from Halo by Alexandra Adornetto.
Copyright © 2010 by Alexandra Adornetto.
Published in 2010 by Feiwel And Friends.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.


Continues...

Excerpted from Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Copyright © 2010 by Alexandra Adornetto. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1133 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Tired of dark, angsty supernatural novels in YA? Something ligheter has finally arrived!

    In a teen market overcrowded with dark, brooding supernatural novels,
    "Halo" stands out as something different. If the bright, liquid-gold light beckoning from the cover doesn't pull your eyes away from the black, angsty covers surrounding it, its premise will surely grab the attention of the reader looking for something "different." The novel initially caught my attention due to the fact that even though it was dealing with the supernatural theme of angels currently being made popular by smash hits such as Becca Fitzpatrick's "Hush, Hush" and Lauren Kate's "Fallen," the angels in "Halo" are still messengers of God.

    The book revolves around Bethany, a young angel visiting Earth for the first time, her brother Gabriel, an Arch Angel, and sister Ivy, a seraphim. The three messengers have descended in human form in order to combat the forces of evil infiltrating mankind. It takes a lot of time for them to adjust to life as "humans," especially Bethany, who is experiencing everything anew. She is more "human" than the other angels and is able to share their emotions, which leads her into trouble when she falls for a mortal boy at her new school.

    "Halo" is full of rich, vibrant detail that paints an image in the reader's mind. It's easy to envision the kind of world the angels came from and to see our own society through their eyes. The way Bethany viewed Earth felt very natural, like something an angel would think. Alexandra Adornetto masterfully wove words together to create such a cohesive point of view that never felt forced the way some other novels do.

    Readers looking for a romantic focus with a lighter form of the supernatural thrown into the mix will find themselves intrigued by the latest novel to enter the teen market. It's different from anything out there and might very well pave the way for other such stories. It's also nice to see books coming out this fall where it is the female main character who is a supernatural being and that the male she winds up falling for is mortal and not necessarily a brooding bad boy, first with Sophie Jordan's "Firelight" and now with "Halo."

    55 out of 59 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Only a teen will rate this one highly

    Let's face it, teen girls are blind to flaws in this type of book because they are so enveloped in the idea of being in love. Well sorry, but a whole lot of tingly feelings won't make this novel good. It's basically Twilight -- with Angels! So many things are wrong with it, and you will probably be more sensitive to the flaws if you were brought up Catholic (or still are!) Gabriel is an Archangel, yet he's sent down to some podunk town on some not well specified "mission" (does this mission EVER get explained?). Bethany is a "new" angel who doesn't believe in hell (say what?). Xavier doesn't seem at all put off by the presence of angels. Because Xavier and Bethany NEED to be together, God and everyone else in Heaven gives their relationship an arbitrary stamp of approval. Bethany is absolutely PATHETIC as a female lead and an angel. She constantly tells us how PERFECT and WONDERFUL Xavier is (Edward Cullen, anyone?) and how she'd give up Heaven for him. This book replaces Heaven with earth and God with Xavier. It's insulting to anyone who actually believes in God, though I'm sure that impressionable teen girls will be more than willing to forgive it any possible flaw because it has a HOT GUY in it, pretty much like they do in real life.

    37 out of 81 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2010

    A fast paced, good story :)

    Alexandra Adornetto has a bright future ahead of her. For being only eighteen she writes with a good amount of maturity. I really enjoyed the first half of the book but thought that the later half was a bit predictable, even said I couldn't put it down. I recommend this book. :)

    22 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Pretty Freaking Amazing

    I ended up buying this as a spur of the moment kind of thing. The synopsis of it was just so generic that it turned me off of the book but the back cover had a passage of the book that was captivating so I got it and I do not regret it! This book is touching and there is just something about it that shines a light on humanity that people can relate to. I hope there is another one coming out soon.

    12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2011

    "Haunting beauty masks your ill intent"--"Angel of Light" by Dark Lay Still, which was running through my head while I read this book.

    Bear with me, this will be long. Note: this review is being written by someone who is a Christian. Despite that I share the beliefs of the author, I was offended. The message I got from this book was: be a good Christian, go to church every Sunday, and if you're different in any way, you can't express it; you're evil if you do so. You much suppress the interests God gave you for His own reasons, or you're going to Hell. Here are the finer points that warrant the one star rating. 1. Beth should have fallen. I cannot believe that God would be okay with a human falling in love with an angel, and the angel returning his feelings. Beth put Xav before God and her mission. She should have fallen. Lucifer fell because he put himself before God. Beth is doing the same thing. 2. I did not find Xavier romantic at all. Rather, I found him to be so flawless that it was sickening. Maybe it's because I'm not the target age group, but I find a character with flaws to be more compelling. In fact, it none one had flaws of any type. 3. Beth had no personality at all. She was incredibly weak, especially for an angel. The number of times she had to be rescued only showed this. "A shadowy figure with blurred features was approaching. At first my heart leapt with the possibility that it might be Xavier come to rescue me...." You're having a nightmare about falling from grace, yet this boy is the first thing on your mind, even at such a horrible moment? I did not find Beth to be a good Christian example. She treats people in other cultures horribly (see my comment about Goths.) She only does good things when she happens to be there, she does not seek opportunities to do good. She ignores people who might need her help, putting the "ache in her chest" before everything else. 4. The angels found modern technology to be "a corrupting influence, promoting anti-social behavior and detracting from family values." I'm legally blind, and if we didn't have modern technology, I might not be going to college this fall. Technology can be used to help people. 5. Why were the angels even in this town? Oh yeah, they were waiting for Jake Thorn... 6. He wears all black, rides a motorcycle, and has a tattoo of a snake. He's eeeevil. He's also the worst villain I've ever read. All of his followers are Goths. I met some Goths at a festival, I found them to be very nice people and I enjoyed their company. I was offended by how people in this subculture were treated in this book. They're basically treated like they're sided with the devil. 7. Mythology mistakes. I saw basic things that were wrong. 1. The angel Gabriel was a MESSENGER not a warrior. 2. The fall of Soddom and Gomorrah happened THOUSANDS of years ago, not hundreds. 3. Satan is NOT the king of Hell. Hell is a place of punishment, not a reward. 4. Demons were angels who sided with Lucifer and fell with him. 5. Lucifer was a SERAPH not an archangel. I could go on, but I don't want to. I was deeply offended by the message I picked up, and will not be reading any more of this author. Yes, this book is clean (sex before marriage is portrayed in a very negative light, an if-you-do-this-you'll-go-to-Hell sort of light) and there's very little violence. Teens will love it "because it has a HOT GUY in it!!!" but because of what's beneath the surface, I would skip this one.

    10 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Another romance but now with angels

    For whatever reason this is like the 4th book i picked up about some sort of angels. Of course the rest were fallen angels but still. angels. It started out a little slow and at one point i wanted to stop reading it because nothing was happening but i continued on anyway. when Beth did finally start dating Xavier, i thought they were way to perfect. i didn't really like how Bethany was so naive and when the bad guy came i just didn't really care. He was more interesting the Beth-Xavier. i like a little more spark into stories a little more corruption? i guess you can say. But if you do like the romances go ahead and read this one if you're still a twihard at heart.

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Fast paced? No. Exciting? No. Interesting? No!

    I had a terrible amount of trouble with this book. I bought due to multiple plane and car rides, so I figured even if it wasn't too good I would be bored enough to read it (I rarely quit on books anyway). Nope. I found it better to sit and stare at the seat back than suffer through this.

    The entire book is nothing but the angel girl being completely dependent on Xavier and whining about how much she misses him. That's it. DO NOT read. Looking for angels? Read Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. It's entertaining and interesting.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2011

    A waste of time

    Let me start by saying I really thought I would like this book. I normally like Angel books and the cover of the book was really eye catching. I should have known that a book with more negative reviews than good was probably a waste of time but I had to find out for myself. This book was really hard for me to get into. I actually fell asleep when I was reading the first few chapters of the book. I pushed myself to read more and to finish it because I don't think you can fairly judge a book until you have read it completely. I will talk about some of the things that really bothered me about this book without giving away any story details. First and foremost I thought some parts had so much description it was just annoying. I understand that Bethany is an angel new to Earth and is experiencing it with fresh eyes but I just found it so annoying to read about it over and over again. Another big problem for me was the religion aspect. Now I am not super religious or anything but the inconsistencies of this aspect really bugged me. She would talk about her duties to God because she is an angel but turn around and sin. Trust me I know I might sound judgy but I really am not. It just felt like she was a big hypocrite. She also talked about how she couldn't believe that humans turned a blind eye to other peoples suffering BUT in this same paragraph she talked about how she couldn't watch the news because it made her depressed.. I mean come on! I also thought at times it promoted a bad self image. Bethany talked about changing herself to be who her boyfriend wanted. I like it when the main character is confident and doesn't need to change herself, especially for someone else, to feel better about herself. She also relied so much on her boyfriend that it made it seem like she couldn't face anything alone. I also thought that the romance escalated a little unbelievably. I know what it is like to have an instant connection with somebody so it's not like I am a sceptic on that but I just don't see someone completely changing their life for that person after hanging out one time. Even though I am only in my early 20's I feel like I was too old for this book. I just never really got into it and I never really liked the characters. I thought Bethany was weak and Molly was vapid. I started to like Gabriel and Ivy's characters more throughout the book and I liked Xavier except for the fact that he was a little too protective but none of the characters really stood out much. Needless to say this book just wasn't for me. I didn't like the writing and I didn't even like the story. I thought the story was pretty predictable and cliche so it wasn't very exciting to read.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Anonymous

    I couldnt put it down!!!!!! I am a catholic so this book stuck home with me.
    This book is so different compared to other books for teens. The world is obsessed with murder, sex, and dark gloomy topics. This had a better, more religious topic PLUS romance. What more could you ask for?!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2010

    Beautifully Flawless

    I had heard great things about this book prior to me buying. People said it was cute, better than Twilight, and that it was a great romance. Never would I have imagined it to be this amazing. Beth is not your average teenage girl; she's an angel in disguise who was sent to Earth to help push away the dark forces. Armed with her two siblings, Gabriel, a handsome warrier, and Ivy, a magnificent healer, Beth and her siblings move along the shore in a little cookie cutter town where everyone knows everyone. The three angels are directed to not tell anyone about who they really are and to really not make any close bonds with any mortals. But since this is Beth's first time down to Earth, she has to learn the ways of the mortals and blend in, so she goes to high school. Gabriel too goes, but since he is older, he gets a job at Beth's school as the music teacher. Bethany, however, is a student and on her first day quickly stumbles into Xavier, a gorgeous boy who just so happen's to be the school's captian. Xavier carries a past that makes most people feel sorry for him. He and Beth start hanging out, despite Gabriel and Ivy's glared looks, and they really start to like each other. More time goes by and the two fall deeply in love, forcing Beth to be completely honest with Xavier. She tells him what she really is. Then Jake Thorn enters the picture, but he's not as nice as this certian angel thinks. He brings a bad aura with him, and is it really just a conicidence that once Jake shows up, bad things keep happening? This story is full love and detail, and eighteen year old Alexandra Adornetto did a fantastic job writing this novel. Props to you Ally, for being so young and already accomplishing so much.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2011

    Tiring

    I got tired of her sayin how amazing the guy was i mean honestly every single chapter said the same thing over n over again i forced myself to finish just to see if it got better but it didnt

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    LOVE

    Im in love with this book. Thanks to halo i learned the type of book perfect for me. If ur reading this then no that reading halo will leave u shaking at every love sceane. <3

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2011

    Ughhhhh

    Where do I start? Beth, to me, acts like a little four-year-old throughout most of the book. She constantly disobeys God and her brother and sister. She revolves around Xavior. She clings to him like a scared little kid would cling to their mom. Beth is, in my opinion, pitiful. She's supposed to be an angel, kind and pure and always calm and peaceful. But instead, she's a weak little girl. And where's God? Right now I'm reading a book about a distopian society where all the adults disappear and they actully pray more than Beth did. I only recall Beth praying maybe twice. And she actully thinks about having sex. It is really sick. Angels are supposed to be perfect, but obviously God screwed up with this one. I suggest this book to people who like crap like Twilight. If you like this book, you obviously know nothing about good books. I picked up this book with high hopes, but was extremely disappointed. :(

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Pretty weak

    Well the book wasnt perfect. Way too much Xavior! Beth just keeps going on and on about how perfect Xavior is. "Oh I thought humans were supposed have flaws!" The entire middle part of the book is just Xavior, Xavior, Xavior! And honestly, I believe I am more holy than this so-called angel. I mean, God is the whole thing, right? But they barely mention God. They arent very good angels. I try to pray every night, but you only see Beth praying when shes in trouble. But all in all, I really liked the whole theme of this book. I think in the sequel, there should be more God, less Xavior, and Beth, who is really pretty weak, should become more independent of Xavior. She clings to him like a shy little kid to their mother. Adornetto has great talent, but I dont think this is her best work.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    Fantastic!!!

    An unbalievably intreging book. If you don't buy this book it's your loss,and i feel sorry for you.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    And she's only 17???

    This author is a great writer but it's weird because she's 17 and she wrote her first book when she was 14. I'm on my way publishing my first book but what's cool is that I already love this book. I read an excerpt and now I want it. It makes me want to finish my story on my computer. :) I already recommend this.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2010

    Unless you're a love-crazed teen, avoid this book like the plague.

    The book's cover and synopsis caught my eye after browsing for a new book online, so I decided to order it. The first few pages were good, in fact I think Adornetto's description of their "fall" is brilliant, but right when Xavier appeared everything became awfully obvious. Bethany is bearable when she first becomes human, but after her first few meetings with Xavier, everything revolves around the fervent obsession she develops while barely knowing him. She also describes watching Earth from heaven, and despite knowing all of its dangers still jumps gladly at them. High school is a place of utter despair for her, feeling lost and confused until Xavier jumps into the story. The villain is just as predictable: as soon as he comes into the picture, you just know he's the bad guy. However obvious his evilness is Bethany, in her heavenly wisdom, still doesn't seem to notice how malevolent this mysterious new guy that also dresses in black, just as the stereotype demands evil characters should be. Ivy is the average kind big sister/savior that defends Bethany when Gabriel decides do be the responsible angel. Xavier is nice when he's not fretting over Bethany's safety, because even if she's immortal, the typical teen romance needs a knight in shining armor. All in all, a terrible book not worth your money. Don't buy it unless you liked Twilight and the likes.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    review taken from One Book At A Time

    This is a hard review to write. There are elements of this book I liked and some that I definitely didn't. I think it's one of those that adults will cringe at but teenagers will love.

    I liked the idea of angels living among us protecting us from the evil descending on the world. It's got the makings of a showdown written all over it. And it's not overly preaching, which any book about angels has the potential to be. There is talk about higher powers and speaking with God, but it's not shoved down your throat. And for the most part I liked Gabriel and Ivy. They're ancient beings and know what it at stake. The only thing that bothered me about this scenario was they seemed lost when it came to living among humans and how to act like one of us. I would have thought if they wanted to make a difference they would have a better understanding of the people they are working with.

    Bethany, I'm still not sure about. I suspect there is a reason for sending her to earth when she's so young and naive. Something only God (and the author) sees for the moment. But, for an angel, she's really kind of silly. She's way too trusting and there are way to many things she just doesn't understand (which goes back to the point of not understanding the human race to begin with). I did like the idea that she identifies more with humans than with angels. It makes her vulnerable.

    I liked Xavier for the most part. He was mysterious and had a really sad past. But he started to irritate me when he became overly protective towards Bethany. He made sure she ate, carried her books for her, etc. It was just too much. She's an angel, however young and naive she may be. And then it became even worse when the other powers move into town. Which makes sense to a point when it's explained why he specifically wants Bethany. But, it grated on my nerves.

    Ultimately, the book was ok. I will probably read the next in the series. I want to see if Bethany has some sort of destiny that no one knows about yet.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great start, but the end falls a little flat

    Halo by Alexandra Adornetto tells the intriguing tale of the battle between light and darkness, with moments of creativity and great imagery, but the characters and relationships hold the novel back from realizing its potential. The narrative begins with a breathy, ethereal tone that fits perfectly with the divine theme of the novel and the trio of angels each possess a certain allure that draws the reader into their story. Bethany is sweet, cute and spunky compared to the ancient sagacity of her two elder "siblings," though her mental voice does have a cadence that evokes scenes of the past. Ivy is a sweetheart, the classic older sister, and readers will love her instantly. On the other hand, it takes a while to warm up to Gabe, who comes across as rather harsh and cold in the beginning of the novel. Thankfully, over time, he relaxes and allows his sympathy for others to shine through, making him a more compelling presence in the story. Then, of course, there's the hero of the tale - a mortal boy named Xavier, to whom Bethany can't help but be drawn, despite the strict divine laws against such a collision of worlds.

    After a promising start, the narrative lapses into cliches and stereotypes. Xavier is open and warm, but eventually he begins to seem almost too perfect with his scripted lines and golden boy persona. Xavier's over-protectiveness toward Bethany was unbearably frustrating. Their relationship is completely imbalanced: she's an angel, and yet Gabe and Ivy have (human) Xavier babysitting her like an infant. It's hard to relate to or sympathize with such a fragile and insecure heroine. Fortunately, it is around this time that the villain enters the scene and becomes the most captivating character in the novel, blending a smoldering mystique with a distinct sense of foreboding. (That's all I can say without giving away spoilers.) Overall, the dialogue and relationships in the novel were too contrived and melodramatic to be truly engaging, but the battle between Heaven and Hell keeps the narrative moving forward and leaves the reader wondering how this story of free will and the fate of mankind will ultimately end in the upcoming sequels Hades and Heaven. ~Review from thebookishtype[dot]blogspot[dot]com

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2010

    Loved this book!

    I really enjoyed reading this book. Can't wait for the next one to come out.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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