Halo (Halo Trilogy Book 1)
A traditional spin on God and his angels, good and evil, this YA novel captured and kept my attention throughout. Paranormal (or should I say “supernatural”) in genre, I wondered how an a book about an angel (who is NOT fallen) could possibly be romantic?
Bethany is a pure, innocent and very young angel selected by God and His council to live temporarily on earth with His Archangel Gabriel and one of His most important angels, Ivy as her guardians. Together, in a small town that is experiencing some disquietude, they appear human and integrate with society with the intention to spread hope, love, faith and perhaps even help locate and dispell the source of disruption.
We hoped that in time our subtle influence in the town might result in people reconnecting with their spirtuality.
Ivy and Gabriel are ancient, and powerful. They are familiar with the challenges of “being human”, and handle the change well enough (although Gabriel suffers from a somewhat unemotional and detached demeanor). Bethany, however struggles with her new form, but once she adapts to her body, the elder angels quickly realize how in touch with humanity she actually is.
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.
Basically, she’s acting like a teenager. A good girl, but a teen nonetheless. In fact, they fear that her very human responses to life and her surroundings will affect the outcome of their assignment.
“In time she will come to understand what she seeks is impossible.”
“I hope you’re right,” Gabriel said. “Do you see now why her part in this mission concerned me?”
“She does not defy us deliberately,” Ivy said.
“No but the depth of her emotion is unnatural for one of us,” Gabriel said. “Our love for humankind is supposed to be impersonal – we love humanity, we do not form individual attachments. Bethany seems to love deeply, unconditionally – like a human.”
“So I’ve noticed,” said my sister. “Which means her love is much more powerful than ours, but also more dangerous.”
“Exactly,” said Gabriel. “Such emotion often cannot be contained – if we allow it to develop, it may soon be beyond our control.”
As Bethany learns to fit in at school, she is quickly accepted by the popular crowd, and even manages to get the attention of the ever-elusive highschool hunk, Xavier (I’ll admit, the highschool part is a bit “Twilight-y” in feel, but it was fine). I enjoy the transition from new girl to “it” girl, from “oh you’ll never get him” to “how did you get him?”.
Xavier recognizes her genuine and pure nature. Being raised in a large and religious Christian family, he’s not pretentious, and has never been drawn to the popular girls. Due to Bethany’s insistence on keeping her distance from him (her assignment is to integrate but not form personal relationships), Xavier is curious about her and delicately pursues her. They eventually forge a meaningful friendship (despite keeping her secret about her true self from him). The closer they get to each other, the more intense her love for him becomes.
“I want us to be together,” I said. “I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything more.”
Xavier stroked my palm and entwined our fingers. His face was so close the tips of our noses were touching. He leaned in to whisper in my ear. “If you want me…you’ve got me.”
The extent of their bond has much surpassed the acceptable human/angel connection, but once that first kiss is shared, there is no turning back for Beth. To the point that she questions and challenges her very existence. Oh oh!
So yes, there were a few “Twighlight-y” moments, and a few what was she thinking??!! moments that had me slightly annoyed, but overall I enjoyed it. It’s chaste, sweet, innocent and somewhat introspective. The turmoil of keeping her secret from Xavier, and keeping Xavier a secret from Gabriel and Ivy, the angst of their tentative relationship, and the intensity of their connection had me reading straight through. And of course, there is the prerequisite evil that they were actually there to fight. A little action, a little angst, a lot of trouble (in many different forms) and a lot of love. This book was sent to me by the publisher, and I have a feeling this will be a series, as it was somewhat open-ended, and I’m anxious to read more!