by Olga Gibbs

3 out of 5

Being one of the most formidable archangels with the power to end the world doesn't serve you well if you don't know how to use it.

Thrown into a battle of courts and factions, tangled in a web of intrigues and palatial games, naïve Ariel is surrounded by powerful angels, chasing their own agendas.

There's no one she can trust. Everyone stands to gain something from her death.

To avoid the bloody battle that Baza brought to her door at Uras, Ariel retreats back to Apkallu (Earth) to find her sister, but the Heavenly battles and intrigues she flees follow her, as Baza's immense hold on Apkallu forces Ariel and Rafe to make uncomfortable choices.

Ariel's fight for survival is far from over and it looks like it's going to be a deadly one.

After discovering the truth about the essence within, Ariel now has to become strong enough, and smart enough, to face the enemies around her.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Ariel returns to Earth, to escape Baza and to find her human sister before their enemies do.
She is accompanied by Rafe, who was once the soulmate to the angel her essence came from, which makes for some very awkward and mixed feelings. He has sworn to protect and help her, and seems to be the only one she can trust.
I do really like that the romance is very low-key. The attraction is there, and it's acknowledged, but it doesn't overwhelm the rest of the story. It's so refreshing for a book not to devolve into slushiness!

I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as the first one. Heavenward focuses more on a new fantasy world, with warring angels and their minions; so the background was intriguing, even in the slow moments.
In Hallow, the background is mostly Earth, with some rundown little towns in England. It is achingly familiar, and well-described, but it made the slow moments duller.
Our narrator Ariel is quite... morose. She has good reason to be, she's suddenly found out that she's an angel, with several warring armies trying to seduce or destroy her, but the narrative was constantly down and depressing, and pain followed by pain. Couple with the fact that nothing really happened for the first 50%, made it hard to be invested.

It does pick up in the second half, and I would be interested in seeing what happens in the next installment.


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