Monday, March 19, 2012

Review - Halflings by Heather Burch

Halflings (Halflings, #1)Halflings
by Heather Burch
Paperback, 228 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Zondervan Publishing

Premise: Ganked from Goodreads:
After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with. 

A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world. 

My Review:

This is a fun book.

We get to know Nikki, Nicole Youngblood, but we also get to know Mace & Raven, two of the halfling angels, or "lost boys". They are so different from each other, and we get peaks inside their thoughts and hopes and motivations, right along with Nikki's, so the questions raised are richly complicated. Delightful.

There's plenty of interesting supporting characters, too. The angel in charge, Will, is close to what I'd imagine an angel in the real world, huge and intimidating and slightly mysterious with a big heart. There are some smokin' hot halfling girls, which add a lot of fun tension. I think Zero is my favorite supporting character, he's tall & wiry & likes to eat TV dinners stuffed in his freezer. He's such a tech-type that if someone didn't restock his supply, he wouldn't eat, being so absorbed in his computer. He's so testy, I love him. Krissy, Nikki's best friend, has potential, but fades out of the story early on. I wouldn't be surprised if she returns with more. Damon... now here's a slick snake I loved to hate right from first appearance!!!

The background is interesting. I don't want to give too much away, but this story takes the idea that fallen angels hooking up with females is not good, but rather dangerously bad... and the children of those relationships, the Halflings, are working hard to revert the "bad" on their heavenly assignments, called Journeys, where they help someone in groups of three. Some of the conflict in this story arises from natural rules they can't change. :-)  Who doesn't wanna break a rule?!

What frustrated me most about this story is the emotional highs & lows. I felt tossed around with the drama. Since the highs and lows don't change the story or the characters, I felt yanked back and forth. There's a lot of inflicting emotional pain going around for reasons not resolved within this book. Which.... Grrrrrrrr... (Made me growl in irritation.)

Hmm... so what exactly IS resolved in this book?!  I'm so glad you asked!!!  *ahem* Not so much!!  There are lots of questions raised, which Heather Burch has committed to resolving: Why Nikki?! (Or is she just in the crossfire?!)  Can a halfling hook up with a human?!  I mean, I know what the rules say, but are there hidden loopholes?! (And if so... which one would Nikki fall for?!?!)  Can a Halfling redeem him-or-herself over time... for real?!  How much time?! And what is going on with smooth, rich, soooo helpful Damon?! He's hiding a mystery, I'm sure of it. Plus... what about that HUGE question asked near the end?!  I will remain in complete denial until I get my hands on Guardian in October. Period.

My Rating:  3.5 - Worth the Time to Read. This book might be worth a higher rating, but within these covers, it isn't for me. I need more resolution, for starters, plus purpose behind the drama.

Cover Commentary: This is one of those covers that improves in hard copy. I like the mysterious forest with the girl - she looks like she could take on danger. I've always thought the wings behind her head a little odd. I think they're meant as a sign of protection, always hovering?  The cool part about the cover in my hand is that the trees are glossy, making the mysterious leap out more AND there's some glossy red blood or gashes up from the bottom adding to the premonition of danger.

About the Author:
 Heather Burch

I write full time and love being involved with groups that promote books! Writing about the Halflings has been the funnest and most exciting writing journey of my life! Before novels, I wrote teen curriculum published in both the U.S. and Asia Pacific.
I spent eight years in the "spa world" as a licensed esthetician and won a trip to Europe for my commitment to the spa industry. With that knowledge, I developed the Writer's Ten Step Excercise: Save Your Neck, Shoulders, Back, and Wrists!
As an ordained minister and motivational speaker, I've taught in the U.S. and Mexico at women's and teen conferences. Teen conferences ... sooo fun!!!!

Find & Follow:

Get your copy of Halflings!!!

Barnes & Noble
Christian Book (pre-quel available)
Amazon - Kindle only $3.99, illustrated pre-quel FREE:

Pre-order for October 9, 2012:

Team Novel Teen

I reviewed this book in connection with a Team Novel Teen Tour... catch more reviews on these great blogs!!!!

The Book Fae • Bookworm Reading • Fiction Fire • My Story Shelf • Jill Williamson • Katie McCurdy • Oh, Restless Bird • Rachelle Rea • SLY Games • Terri Harr • Virtuous Girlhood

Thank you to Charleen at DJC Communications for my hardcopy from Zondervan!!!  And thank you for the head's up -

** There's a FREE HOT-OFF-THE-PRESS NEW mobile App - get it here!!! **

"the HALFLINGS Memory Match Challenge is a turbo-speed memory game in which players are asked to remember where symbols are hidden and unveil them in pairs or triplets. Successful competitors will get faster and faster as they make the right matches, learning that their fingers will soon obey their brains with Halfling-like speed and agility. The levels of play become more difficult as the players advance."

See the entire announcement HERE (w/ links) or share on Twitter:

Win my hardcopy of Halflings... to be announced later today!