Monday, February 6, 2012

Review: "Halflings" by Heather Burch

I want to preface this review by saying I'm not just a fan of Heather Burch the author, I'm also a HUGE fan of Heather Burch the person. I know, I know...they're one and the same, but let's face it. There are instances where we've all fallen in love with an author's work only to realize the author didn't seem to really care that we stood in line for hours just to get an autograph , or we've fallen in love with an author only to realize their work didn't meet our expectations. I can honestly tell you that this is not the case with Heather. I had the distinct priviledge of meeting her at a writer's conference back in August long before "Halflings" was ever released. We were both attendees who had just signed publishing deals, and even though hers was on a grander scale than mine, we shared our thoughts about the exciting roads we had ahead of us. I found her to be an absolute joy to be around. Now that I've read "Halfings," I realize that her work perfectly compliments her kind, encouraging spirit. She's worth standing in line for, you guys!
Now…on to the  review! 

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.

I was so very excited to receive an ARC of "Halflings." I'd heard so much about this book and how it would usher young adult paranormal romance into the Christian book industry...something I'd been waiting on for quite some time. Being a young adult paranormal romance writer of faith myself, I knew the matter would have to be handled delicatley for its audience, but feared the author would play it too safe to pacifcy a sometimes easily offended crowd. I'll be honest. There are many times I've played it safe in my own writing, but I'm happy to say Heather took the bull by the horns and offered us a debut that not only touches on deep spiritual matters, but also provides us with the action and sizzling teenage angst we've all come to expect from young adult paranormal romances.

First, we've got a pretty amazing protagonist.  Nikki Youngblood isn't your typical teenage girl waiting around on some knight in shining armor to come rescue her, and I love Heather for creating that! Forget the frills and lace. This is a girl who rocks her Vintage Tees. She drives a motorcycle, knows karate, and can beat the heck out of some hellhounds when given the chance. Does Nikki have moments of weakness? Of course she does, but don't we all? That just makes her more like us. I can relate to the tough girl who doesn't know what's going on in her life at times, can't you?

The second thing that stood out to me was the plethora of "yummy" male characters. Hand me a spoon! I could just eat them up! You've got your sweet, dependable Mace, your bad guy, Raven, and your adorable, Vine. Zero is even intriguing in a nerdy, dude needs some sunlight kind of way. They're all fighting to protect Nikki, but in doing so, some fall in love with her, creating a love triangle to rival the best I've read.

Third, I found Heather did an amazing job with her imagery. She can honestly paint an elaborate picture with only a few words. This isn't a book just to be read. Heather made sure you'd see it, feel it, hear it, taste it, and truly experience each moment with her characters. What a gift!

Last, but certainly not least, I have to mention the spiritual elements. Every character in this novel is on a journey...a journey between what is good and bad, right and wrong, light and dark. They're all fighting inner battles that almost make the physical battles with the hellhounds seem miniscule in comparison. Don't we all fight these types of battles on a daily basis? I know I sure do. Our lives are constantly dictated by the decisions we make. The problem is that many of our decisions aren't easy. Sometimes the world, our minds, and even our emotions tell us one thing while God tells us another. Thank you, Heather, for creating multi-dimensional characters who struggle with the deeper issues in life. 

So, as you can tell, I'm a fan. I think Heather did an amazing job with her debut novel. She introduced us to the world of the Halflings and set us up nicely for more (hopefully many more) novels to come. So, what are you waiting on! Run out right now and pick up "Halflings" by Heather Burch...or you can just click HERE.    

  P.S. Heather, totally gets bonus points for using Gilead's Balm in "Halfings." Love, love, loved it. Oh, and extra, extra bonus points for the similarities between "Halflings" and "Saving Elizabeth!"

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review! I hadn't heard of this book yet... :D