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Sunday, January 8, 2012

[Review] Halflings (Halflings, #1) by Heather Burch

Title: Halflings
Series: Halflings, #1
Author: Heather Burch
Pages: 288 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Zondervan Publishing
Release Date: January 10, 2012
I received an ARC from NetGalley.

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.


Halflings started out fast! The conflict starts on page one, keeps going for awhile, but then slows way down. We first find Nikki being chased by hell hounds. Then a crazed man in an SUV tries to run her over. Why would someone be trying to kill a seemingly normal teenage girl? Mace is wondering this exact thing, since he and his brothers have been assigned to her. He's some type of guardian (half-)angel, and doesn't get why he's suppose to be keeping an eye on her. The second time he rescues her, their relationship seems to jump forward quite instantly. One moment she's ready to kick his ass, then the next moment she says she trusts him and they're hugging. Way too fast!

But let's talk about the characters for a moment. I liked Nikki for the most part; she's a relatively laid-back artist and a black belt, and rides a motorcycle. She basically does her own thing and has her own beliefs. Her best friend, Krissy, is one of the most annoying characters I've ever encountered. She never shuts up, she's shallow, and having the attention of boys is everything. I really didn't see how she and Nikki were friends. Thankfully she mostly disappears from the book near the middle. Mace...I'm still not sure about. He's a little broody and reckless, but dedicated. Raven, another shallow character, is an angel on the verge of heading to the dark-side. I was at least intrigued by him. Vine likes red licorice. We don't really get too much of him, but he randomly appears with surprising words of wisdom.

I was pretty into the story, wondering what the heck is going on, until Nikki confronts Mace about what he is. Did you know that the Holocaust was about exterminating all of the non-halflings? Yep, my interest was almost completely lost there. Sure, it's an interesting idea to take well known history and twisting it to fit the mythology of the story, but come on! The Holocaust, really?! Burch should have chosen something else to help explain halfling history....or not made all of "The Lost Boys" have blonde hair and blue eyes.

Anyway, back to the plot...Holy religious undertones, Batman! Omega Corporation...Genesis Project... scientific technology to take over the world which can only be stopped by angels...Not very subtle, but maybe it's not suppose to be? I'm not religious, and I have nothing against religion, but it was a bit silly and over-the-top.

Just like Nikki's feelings toward Mace, other plots points jump from one extreme to the other. First being Nikki all of a sudden mastering her powers as soon as she learns what she is. One second she has no clue, then in the blink of an eye she's helping the Lost Boys with their journey. Second, Raven and Nikki's relationship. Yes, a love triangle, but a seriously forced one. About half way through the book Raven is pining after Nikki, and Nikki randomly can't wait for Science class so she can be near him. What?! When did that happen!? They only interacted like once, and Nikki only showed interest in Mace! Whatever, maybe every story needs a love triangle for conflict.

I'm pretty sure my brain was on auto-pilot during the last third of the book. Nothing happening held my interest. I just couldn't invest myself in the story or the characters. It felt like it was a lot more than 288 pages. Final verdict: It wasn't for me.

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