If you read my blog regularly you’ll know just how excited I have been for the release of this title! Not only have I had the pleasure of organising this Blog Tour but today I am able to share my own thoughts on this highly anticipated instalment of Olga Gibbs’ Celestial Creatures series. I hope you’ll enjoy my review and also take some time to visit some of the other wonderful blogs taking part in this two weeks publication tour.
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.
Hallow begins as we re-join protagonist Ariel and her sworn protector Rafe as they embark on a journey to find Ariel’s younger sister back in Apkallu (Earth to you and me!). Tired and weary Ariel is still trying to process the revelations that have spun her seemingly mundane existence on its axis and make some sense out of her new situation. Feeling like she has been away from her home forever Ariel takes a while to re-acclimatise herself with her surroundings, but soon realises the boundaries between Earth and Arllu (Hell) are not as clearly defined as she once thought and Baza isn’t going to let her have an easy ride. She must face her past and accept her future whilst fighting for survival.
This has without a doubt been the hardest review I’ve had to write and it’s taken me a good few weeks to get my thoughts in order so that I can (hopefully) do the book justice – I could talk about the plot at length but don’t want to give any spoilers away! Having absolutely adored Heavenward I eagerly anticipated the released of Hallow, desperate to find out what happened after being left dangling on a cliff-hanger ending and this book has completely exceeded expectations.
Unlike Heavenward this story takes place solely on Earth, however that doesn’t mean it is lacking in action! Olga has created a page-turner which takes you on a supersonic roller coaster ride that at times I found difficult to see how situations would play out – a rarity for me as I am awful for trying to predict plots! The love story line that featured in the first book has been side-lined in this new offering which for me was essential in order to allow for story development which Olga has executed perfectly. Alongside the introduction of added action this progression has allowed me as reader to learn more about and connect with the character’s that had already been established in Heavenward.
Ariel’s character has to endure so many challenges throughout the course of this book, breaking her and dragging her rock bottom, almost at times breaking her spirit. Some of these situations seem hopeless and it’s clear that her strength and endurance is wavering, however as I learned in the first book, she is a fighter. She is definitely my favourite character as she is testament to staying strong and believing in yourself regardless of what life might throw at you and she is a fabulous kick-ass role model to the young adults this book is primarily aimed at. She may be down, but she’ll always come back fighting especially when it comes to protecting her loved ones. I also really enjoyed discovering more about Rafe in this instalment as I felt Ariel was the primary focus previously.
The final chapters have a twist that I didn’t foresee and had me screaming at the screen in disbelief leaving Ariel with one of her toughest choices yet. Unsurprisingly, I then found myself clutching to yet another cliff edge and am now eagerly awaiting the release of Harbinger – the 3rd book in the Celestial Creatures Quadrilogy.
Like Heavenward this story is written using Olga’s signature highly descriptive narrative and it’s clear that she has honed and developed her writing skills for this second offering, showing a more confident style. Everything about this book (and series) make it a winner for me, with strong believable characters and a well-developed plot which when added together provide a compulsive page-turner, it’s AMAZING!
You would definitely need to read these books in order to be able to fully understand and appreciate the story, so I wouldn’t recommend as a standalone read. I would however recommend them to everyone, as to be honest when I initially read Heavenward, I was unsure if I would enjoy it as it isn’t my usual genre, but something about the story had me hooked from the start.
About The Author
Olga Gibbs lives in a leafy-green town, nestled amongst the green fields of West Sussex, England. She was writing from the age of fifteen, mainly short stories and novellas and was a guest columnist for a local newspaper. When she is not dreaming up new adventures for her imaginary friends, she does outreach work with teenagers.
She is currently writing a stand-alone psychological crime thriller book.
Be sure to check out some of the other stops on this fabulous tour!