Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review: Hades by Alexandra Adornetto

From the Back Cover:

Even the love of her boyfriend, Xavier Woods, and her siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, can't keep the angel Bethany Church from being tricked into a motorcycle ride that ends up in Hell. There, Jake Thorn bargains for Beth's release back to Earth. But what he asks of her will destroy her, and quite possibly, her loved ones, as well. Can he be trusted in this wager?

My Thoughts:

Simple storyline: Jake, the demon who had a thing for Bethany in Halo, comes back, kidnaps her, and takes her to Hades. But an angel in Hell stirs up all kinds of trouble he hadn't anticipated and he spends just as much time trying to keep her alive as he does trying to make sure she doesn't escape. Meanwhile Beth's boyfriend, Xavier, and her fellow angels, Gabriel and Ivy, are searching for a portal to Hell so they can go get their girl back. I will say I think the back cover copy is misleading. Jake's bargain with Beth is not the crux of the story, it doesn't even happen till the end. The story is really more about Beth's loved ones trying to get her back while Beth tries to stand true to her beliefs in Hell.

If you've read my review of Halo, you know I liked it but I had some issues. Those same issues are still present in Hades. Namely that Ms. Adornetto takes way too long to say what she's got to say, and that makes for A LOT of skimming. In the first book I complained that Beth and Xavier's romance was too sticky sweet and not realistic enough. In this book they've been together for a while so it wasn't too sticky, but Beth has defined her existence around Xavier, and says several times through the course of the book that she's nothing without him, that she can't live without him, what's the point without him, etc. I don't like that as a message for teen girls. Beth also sits around quite a bit in Hades waiting, waiting, waiting for someone to rescue her. She makes one attempt to get out on her own but after it goes bust she gives up. I like my heroines a little more proactive.

I said this about Halo and it continues to be true in Hades, this story is based more on actual theology than any of the other angel books I've read. She regularly quotes the Bible and characters have conversations about God and Jesus, worked around events in the story. She gets a big thumbs up for going the extra mile that other YA angel authors have not, taking the time and dedication to craft a story with a solid basis in Christian ideology. Bottom line, if you liked Halo, you should read Hades to see where the story goes. There definitely were a few exciting moments, including a spooky seance and a creepy exorcism. And though Beth didn't accomplish much in this one, Xavier did. He really stepped up to the plate and has morphed into a more meaningful and admirable character. I don't think it's hard to predict how this series is going to end, but I'll probably skim through it to see how she brings it all about.

My Rating:  3 Stars out of 5

*Please note: This review references an advance review copy. Though I received this book from the publisher, these are my honest and unbiased thoughts, and I was not compensated in any other way for reviewing this book.

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