Hello, hello. How are we all? I am writing this on my couch in a big thick cardigan with a bowl of chicken noodle soup to my left and a pile of disgusting used tissues on my right as I sniff roughly every five letters typed. Thank you so much to my lovely flatmate for passing on this cold before jetting off to Canada this morning to visit family and leaving me to wallow all alone.
Today it is my stop on the Heavenward blog tour, as organised by Melanie from Fraser’s Fun House and the author herself, Olga Gibbs. I want to start by saying this is the best blog tour/ARC/whatever that I have been involved in, simply because of the way it has been organised and how interactive it has been. Not only are both Melanie and Olga so lovely, but they also created a group chat on Twitter so we could read each other’s reviews and share them, share our thoughts with Olga, and generally just have fun with it all. THIS is how a blog tour should be.
Now, on to the review…
With the power to end the world, would you protect humanity when it broke you or would you take revenge?
Meet Ariel: a quiet, unnoticeable girl with an incredible gift…
Ariel never had an easy or pleasant life, but the arrival of three gorgeous strangers meant her measured life is turned upside down, as she discovers that angels exist.
But when three new students appear in her sleepy town’s school, Ariel’s dull and measure life is thrown into turmoil, as she is drawn into an ancient celestial conflict that is bigger than her and which she will need to survive to remain herself.
Now against her will, she’s drawn into an ancient celestial conflict, where her powers will decide the fate of humanity.
Deceived, threatened, hunted, and now on the run, who can she trust?
Even though I was sent a copy of this to review, I just want to point out that in no way does that affect my review.
First of all, I really enjoyed the blend of the fantasy and the real. From my (admittedly limited) experience in fantasy, many novels in this genre don’t have two distinctly different worlds. Heavenward, however, starts off in a perfectly human world, one which has absolutely no elements of fantasy other than the fact it is a ‘sleepy’ town (a description which I actually really hate lol) so you know that something is about to go down. Ariel is also a pretty strong female lead, one which I really enjoyed getting to know. She is another one of those take-no-bullshit characters that I love so much.
Read Yourself Happy said in her review that she thought it was a little too fast-paced for her liking and this maybe suited newcomers to the fantasy genre more, and she was absolutely right. As I have mentioned on here before, it wasn’t until earlier this year – summertime I think – that I really got into YA fantasy, pretty much as soon as I started reading A Court of Thorns and Roses. It had never interested me before. To this day, I still haven’t read very much in the genre at all, so I am by no means an expert, but that is what made me accept this review when the email came through inviting me onto the blog tour.
But, as much as I wanted to absolutely adore it because of how lovely the tour itself is, I do have a few small gripes.
Is this England? America? With ‘arse’ and ‘feds’ in the same sentence, I really have no idea. I think it is meant to be a small town in England, from what I remember, but there were so many Americanisms that I am sure were probably not deliberate that made this less than believable.
I think because of what I am studying at university and it is all so fresh in my mind I can be a little harsh and nitpicky with other writers, and some sentences just went a liiiiitle too far for me, like the description of his smell when they first meet. It was all a little too fluffy and overrun with metaphors for me to truly get into the story.
The dialogue also wasn’t always completely believable for teenagers either. ‘I’m new here and would like us to be friends’? They would never say that. And what about ‘Rachel thinks he must be a nerd because he wears glasses’? Was going to say I wear glasses but I am actually a nerd (lol) but the majority of people aren’t. There were a bit too many sweeping generalisations and stereotypes. And a town that small and she actually has to question if THREE new students all in the one day could maybe mean something is up? OF COURSE IT BLOODY IS.
One final thing – was the cover designed on Paint?
I feel like I am coming across as a little mean here, but I promise I am just trying to be constructive! I really love the idea of angels, which aren’t something I have read about since joining the fantasy-loving crew. And, there wasn’t a biblical feel to it all, which may have put some readers off if they didn’t know that. I am actually really looking forward to reading the sequel, Hallow, when it is released next year to find out what happens next with Ariel, Sam, and Rafe.
Which, btw, TEAM RAFE ALL THE WAY <3 <3 <3
Visit the rest of the tour (updating as the tour goes on):
A Lovely Book Affair
Like Herding Cats
A Mixed Up Mummy
Fraser’s Fun House (Heavenward dream movie cast)
The Bold Mom/The Forsaken Cellar
Read Yourself Happy
Booking Good Read
A Book Devourer
Rainy Days With Amanda
Books in the Skye
Bookish Fawn (blog currently under construction – link will be added soon!)