Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer
Rating: 3 out of 5 Controllers
Review Source: Publisher for Honest Review
Let me begin by saying I have not read the previous novels in the series, Halo and Hades. With that being said, I was given an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion and that is what I intend to do, state my extreme love/hate relationship with Heaven and why I couldn't put the book down despite the various *eye roll* moments I had while indulging myself in this weird world of angels. I must also state that because I am going to briefly discuss religion it is not my intention to offend anyone's religious or moral beliefs.
Heaven is the story of Bethany an angel who is deeply (or should I say obsessively) in love with a mortal named Xavier whom she is sent to guard (at least that's how I took it seeing as I honestly don't know because I haven't read the previous novels). Somewhere along the way, the two fall madly in lust, I mean in love, and in this installment of the Halo series they decide to wed, taking vows before God in order to make their love official in his eyes. Over the course of the novel, several obstacles are thrown their way and Bethany and Xavier must prove that love does conquer all.
Now here is my issue with Heaven, there is a thin line between writing a novel which lightly touches on religion and writing a novel and interjecting your own beliefs into the narrative. I really enjoyed the overall story of Bethany and Xavier. However the deeper I dove into the wells of their love affair the angrier I became from all the preachy religious over and undertones.
"Have you no faith left at all?" my brother remarked in surprise.
"How can I, when God seems to have abandoned us?"
"That is when you need faith the most," Gabriel said. "Not when everything is going your way, not when you have much to be thankful for, but when there is darkness all around. He is always there, He is always watching, and one way or another He will set you on the right path." - (ARC page 214)
"Because the path of the righteous man was never supposed to be easy," I whispered. "Those who are chosen by the Lord are given a hard journey. The reward will come later. And if He is the merciful Father I know, we'll have eternal peace together. You just have to believe in Him. Believe in His plan and trust Him with your whole heart. I know it's hard but look at the proof you've been given through my siblings and me. Most people have to go off blind faith, but not you. You've been given proof." - (ARC page 295-296)
The vast majority of Heaven is written in this manner. In every chapter there is at least one paragraph devoted to letting the readers know if you do "a" and the results are "b" it doesn't matter if you were right or wrong as long as you have faith, repent, believe and trust wholeheartedly in the Lord. Now, let me state clearly that I am a Christian and I understand what Adornetto was trying to accomplish (or at least I think I do). After all, she is writing a book about angels so there has to be some sort of moral compass in there somewhere. Even if I believe everything she wrote about faith and God that does not mean I want to read about it and feel as though I need to learn some type of lesson about my faith on every page. And this is exactly how I felt.
I firmly believe I should never be pulled out of a story for any reason because it diminishes my overall enjoyment. And I really, really, really, liked both main characters and I even enjoyed all the side characters. But I just cannot move past the fact that Heaven spent so much time on preaching to me instead of sucking me into a captivating story. I should never be able to determine what an authors beliefs are unless I am reading Christian Fiction or something of the sort. I should never be made to feel as though if I don't agree with what the author is saying that my thoughts and feelings are wrong. It's ludicrous! And it's highly insulting. I am not even going to touch on the authors writing though I found her to be a little too wordy and use too many "tags" at the end of EVERY single instance of dialogue. Just know that it happens and it may be annoying to some readers.
Overall, Heaven rubbed me the wrong way but was also a great love story (see my dilemma). Had it not been for the copious amount of religion I may have scored this book at 4.5 or a 5. I think if Adornetto perfects her writing skills and can learn to master writing about religion without giving the readers Bible lessons she could write something extremely phenomenal. I recommend this novel to those of you who don't mind books with a ton of religious undertones, and characters with obsessive personalities. For everyone else, well if you read it you will see.