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I Belong

Review: Halflings by Heather Burch


Author: Heather Burch

GenreYA Paranormal

SeriesHalflings (Book 1)

Publication Date: January 24, 2012

Format: Paperback, 288 Pages

ISBN-100310728207 (Zondervan)

ISBN-13: 978-0310728207 (Zondervan)

Reviewed by: Bridget


Discoveries 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 their earthly mission, 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.

Quick & Dirty: Very promising premise, but unfortunately I couldn’t connect with the story.  I liked the characters and the romance was cute.

Opening Sentence: Fangs sank into Nikki Youngblood’s leg, setting her skin on fire.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Nikki Youngblood keeps finding herself in mortal danger.  She has been hunted by some strange rabid dogs, and almost ran off the road by a stranger.  If not for the mysterious inhuman boys that keep rescuing her, Nikki would be dead.  Raven, Mace, and Vine are Halflings, which means they are part angel and part human.  They were raised to fight evil and protect anyone that the higher power asks them to.  Nikki is their next target and they will do anything to keep her safe.  But none of them have any idea why the other side is after Nikki and no one knows what is really at stake.

As Nikki gets to know the boys better she finds that she has an unnerving attraction to Mace and Raven.  She knows that getting involved with either of them would be a mistake.  It is against the rules for a Halfling to be with a human and the consequences are that they might lose their soul. But neither boy seems to care as they both start to slowly fall for Nikki.  Nikki is torn between the two, but love is one of her least concerns right now.  She has a lot of choices to make and some of the consequences could be deadly to the human race.

The story was told from Nikki’s point of view and I actually really liked her.  She is very independent and has a spunky attitude.  She has been taught how to defend herself and she doesn’t give away her trust easily.  Her life has basically been turned upside down but she deals with things as logically and calmly as she can.  There were a few times she got a little whiny, but nothing too bad.  She tries to handle her problems head on and doesn’t run even when she’s scared.  I found her easy to connect with and overall, I thought she was a great character.

A big part of this book was the love triangle between Nikki and the two Halfling boys she falls for.  First, she meets Mace. With his stunning good looks and ocean blue eyes, Nikki finds him instantly attractive.  He is a really sweet guy and he is very protective of Nikki.  Living the life of a Halfling isn’t always easy and falling in love with a human is a big no, no.  But Mace finds Nikki fascinating and the more he gets to know about her the more he likes her.  They have cute chemistry and overall, I really liked Mace, but I am totally team Raven.

Raven is gorgeous and he knows it.  He is confident and kind of a jerk.  He knows that he is good at being a Halfling, but he fears that with every journey that he completes, he is slightly losing his soul.  Nikki infuriates him, but he is also very intrigued by her. She is interesting and Raven never finds anyone interesting.  I love the bad boy vibe he gives off, it makes him mysterious and very hot.  But he is also a good person that is trying to do the best he can.  I loved his character and I hope that he gets the girl in the end.

This was just an ok read for me. My main problem with this book was that I felt there wasn’t really a story.  It went from one event to another, but I didn’t see the connection between them.  By the end, I felt that you finally got a since of what was going on but throughout the whole book, I had a big lack of interest.  I didn’t know what to look forward to because I had no idea where the story was going for the majority of the book. Because I couldn’t get into the story, I felt like I had to force myself to keep reading the book so I would finish it, and for me that is never a good thing. I did finish the book and the end of the book was much better, but I wish I could have connected with the story earlier in the book. I really enjoyed the characters, they were interesting and fun to get to know.  The premise of the book was promising, but it just took too long to come together for me.   The romance was cute but it had a touch of instalove to it.  While the story did have a lot of faults, I still am interested in finding out what happens in the sequel.  I would recommend this to anyone that likes a light read with cute romance.

Notable Scene:

A strange sensation swept Nikki as she watched him. Time seemed to freeze as his body reacted to whatever had drawn his concentration. Moments later, she heard heated voices drifting from the teacher’s desk.  The words grew in intensity, but her focus remained on Raven, who remained statue still-he didn’t even breathe.  The thought predator suddenly careened into her mind.  He looked like an animal getting ready to make a kill.

Nikki swallowed hard while prickly gooseflesh spread across her arms.

He wasn’t human. And she wanted to get away.

Tearing her gaze from him, she glanced at Krissy, who’d quieted but didn’t seem to notice and change in Raven.

Finally, Nikki turned to see what had caused him to react. Two guys were arguing by the desk at the front of the class: one was dressed in camouflage and looked like he’d just come in from deer hunting.  Nikki remembered him from last year. Joey-something. As she tried to recall his last name, he reached under his jacket to the small of his back.

Nikki knew that posture. Her heart dropped. “No!” she screamed, flying to the front of the room as Dr. Richmond’s face turned to horror and he stepped between the two boys. Joey shoved the portly teacher and Dr. Richmond tumbled backward, teetering beside the second boy.

The rest was a flash. First, the glint of steel passing camouflage clothing, a scream from somewhere, blade jutting forth, then Raven. He blocked her vision, moving in long, deft swift motions more graceful than any dancer she’d ever seen.

Nikki tried to close the distance to the knife-wielding Joey, but couldn’t reach him in time to stop the blade’s trajectory. That’s when everything slowed. Almost to a halt.

Halflings Series:

0.5 11:15 The Making of a Halfling

1. Halflings

1.5 A Halflings Rescue

2. Guardian

3. Avenger

FTC Advisory: Zondervan provided me with a copy of Halflings. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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