Halflings by Heather Burch

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 a scientist’s dark plan, 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. 

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Publication Date: 1st February, 2012
Publisher: Zondervan Publishing
Country: United States of America
ISBN: 9780310728184
Original Language: English
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Supernatural/Paranormal, Romance, Mystery
Source: ARC recieved through NetGalley
Buy the Book: Amazon
Lootability: Grab it and go
Halflings is the debut novel of author Heather Burch who has spent the last few years teaching writers how to relax. As an ordained minister, motivational speaker and a licensed esthetician, Burch has a wide knowledge base to influence her writing; and it's obvious she utilises that background.
Halflings is the story of three 'Lost Boys', sons of Fallen Angels working for Heaven, sent to Earth to protect Nikki Youngblood from a complicated and mysterious evil.

What I Liked: The story was innovative. I haven't read much angel fiction so it was interesting to see how it differed from vampires, werewolves and faeries. Nikki was a fun and strong character who worked hard to live by her beliefs while the Lost Boys, Raven, Mace and Vine were the usual sexy supernatural characters.
Vessler was an interesting character. He made me think of a strong, overwhelming perfume; you like the scent but you can't take it in such strong doses. He also left me feeling sufficiently suspicious and confused, without giving away too much or going for a silly plot twist like some YA stories.

What I didn't like: Some of the language was too floral - "You are safe now child of Man" - and almost everything Will says went right over my head. I'm not a religious person, and only really know the mythology behind the bible; I've never read it. I knew the story behind Queen Esther, but couldn't quite grasp the significance of her mention. It might be easier for other readers.
I also wanted a little more characterisation from the Lost Boys, and despite not being one of the love interests, I think I liked Vine (or Bloom) best.

One other problem I had, which I have with all YA Supernatural fiction is this overwhelming set of senses, skills and seduction these supernatural creatures seem to posses. Isn't enough that these creatures have wings, fangs, claws and venom? Do they need to be irresistible too? Are there ugly Supernatural creatures?
I'll give Burch some credit here because she introduced a Halfling who was pale, and...not quite weak, but not as overtly strong as the others. It's nice to see some weakness (beyond falling for human girls) in supernatural fiction.
Grab it and Go!
For all that I'm getting sick of the re-occurrence of sexy supernaturals, I can't seem to stop myself reading about them. Halflings especially, drew me in more than any other supernatural YA since The Discovery of Witches. I found myself wanting more and I was devastated to find it ended before anything was revealed.

Halflings will be released February 1st, and it's sequel Guardian is due out in September. In the meantime, try and get your hands on 11:15: The Making of Halflings; a short illustrated story set before Halflings.


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