#BlogTour: Poetic, Action-Packed And Darker: Hallow by Olga Gibbs

§ I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel. § 

Back on Earth, Ariel wishes for nothing more than to protect her sister. This task becomes more complicated with every minute. Not only is Jess deep in trouble but Basar has a keen interested in motivating Ariel to take his side. He is not shy of using all means possible to achieve this. While Ariel wanted a simple way out, the stakes are higher and deadlier than ever before. A dangerous game of cat and mouse starts to unfold ...

Hallow by Olga Gibbs
When I opened the electronic book for the first time, I couldn't wait to immerse myself into the Celestial Creatures world once more. And yet, I felt that it had been hard to do so. The reason is that it had been almost half a year since I touched Heavenward. I was not familiar with all the workings anymore.

Yes, I knew that Ariel had an Angel's essence inside of her and which one. I knew that she wanted to find her sister and left their world to do so, and that a war is raging but Ariel doesn't know on which side she is. Could I remember exactly who Rafe was? Not really, neither could I recall where Ariel got her two swords from ...

In other book series, you're usually gently reminded of who a character is and what their relationship is to the main character. In "Hallow" this had been missing, thus, there had been a moment of confusion when an old character appeared. Yes, sure Ariel knows exactly who Sam is and why she's happy to see him but I had a brief moment of debating who he might be.

This answers the question if you can read "Hallow" as a stand alone: the answer is a hard no. "Heavenward" explains the worlds and you learn how the Angels and their essence work alongside. "Hallow" assumes that you already know - and remember - all of it while expanding further on the world building.

Not only is the world building extended upon, Gibbs' writing feels almost poetic in "Hallow". She picks the right words and goes a step further than calling something pretty just that. Instead it feels like she opened a Thesaurus and picked the most beautiful word. This creates an almost poetic and aesthetic scene even while drama unfolds. If you believe that the novel reads like it is written by snob, you are mistaken. She knows when to use this skill, and applies it only when needed.

Hallow by Olga Gibbs
Since "Hallow" is written in first person from Ariel, her teenage voice shines through and lightens up moments. Once more, this makes Ariel into a grounded and real character who takes no excrement and has "uhm ... what the heck?" moments when encountering something strange. At the same time, this also enables the read to feel her pain even more.

"Hallow" also includes more and stronger action packed scenes than the first part. These are written in a fast pace, and I was glued to the pages while reading them. Especially because almost all of the scenes show us a new and fascinating albeit scary side of Ariel.

One of the mayor points that drive the plot, is that Ariel wants to keep her sister, Jess, safe and sound. Because of this, I was happy that the relationship and dynamic between these characters had been well crafted. Ariel clearly takes a guardian angel role to protect Jess, which further plays into her character trope.

While writing this book, Olga Gibbs made the choice to make the trilogy into a four part series. Part one, Heavenward, gave you a nudge into the world and explained how it worked. Hallow gives you a glance of what motivates Ariel and, now, that she has developed into a stronger character who has accepted her fate, it leaves her with choices to make. These are not answered in "Hallow" but are meant to wetten your appetite for the third part. Given the length of roughly 300 pages per book, I can see why Gibbs choose to add another part. There are just not enough pages to finish the story with only one more book.

Furthermore, this story forces more from Ariel and pushes her into darker places, but it also brings out the best in her. She has not hardened yet and like my favourite quote says:
Surprisingly, your heart is still full of benevolence and that shows the strength that is you. The great sacrifices that I've witness are driven by it and it gives me great hope.

Despite the lack of explanation at the beginning, I felt that "Hallow" provides a worthy continuation of the "Celestial Creatures" series. It contains more action, and while it has almost heart-breaking moments, there are soft ones which fill your heart with hope. Once you really get into the book, it is hard to put it down.

Personally, I can't wait to read more about Ariel!

Hallow by Olga Gibbs
Published2019 by Raging Bear Publishing
Series: Celestial Creatures #2
Pages: 246
Goodreads:Add to shelf


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About Olga Gibbs

Olga Gibbs lives in a leafy-green town, nestled amongst the green fields of West Sussex, England. She was writing from the age of fifteen, mainly short stories and novellas and was a guest columnist for a local newspaper. When she is not dreaming up new adventures for her imaginary friends, she does outreach work with teenagers. She is currently writing a stand-alone psychological crime thriller book.

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