This book was recommended to me, and as I'm neither a young adult, nor a fan of fantasy I was unsure what to expect, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The author has a very descriptive and colourful style that draws you into the fantasy. The characters are really defined and you really get to feel the angst and emotions of the lead character, Ariel. The language and dialogue is very well-balanced throughout and suitable for the age-group, as well as those of us who may be a little older... The story, too, is well explained and detailed, but keeps you hooked as nothing is revealed too soon. If fantasy is your genre, forget that this is intended for young adults and enjoy a well-written and somewhat sinister tale. Really looking forward to the second instalment.
It's time for us to recognise where the dreams stop and reality begins
I seriously need to stop being so judgy when it comes to certain areas of fantasy.
Heavenward follows Ariel, a girl who has suffered through a life-time of pain in a short period of time. Neglect, abuse, domestic violence and a recurring nightmare have plagued her causing her to question her sanity and strength. However, Ariel is soon drawn into an ancient conflict that she wants no part of, but if she doesn't act humanity itself might be at risk.
I clearly need to be more open minded because on paper this is something I wouldn't particularly pick for myself. It is paranormal-Esq. Romance-y. Two things I'm not too fond of. However, from the first chapter I found this book scarily addicting. I just wanted more. I was consumed and intrigued. I didn't know where it was going or what was going to happen and was pleasantly surprised.
The description doesn't tell you much, but it tells you enough. By reading the synopsis Ariel is the only character you know by name and that adds to the intrigue. You obviously know something is going to kick off but you know nothing more than that. It gave the reveal and the moment of realisation impactful. The cover definitely doesn't give you anything at first glance and it took me a while to figure out what it actually was, but after reading the book and thinking about it, I know exactly what it is and what it symbolises - or at least I think I do, unless I'm wrong.
Ariel is impeccably complex. She has gone through a lot of trauma and it's affecting her mentally and emotionally and Olga Gibbs doesn't shy away from showing that. I also found her extremely likeable and sassy. The sarcasm is strong with this one!
However, I sense a love-triangle coming. I don't mind them if they're done well and you don't see much of it in this book so I can't really judge yet. There were a few good spots of banter though and I love a bit of banter. I think I prefer the guy she isn't going to go for but then again that's nothing new.
Lovely bits of world-building in places. A lot of attention to the smells, which was unexpected and something I never knew I needed, but much appreciated. Authors need to pay more attention to smells - and not just the pinewood smell of the love interest we have too much of that already. Anyway, lovely description. I definitely think it could be toned down in places, namely when describing the male characters. There was just a bit too much there for me. We were in eye-rolling territory. Other than that pretty solid.
Overall, I found Heavenward a really enjoyable and easy read. There is a lot of action, drama, a quality heroin. I think I should mention the book is only 170 pages. I was slightly concerned at first because I thought,'what can happen in only 170 pages?' The answer; a lot. It actually lessened the probability of useless content. There was no faffing around. It was all good until the end and then the dreaded "I love you" made an appearance. *insert Darth Vader 'no' gif here*. Why did you have to do that! Honestly, I could be biased because I prefer the other guy.
I would definitely continue with this series. I need to know what happens next! Well written, well planned out. Reminded me a little of Hush, Hush, so if you like things like that then you should definitely check this out.
This book is a fresh, agile dark fantasy tale, I enjoyed it so much because first, it's not my usual read, and second, because the author plays with the characters in a way it’s very easy to read, very pleasurable. The protagonist is a broken soul, which allows Gibbs to build many different layers and shades in her personality, reactions and inner thoughts.
Without falling on cliches, the author knows what the reader wants, and implements those traditional factors we all need in a world of fantasy. Who wouldn't dream about becoming... one of them?
I loved the jumps between scenarios and how the characters come and go from them, it makes it quick and applies a brush stroke of action that puts the last cherry on top of the cake.
The end is not predictable but smooth and it will satisfy the readers.
I recommend this book to dark fiction lovers and people who like to swim between thriller and paranormal fantasy.