The Rachelloon Book Commentaries are now all collected together so you can waste hours on end reading the entire anthology, just by clicking on ‘The Rachelloon Review Show’ to your left. In celebration… Halo. No, really–this one is one of my favourites XD
Condensed review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/589117477
Ah, today we return to our roots. That’s right ladies and gentlemen…
I have heard some glorious outpourings of hate towards this book, and after much deliberation… how could I resist?
(Shit, at this rate I’m going to end up reading ‘Save the Pearls’, and I may be evil, but even I’d feel embarrassed about that one!)
For our preface, we have two quotes—one from Shakespeare, and one from that other genius of words, Beyoncé.
A boy sees three figures, including out narrator, get zapped to earth. Our narrator wonders what about them startles him so much—their absurdly pale skin, their dumb clothes, their dumb expressions… oh, I don’t know, narrator. Maybe it’s the fact that you were BEAMED DOWN IN A FLASH OF LIGHT!
This is going to be a good one!
Our three heroes, Gabriel, Ivy and Bethany, (once again these angels randomly have the concept of gender) wander around the romantic poet-theme named streets to their new home. Bethany admires the modernisation, even though she shouldn’t know what the hell ‘modern’ architecture is, as she doesn’t understand toothpaste.
They’re here to re-connect people to their spiritual side. Wow, what an exciting mission. One day while out wandering aimlessly, the angels see an even stranger supernatural creature than they are… the Generic Love Interest, and Bethany is immediately ensnared.
Bethany wakes to some pages of description and waffling about the meaning of the word ‘love’. For dessert she gives us some exposition about how she’s only seventeen years old. The other angels tell her to watch out, yo, and not become attached to being human. /angel cliché.
A second round of description—this time of character design ensues. Ah, character description. Sadly there are no ripped black corsets mentioned so I don’t have much to say about it.
Then they have to remind each other what their mission is and why they’re there. Oh noes! Amnesia strikes again! But the mission will be difficult because they have trouble blending in with their ghostly pale skin, their not-leaving-of-footprints, and, most damningly, their not-wearing-of-tank tops. (!)
Said mission is to save a ‘world on the brink of destruction’—by being nice and doing good deeds. Huh. *looks out window* You know, I’m not sure it’s really all that bad out there—
*Meteorite strikes house, kills mediocre reviewer*
Well, at least it’s not as bad as what Bethany has to go through.
… High School.
Bethany is posing as an Ordinary High School Student tm., while Gabe poses as a teacher. Fortunately for Bethany, she seems to have all the same fears an Ordinary High School Student has on their first day in a new school, rather than worrying about her whole mission from God thing, so I’m sure no one will notice her lack of tank top.
(Then again they’ve taken the last name ‘Church’, so how much they’re trying to blend in can be debated).
Stereotypical cliques are described, the angels comment on the fashions the young people of today are wearing as if they’d actually care, and Gabe uses his angelic powers to affect the weather patterns so the Big Game doesn’t get rained off that evening. Priorities!
Bethany meets a girl called Molly who takes her to chemistry class (I hope it’s not being taught by the basketball coach!) and reveals she doesn’t know what the word ‘spare’ means.
Molly tells Bethany that strange things have been happening, which Bethany should have already known since it’s the whole reason she’s there. But then, she can barely remember the cover story the angels have for their background, so what can you do?
Generic Love Interest, Xavier, pops by to remind everyone that he’s the love interest and get some overdone—uh, I mean, much needed extra description. After some dumb conversation, Molly tells Bethany that Xavier’s former One Twu Wuv died in a fire and he’ll never love again… (for about two chapters, I’m betting).
Beth teases Gabe about his being immediately harassed by groups of girls because of his good looks, and then they discuss why it’s a bad idea to make friends. Beth proceeds to act more like an extremely sheltered teenage girl than an angel, which I have a feeling will be par for the course for the rest of the book.
I already wish the book was about Gabriel instead. Oh well…
So the angels have a boring dinner, with some boring conversations, and refuse to tell Beth what ‘MILF’ means because she’s too young and delicate to hear such terrible language, and so Beth can show us that she’s absurdly and excruciatingly naive.
Well, Beth is as bored as the reader now, and mentions that time doesn’t exist in heaven, which is why it’s stupid that she’s supposed to be seventeen years old. So the angels go for a walk on the beach, where they see Molly—who Gabe and Ivy disapprove of because we all know from watching Troll 2 how terrible friends are!
Then a random fight breaks out and Gabriel breaks it up by being a bit awesome, and they all go home so Bethany can dream of Xavier, her one true love who she’s exchanged about five words with.
The next day Beth wakes up to find Gabe just coming back from a run, and thinks of him in terms I’m not entirely sure are appropriate to be thinking about your brother in. Then a nosy neighbour pops by and says that everyone’s very neighbourly around here, to which Ivy replies:
“That’s good to hear.”
This makes Beth marvel at Ivy’s conversational skills. Really.
This two-minute conversation causes the trio to be half an hour late for school, where Molly informs Beth that the PROM is coming up. That’s right, the prom—enjoy it while you can, kids, ’cause it’s all downhill from there.
Then Xavier pops up and dazzles her. Really.
They go to French class, where Bethany has BROUGHT THE WRONG BOOK! THE HORROR! But Xavier steps in to save the day, nobly sacrificing his own book for her benefit. *sob, sob*. It’s just so beautiful!
Oh, and Molly is in love with Gabriel now.
This chapter’s called ‘partay’.
Well, Molly tells Beth not to get involved with Xavier, because she asked him out once and he politely turned her down, and it was the WORST THING EVAH!
Anyway, Beth goes over to Molly’s house to find she’s throwing a party, yay! I mean—oh noes, underage drinking! And Bethany was never told about alcohol because she and the other angels are morons.
Xavier comes to the rescue and takes her home so Gabriel can act suspiciously and Beth can mention that they can’t go to doctors because they have anomalous physiology, because apparently the angels can’t make convincing human-suits.
Oh, those wacky angels!
Beth wakes up to an angelic hangover—some healer Ivy turned out to be—and wangsts about her TERRIBLE ORDEAL and what a loser she is.
But the other angels forgive her and instead discuss a bombing in the Middle East, which has made front page news along with a particularly emotionally manipulative photograph, and how it has nothing to do with the plot.
Then Beth pops out to the shops and instead of buying food, adopts a dog called Phantom, and the angels are all okay with suddenly having a dog, because making friends with humans is bad but keeping pets is fine.
Xavier comes around to see how his Love Interest is doing, Gabe asks how long they’ve known each other—a dumb question since he was with Beth when they met, and Beth replies that such knowledge would constitute a breach of privacy, as if we needed any more evidence that dumbness runs in the ‘family’.
A boring conversation ensues, followed by some boring giving of numbers, which Gabriel objects to because dating is a HUMAN thing. Beth is too much like a HUMAN. It’s almost like making her an angel at all was completely pointless!
Beth wangsts about her insta-love and has a bad dream of falling to earth, though I wouldn’t worry about that, all you’d need to do would be to find a Nephilim vassal, wait for him to have a female descendant, then fall in love with her so she’ll sacrifice herself for you!
The phone number is torn to pieces and thrown off Beth’s balcony. Sad times.
What? I have Native American blood, I’m allowed to feel sad when I see littering!
Quarter-way mark, it’s almost going too quickly, *sigh*.
Xavier goes away to rowing camp for no reason. Yay. Also the word ‘limpid’ is actually used to describe his eyes. Beth therefore spends her time talking to Molly and her friends, who tell her that the library is for losers and the Middle East is in Africa.
So, it’s not just Beth that’s brainless, huh? I guess the friends had to be pretty dumb to make her look good.
We also learn that Ivy actually had a purpose as well—starting a church group to help poor people. I’m sure that will figure into the plot, when it decides to start. (Not).
Anyway, it appears the reason Xavier went to rowing camp was so he could come back a few pages later and ask Beth to the movies. After hiding this fact from her fellow angels (which doesn’t seem very angelic) she sneaks out and wanders around aimlessly until she finds him, whereupon he gives her his wonderful backstory.
Also he says he was interested in design, (design of what he doesn’t mention) but that doesn’t lead to a career (except where it does) so his parents disapprove.
Then they go to a closed fair where Ava from Evermore is waiting to read their fortunes. Well, it could be worse—it could be that woman from The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed Up Zombies! She tells us what Xavier’s personality is so the book doesn’t have to, and freaks out at Bethany.
Xavier takes her home in his pet car, where Beth asks about his dead girlfriend and Xavier reveals he’s a creationist. *Sigh*. Blasphemy Against the Holy Periodic Table, Xavier!
Beth is told off by the other angels. Oh noes. Then after some meandering she goes back to school to talk to her dumb friends. Apparently lots of boys have asked Beth to the prom.
Xavier pops by to ‘rescue’ her from the conversation—and sure, it was boring, but that was as much Beth’s fault as anyone else’s. Seeing as the conversation they proceed to have is just as boring and pointless, I’m not sure why he bothered.
Beth whines about wanting to be human for a while, times passes, her association with Xavier makes her popular—Ever would disapprove! Then she goes to English class where they study that wonderful cautionary tale, Romeo and Juliet, and everyone is told they have to write their own love poem that will be read out to the entire class. Uh-oh spaghettios! THE CLASS PANICS!
And then proceeds to have the dumbest conversation yet, full of ridiculous stereotypes and stupidity.
For no reason, Beth thinks about God for a bit.
Well, that was pointless. Xavier talks to her about nothing for a while.
Then the story takes a bold turn when something ACTUALLY HAPPENS. Off-page, sure, but it’s something. There’s a car crash and a girl almost dies, but Beth saves her life—ha ha, wait, no, she waits with her until Gabriel comes to save her, Beth just faints like a dumbass.
Gabriel tells Beth that actually she did save car-crash girl, that he only healed her physical wounds while Beth… gave her her life force?
The angels talk with their priest friend about how many idiots they’ve managed to convert to… uh… church. There doesn’t really seem to be any mention of denomination from that quarter.
Beth and Xavier have YA paranormal romance conversation #103, ‘I can’t be with you because of a secret I can’t tell you—I don’t care about secrets and stuff’ conversation. This results in kissing, no surprise, and Bethany says she’ll tell Xavier her secret at a beach bonfire.
The angels believe in limbo so I guess they must be Catholic. Oh, and limbo sucks, just so’s you know.
Gabriel has stopped dressing the way his employers expect him to because…
And they have to let him get away with it because otherwise he’d resign, and the students would go into uproar due to his popularity, which is because of…
Beth asks him if she can go to the prom, an event she’s spent far more time thinking about than her actual mission thing, which apparently only Gabriel actually cares about; you can tell because of his long emo looks of sadness out into the distance.
Then we learn that dogs only respond to men. Because they’re MEN!
And now it’s time for Beth to reveal her secret to Xavier. She shows him how she doesn’t leave footprints in the sand, he responds with ‘Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh.’ She shows him how a cut on her foot had healed in about five seconds—he responds with ‘Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh.’ She shows him how she hasn’t got a belly-button, he responds with ‘Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh’.
I think you might need to break out the hand puppets, Beth.
But no, she jumps off a cliff instead. Practising for Hush, Hush? You be the judge!
Xavier responds well to the revelation of Beth’s angelic nature, until he learns that one day she’s going to have to go back to the big prom night in the sky, but then they just don’t think about it for a while and it’s okay.
However, since Gabriel and Ivy have at least half a brain cell between them, they figure out what happened. Uh oh spaghettios!
Gabriel goes to tell his fellow archangels about this development, and they hold off pursuing the Winchester brothers to talk to him /obligatory Supernatural reference—special outdated version ’cause I stopped watching it! Meanwhile Beth and Ivy talk about love and how human Beth is.
Thanks to a literal Deus ex Machina, Beth is allowed to continue to see Xavier, which pisses Gabriel off because it means he’s still stuck in ‘Halo’.
CONTINUED IN PART TWO