Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Title: Avenger Author: Heather Burch Publisher: Zonderkidz Copyright Date: 2013
Nikki Youngblood was a genetically mutated Halfling designed by her creator, Damon Vessler, to mother a host of Darklings to destroy the original Halflings. But Nikki won't turn dark, so Vessler is on a mission to turn her away from the Throne.

Nikki--oh, what can I say? Beautiful, arrogant, feminist, shallow. And until I'd finished at least half the book--maybe more like two-thirds--I couldn't "connect" with her. And I disliked her, and every other young woman's, intense anger against the guys when they would call them "the weaker vessel" or anything like it. Toward the end, Nikki does become much less annoying, thankfully. I also found her two boyfriends alternatively likeable and stupid. I started out disliking Mace because he seemed too controlling, but ended up liking him a lot more toward the end. Raven said he loved Nikki, but all he seemed to care about was her appearance, so I got the feeling that it was more of a lust relationship with him. He admitted, too, that he "didn't know how to love sacrificially," so I think that about sums it up.

The plot is unusual for the types of books I usually read. Vessler created Nikki, apparently, and wants her to turn dark so that he can use her eggs (yes, kinda gross) to create Darklings--Halflings (which, I forgot to mention, are half-angel, half-human) who have turned to the dark side. Mace and Raven's rivalry for Nikki is all too common among books. It seems like a good plot, and while Heather Burch is a good writer, I still get the feeling of some cheapness. It just doesn't seem like a methodically-thought-out novel, which is what I see in books like The Lord of the Rings (though I recently learned that my beloved Tolkien was a pantster, people!), Great Expectations, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. 

There is one romantic scene between Nikki and Raven--really, it's only Raven--that I find objectionable. Also, some of the things in this book don't agree with Scripture, that I can remember, though everything is placed on Earth. That's the problem with creating fantasies that incorporate our Godhead, instead of creating a world like Narnia, where, though Aslan is the same as Jesus, the whole world has a different story to tell from ours. There is one beautiful portion where Nikki is in the presence of Christ. That part is great. In fact, the scenes around that part are tear-jerking.

So, I'm using Hayden's rating system, which I'm happy about! Thank you, Hayden, for letting me :)

6 . . . Passable; it could have been better, and I definitely don't like it enough to read it again.

I got this book for free from Zonderkidz in exchange for my honest review.

Compare this review with my original thoughts on the cover.

This is Book Three in the Halflings series by Heather Burch.

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