Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary YA supernatural romance-ish novel from Terry Maggert. HEARTBORN is a book where angels not only exist, they’re ready to rule. And humans they save may return the favor.
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Keiron was never meant to be anything other than a hero. Born high above in a place of war and deception, he is Heartborn, a being of purity and goodness in a place where there violence and deceit are just around every corner.
His disappearance will spark a war he cannot see, for Keiron has pierced the light of days to save a girl he has never met, for reasons he cannot understand. Livvy Foster is seventeen, brave, and broken. With half a heart, she bears the scars of a lifetime of pain and little hope of survival.
Until Keiron arrives.
In the middle of a brewing war and Livvy’s failing heart, Keiron will risk everything for Livvy, because a Heartborn’s life can only end in one way: Sacrifice.
Fall with Livvy and Keiron as they seek the truth about her heart, and his power, and what it means to love someone who will give their very life to save you.
Livvy is a seventeen year old girl with a congenital heart defect that keeps her just healthy enough to not be hospitalized. She works in a library, inexplicably, despite the seemingly intense struggle to simply walk to and from her post at the information desk.
Keiron is an angel on Earth. Literally. His mission is to find and save Livvy. Because reasons. He does find her, and pretends he’s human to befriend this nearly-friendless human girl. They even share a few chaste kisses that pretty much leave Livvy swooning, or maybe that dizziness was simply her heart being overtaxed. Meanwhile, Keiron’s family is preparing for battle. His elder brother has been accused of Keiron’s murder, and his parents are standing trial in what’s little more than a thinly-disguised power grab by an ancient angelic council. Battle looms and Livvy’s heart is growing weaker. Good thing Keiron is there to save the day….
I really felt like this was a tale of two books. It’s a supernatural romance, of sorts, with angels and humans. Many of the chapters relate the angelic host and the fight to come once Keiron falls to Earth on his quest to save Livvy. The parts with Livvy on Earth are pedestrian and tired. I had about a million questions regarding Livvy and her job, and why? What’s up with her heart condition? Why is she working? What are Heartborn, and what is their purpose? Where are her parents? Why so many convenient mean people? And, who are these weirdos in the library?
The pacing of the story is slowed with flamboyant descriptions of setting and backstory and characters that set a very grand stage, yet the resolution comes far too quickly. And, it’s a confusing resolution. Livvy is a girl that lots of stuff happens to, and her passivity as a character made it hard for me to relate. Keiron seems like a great guy, and I’m pretty unhappy how things turned out for him. I’m also not clear on a good bit of what happened. At some point all the library people seemed to turn into her medical team, so was the library an illusion? Or, was she constantly monitored by some mystical watch team. I don’t know. I’m not really sure. Too many questions, too few answers, and that’s kind of frustrating. Ultimately, my problem was with the slow reveal of motivation and plot, and when information was finally given, the picture still felt incomplete, to me.
In short, it’s a winding fantasy with a lot of stuff that happens, but no clear reason for much of it. Lots and lots of coincidence, or perhaps just plain illusions that felt mostly contrived and stereotypical. I liked the scenes in “Heaven” best, but understood them the least. Go figure. I expect there’s another book, because Livvy ascends to the Heavens to help fight the angelic war, powered by the love and sacrifice of Keiron. Readers who like metaphysical books will enjoy HEARTBORN more than I did.
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!
About Author Terry Maggert:
I discovered fishing shortly after walking, a boon, considering I lived in South Florida. After a brief move to Kentucky, my family trekked back to the Sunshine State. I had the good fortune to attend high school in idyllic upstate New York, where I learned about a mythical substance known as “Seasons”. After two or three failed attempts at college, I bought a bar. That was fun because I love beer, but, then, I eventually met someone smarter than me (a common event), and, in this case, she married me and convinced me to go back to school–which I did, with enthusiasm. I earned a Master’s Degree in History and rediscovered my love for writing. My novels explore dark fantasy, immortality, and the nature of love as we know it. I live near Nashville, Tennessee, with the aforementioned wife, son, and herd, and, when I’m not writing, I teach history, grow wildly enthusiastic tomato plants, and restore my 1967 Mustang.