9.05.2011

HADES Review -- Alexandra Adornetto

Hades (Halo, #2)Hades by Alexandra Adornetto

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Dear World,
Please do not question my sanity. I promise I have not lost it. I am reading this for the freaking lulz AND THAT'S IT.
Sincerely, Me.

Review: 2.5 stars

First impressions are deceiving.

I have fourteen years’ worth of anecdotal proof that this theory is true, but the one example I want to give you is Alexandra Adornetto’s first book, HALO (which I’m sure everyone and their mom has read or at least seen).

Back when I was an innocent little thirteen-year-old, I was wandering the bottom floor of my Barnes & Noble, looking at the new releases and such, molesting the Nooks, blahblah. Bored of my futile search (I’d never been much of an adult reader, and the bottom floor was where all the mainstream adult books were kept at the time), I headed over toward the escalator that took you to the top floor, with the children’s section; the adult PNR section; the board games section; and the teen/YA section. YA had proved to be a friendly companion in my recent years of extremely frequent reading, and I was itching to get to the top and find some more to read.

When I reached the top of the escalator, I saw a six-shelf display of HALO, and I nearly jizzed my pants.

It was beautiful.

I almost couldn’t tolerate not owning it.

When I was an adult and I was rich and famous and I branched out into the publishing world, I had to get that cover designer on board with me to design my book.

I wouldn’t live if I didn’t.

I stood there for a good minute or so just marveling at the beautiful wonder that was the cover of HALO before I finally couldn’t stand it any longer and I had to touch it. When I picked it up, I could almost hear the angels singing “Alleluia” in my ears (no pun intended, folks). I knew I had to buy it.

And I did. I bought the hell out of it.

I wish I could tell you right now that the contents of that book were as beautiful as the cover was. I wish I could tell you I gave it a no-brainer five stars and recommended it to every single person on the face of the earth, YA fan or not. I wish I could tell you I honed my sculpting skills and made a statue of Adornetto, which I proudly displayed as a centerpiece in my living room. Alas, I cannot tell you any one of those things, because not one of them is true. In fact, they’re pretty much the farthest things from true.

HALO had so many problems: it was waaaaaay too long; the main character was so blatantly dumb, she was deserving of being high-fived in the face with a frying pan, not to mention she was Mary-Sue-perfect; the prose was more purple than my face was while I was reading it; the plot was progressing at the speed of something really slow… That’s only some of its seemingly perpetual list of problems I found. Regardless, I found some moments in the book to be cute and/or funny and/or worthwhile, so I gave it two stars on Goodreads. It’s actually more deserving of one-and-a-half, but who really cares about the semantics?

The gorgeous and wondrous cover of HALO is reason number one I can prove that theory that first impressions are deceiving.

The second one is my first impression of HALO carrying over to its much shorter and frankly much better sequel, HADES. HALO was my first impression of Adornetto’s lack of talent, and honestly I would rather gouge my eyes out with a spoon than have to re-read it. HADES is a major step-up from HALO, because while sometimes the plot is shrouded in the shadows of overtly-dumb characters, at least it’s existent. The concept of Hell that Adornetto creates is, to say the least, an epic fail.

I mean, seriously, Adornetto. Hell is filled to the brim with clubs non-stop partygoers and fancy hotels? Everything I’ve heard about it describes it as a place of eternal torture and suffering, not a place of fun.

The way she describes the devil is laugh-worthy, and I don’t mean a chuckle, I mean a kind of laugh. This is what she says to describe him:

”He wore a white linen suit with a red silk tie and his feet were encased in white cowboy boots. He held an ivory-topped cane that he tapped softly on the cement floor... His skin was tanned and leathery and his eyes were a pellucid blue but devoid of any expression. He was immaculately groomed and wore his silver hair tied back loosely with a gilded clasp."

Yes. I am 100% serious. I am not pranking you. You are not being punk’d (which Bethie made a reference to).

This brings me to a whole new point . . . Beth.

Oh, dear Lord, Beth, you are one of the most childish and inexperienced heroines I’ve ever read. You aren’t as bad in this installment as you were in the last one , but you’re still extremely stupid.

You made so many poor decisions over the course of these books, I’m almost tempted to not read the next book.

My first clue you were completely retarded:

"I could never do the "'sup nod”—it made me feel as if I were in one of those music videos Molly watched on MTV where men in hoods rapped about “homies” and something called “bling.”

And believe me, people. It only gets worse.

The only reason I say she’s not as bad in this book as she was in HALO is because in this installment, when she’s trapped in Hell, she offers to help two people she’d met there escape when she gets her opportunity to. *SPOILERS* Of course, in the end, this is forgotten, but it was still kind of a sweet gesture...

One thing that completely surprised me about this book is when *SPOILERS* Molly declares her love for Gabriel. I SERIOUSLY did not expect that to happen. His reaction is what was really surprising to me. You’re just going to have to read it to get more on that.

HADES starts off roughly. On one account, the first thirty-five pages has excessive infodump to the point where one of my progress points was solidly

"INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP INFODUMP."

I am not exaggerating.

When Jake introduced the concept of projecting (she could “project” her soul to watch her “loved ones” on Earth while her physical form was still in Hell), I did this:



Seriously. I did. It was such a BLATANTLY INTRODUCED plot device, I had no other options.

Not to mention the total deus ex machina at the end.

The cliffhanger at the end had me a bit confused. It was only over the span of one sentence. I have no idea what was going on. Hopefully, HEAVEN (book #3, for those uninformed) will explain what’s goin’ on and what I obviously don’t understand.

Big improvement from HALO, but there were some . . . obvious . . . problems.

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