Heavenward (Celestial Creatures #1) by Olga Gibbs (2018)
YA Fiction | Paranormal/Fantasy
“Life is tough for Ariel. A childhood, filled with domestic violence, neglect, abuse and the reccurring nightmare that plagues her every night, for as long as she remembers, questioning her sanity, and a secret, which she doesn’t want anyone to know and is so desperately to forget herself.
Now she’s locked away in a rural town in a Northern England, with her life as dull as the town itself.
But when three new students appear in a sleepy town’s school, Ariel doesn’t suspect that her life is about to change forever, as she is drawn into an ancient celestial conflict, that is bigger than her, and which she needs to survive to remain herself.
But would you chose to protect humanity that broke you or would you take revenge?
It’s a story of a survivor, who’s refusing to be a victim and is prepared to fight until the end.
This book is a magical story of a strong heroine, finding yourself and love. This book is a young adult fantasy adventure with a strong protagonist at its centre and will guarantee to thrill fans of Hunger Games, Divergent and Philip Pullman.”
pooled ink Review:
I’m always happy to hear from authors seeking reviews for their work and the concept of this book honestly intrigued me so here I am having devoured this book and I am left with a few conflicting thoughts:
A thrilling YA fantasy/paranormal read it centers around a human girl who collides with the realm of angels and the chaos that ensues as she is thrust upon a fate she never wanted. Overall this book has a Twilight feel to it with the romance and with the way Ariel, a human, stumbles into the world of nightmares.
There’s certainly plenty of twists and turns threaded throughout the plot and the story contains some truly dark and twisted elements, but it also has a few unfortunately cringe-worthy moments as well. While I remain absolutely intrigued with the story’s concept I wish it was far more polished. There were some plot and character developments that needed a bit more thought and time to make better sense and to, well, flow.
For example, I would have liked to see more steady development with Ariel as she becomes immersed in this world of angels and schemes. For much of the story Ariel is impulsive and understandably useless then suddenly she’s saving lives. Angel or not it didn’t quite feel believable. I also wish the romance was a bit better played out as much of it felt frankly confusing. At times the story took its delicate time and others it jumped and leaped leaving me a bit lost. An editor (both for plot and for things such as typos, grammar, sentence structure, etc.) and a more professional cover would also help greatly.
However, while I feel that this book requires some more work before gracing the shelves, it had this undeniable something that drew me in and made me eager to finish it. To be honest I didn’t really attach to any of the characters nor did I truly get a consistent grasp on the story but for some wholly unknown reason I just didn’t want to stop reading. So the magic is definitely there, it just needs a bit more fine tuning to live up to its full potential.
If you’re on the hunt for an intriguing celestial read that will have you constantly guessing and featuring a spiky protagonist against a backdrop of ancient battles and beautiful faces, then Heavenward just might belong on your list. The first book of the series and it takes no prisoners as it leaves you breathless with each twist and turn.
Purchase here: Heavenward
(P.S. I don’t normally remark on a book’s typos, etc. when I receive an eARC because it’s understood that it is an unfinished product still undergoing edits, however as this copy was the same up for purchase I felt it was “up for grabs” and a crucial part to the reading experience. I don’t mean to sound rude! I honestly was intrigued by the story but it’s equally important to have a polished manuscript as it is to have an interesting one.)
Meet Olga Gibbs!
Olga Gibbs lives in a leafy-green town, nestled amongst the green fields of West Sussex, England. She lives with her husband, their two daughters.
She was writing from the age of fifteen, mainly short stories and novellas and was a guest colunmist for a local newspaper. When she is not dreaming up new adventures for her imaginary friends, she does outreach work with teenagers.
She is currently writing a second book in the “Celestial creatures” series and another stand-alone psychological crime thriller book.