Monday, December 5, 2016

Review: Winter Halo by Keri Arthur

Winter Halo

Author: Keri Arthur
Publisher: Signet
Series: Outcast #2
Pages: Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: December 6th 2016


From the New York Times bestselling author of the Souls of Fire novels comes the second in the futuristic fantasy series that will make you want to keep the lights on...

When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between worlds, they allowed entry to the Others. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay....

The humanoid supersoldiers known as the d├ęchet were almost eradicated by the war. Ever since, Tiger has tried to live her life in peace in hiding. But in the wake of her discovery that Central City’s children are being kidnapped and experimented on, Tiger’s conscience won’t let her look the other way.

The key to saving them lies within the walls of a pharmaceutical company called Winter Halo. But as she learns more about the facility, Tiger’s mission is derailed by a complication: Winter Halo’s female security guards are being systematically attacked by an unknown force.

Now Tiger must summon all her gifts to stop those responsible for both atrocities—no matter the cost to herself...


And just as so often I am not really sure how to rate this.. because there a clearly two different ratings to this book. The first half was simply too slow, basically little to nothing of note happens.
Then suddenly everything changes in the second half, loads of actions but also we get a few (mind you very few answers) There is progress in the romance, the mystery and there is character growth.
The first half to be frank is rather disappointing.
The second half is why I like the series in the first place..

The only thing I liked consistently so far is the world building. I love the idea of dechet. I love the backstory, the world and the different moral aspects that it throws up. It's an interesting take on dystopia with a paranormal spin.

I like Arthurs descriptions, love her writing style. And while Outcast is set a quite different world from what I have read by Arthur up to now, it clearly has Arthurs signature on it. Interesting, imaginative world building, strong female lead (that is a slight bit promiscuous) and strong male lead, that is shrouded in mystery. While I enjoy her descriptions I felt that there was a lot of repetition in the first half. I am not sure why Charles was thrown in the occasion, but the second scene with him, felt like rather the obligatory allotted smut, than anything else.

The character building was similar in that aspect. I found the first half rather uninspired. Looking back it was a repetition of the first book. We already went through all of that with the characters. Though some of it was essential to what followed, I found it too long wound and repetitive. In fact I found myself just annoyed with Tig and Jonas at their arguing.. until things changed.
I like Tig. And now even more than before. I grew to like Jonas, he suddenly looks like an enticing love interest. If you would have asked me about him about 35% I would have said, I am not interested anymore. Now I can't wait to see what else is happening between them. More importantly I wanna see what change has happened and how it will change them individually.
I love Tig's interaction with Bar and Cat. They as a unite have not changed, yet they all seeing thing from different points of view. It's a brilliant dynamic. Very clever done and really beautiful to read about. Their loyalty, compassion and love for each other and how the event affect them individually is simply wonderful.
Penny made a minimal appearance, yet I want to know more. There have been revelations and I am wondering where Arthur is taking this character.
The rest of the support cast, however stayed the same, no growth but that isn't really a negative thing. It kinda highlights, that the changes in the MCs are rather unique considering the circumstances and history.

The plot picks up right where the first book ends. As I said, in the first half not much of interest happens. Then the second half kinda explodes into super fast paced action and we are bombarded with new info and some twists.
Yet looking back, I feel that I wanted more. Not that much has happened, well it kinda has, but we could put it under two main headlines maybe three. I feel like I have loads of questions still, barely any of the ones I was left with after the first book have been answered.

So while the first half was a bit disappointing, the second half was captivating and brilliant.
Now all I want is get my hands on the next installment!


ARC was provided by Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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