One more book review I am woefully late on. Finished this one back this summer and just getting to writing this now. Real short version if you don’t have time to read the rest – get this book because you’ll love it.
Heavenfire, the second book in the Angelborn series by JK Allen. This is a young adult urban fantasy series based on the premise that angels, as in angelic beings are real. One has had children with humans to create warriors to fight the demons. Heavenfire picks up with Ginny and Aiden on a quest to retrieve sacred tomes before the half-demon Jacob can get them.
Once again, I love what Allen has done with the characters. Ginny and Aiden continue to have a strong and believable growth arc throughout this book. Allen writes the jealousy between them at one point well and leaves the two of them open to manipulation, which is what happens. One thing I mentioned wanting more of in my review of Angelborn, book 1 in the series, was more growth on Jacob’s part. That happened some here in Heavenfire, which I appreciated. Jacob’s character goes through some interesting challenges and transformations, leaving him in a very different place than where he started.
I also appreciated the mythology and lore Allen weaves through the book. Allen drew the angels named in the book from Christian mythology. The sacred artifacts and how they are handled in the novel reflect common practices still present in Judeo-Christian culture today. Even the scenes with the demons and references to Hell can be traced back to the same Judeo-Christian mythological concepts and legends.
Finally, I think Allen did a wonderful job of connecting the reader to the different cultures and settings in this book. A significant part of the story takes place in the Middle East and it is clear Allen did her research to get those details right. Same goes for the scenes from out on the West Coast. Having been to the Washington/Oregon area, those scenes rang true for me based on what I saw out there. And this attention to detail in the cultures and settings made the story for me.
I’m not sure this is a critique of Heavenfire as much as it is a critique of the young adult urban fantasy genre. There were a few parts of the book that felt a little predictable yet fit well with this genre. For example, the jealousy that allowed Aiden and Ginny to be manipulated into helping the demons. While well written, authors often use this in the genre, so I felt like I knew what was coming before getting that far. But, like I said, this is part of the genre, and not necessarily a critique of Heavenfire in specific.
Beyond that, I have little else to critique about Heavenfire.
This is a fun, engaging, and easy read. Heavenfire extends Ginny and Aiden’s story in a cool way. Urban fantasy fans and young adult fans would not go amiss getting into this series. It’s well worth the read.