Review: Halo by Frankie Rose

    haloHey, Germs!  Sometimes it’s really hard for me to pick which book to read and review.  I got about 30% into one book this month, stopped being interested, and started reading Halo by Frankie Rose a few minutes later.  I was hooked from the start.

    Halo was initially published under the name Raksha in 2013.  The book starts with painting a dystopian society that is extremely different than ours.  There is a clear caste system in place: Falin, Elin, Therin, and Trues (I might be missing some). Our main character doesn’t have a name; she is Falin Kitsch.  She fights in the Colloseum with other Falin and kills them for sport.  The halo around her neck is a device that administers a drug that controls her emotions.  Everything she knows changes when she goes against her longtime training partner, Falin Asha.

    I’m reluctant to say more than that because of spoilers!

    What I Liked

    I really enjoyed the world that was presented.  The halos, the different societal classes, the Colloseum.  It was reminiscent of The Hunger Games without being a clone.   Kit (the main character) was a very interesting protagonist.  She’s very strong and physically capable, but she isn’t all that great with social constructs.  I loved all the plot twists, especially since the one plot twist I kept predicting hasn’t happened yet; I can’t wait to read the second book to see if it actually happens.  There’s a lot of foreshadowing throughout the book, and it’s very well done.  I’m really interested to see where these characters go in the next book.

    What I Didn’t Like as Much

    This is going to be nitpicky, but the only reason we were given for why we had this dystopian future and separated, isolated cities was that war tore everything apart.  I want to know more in that respect.  I want to know what drove the Sanctuary (where the story starts) to start drugging part of their population.  I’ll also say that the ending is quite a bit confusing and really leaves you longing for the sequel.  I can’t fault it for being a confusing end to a book, though, because it did exactly what a first book in a series is supposed to do: set up the questions that drive the series forward.  I just wish we had gotten a little more background information on the world in the first book.

    Conclusion

    I really enjoyed this book.  It’s 354 pages long, and I read it over two days.  I was hooked basically once I started reading.  The author recommends that the reader be over the age of 16 because of the violence in this book, and I’m inclined to agree.  It may be similar to The Hunger Games, but it’s a little grittier.  I managed to snag Halo while it was on special for free, but at it’s normal price of $2.99, it’s still a steal!  You can purchase Halo here on Amazon, and check out Frankie Rose’s website for information on the author’s various books and upcoming projects.  I give Halo a solid 4 out of 5 stars!

    If you have any indie books to recommend for me, please send me an email at laura@germmagazine.com!  It’s fun to find books to read, but everyone loves a reading recommendation.

    image (c) Frankie Rose

    crossposted on my personal blog

    LL Lemke is from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. She loves writing science fiction and fantasy— or anything that is character driven. She still kind of wants to be a superhero or a ninja. She has a soft spot for villains in fiction.  She also loves reading (which is one reason she's Germ's indie book reviewer). Some favorites are Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahniuk, George RR Martin, JK Rowling... If she met any of them, she’s pretty sure she'd be completely unable to form coherent sentences. She is also a martial artist, with a 2nd degree black belt in taekwondo and currently training for her 3rd degree. She loves the martial arts almost as much as she loves writing. She enjoys incorporating the martial arts into her writing as well!  You can find her on tumblr and twitter, as well as visit her author page and blog.  Want to recommend an indie book for her to review?  Contact her at laura@germmagazine.com.

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