HADES by Alexandra Adornetto (Review, Trailer, GIVEAWAY!)

Title: HADES (HALO #2)
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Release Date: Out Now (August 30, 2011)
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends/MacMillan
Received: Publisher for Review


Heaven Help Her.

Bethany Church is an angel sent to Earth to keep dark forces at bay. Falling in love was never part of her mission, but the bond between Beth and her mortal boyfriend, Xavier Woods, is undeniably strong. But even Xavier’s love, and the care of her archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, can’t keep Beth from being tricked into a motorcycle ride that ends up in Hell. There, the demon Jake Thorn bargains for Beth’s release back to Earth. But what he asks of her will destroy her, and quite possibly, her loved ones, as well."

The story that Alexandra Adornetto built in her bestselling debut, HALO, comes alive in action-packed and unexpected ways, as angels battle demons, and the power of love is put to the test.

Last year, I reviewed HALO by Alexandra Adornetto, which was full of beautiful visuals, but lacking in real punch. When the publisher mentioned that the second book in the trilogy, HADES, was darker, edgier, and grittier, I decided to give it a chance. For one thing, one of the issues I had the first time around was the lack of all this. Everything was too perfect. For another thing, earlier this year, I fell in love with UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand to the extent where I’m willing to give angel books a second chance. HALO was as sweet and light as its yellow and white cover. Likewise, HADES is as dark and corruptive as its red, bad-ass cover.

Jake Thorn is back, and manages to trick the angelic Bethany into getting on his motorcycle, where she’s unknowingly in for a one-way trip to Hell—or in this book’s case, Hades. Adornetto mixes the Christian Hell and the mythological Hades together, tying them in with Dante’s Nine Circles to create a new spin on the Underworld. In this world, each of the Nine Circles is ruled by a demon that was once one of the eight angels to fall from Heaven alongside “Big Daddy” (aka Lucifer). Jake is one of the original fallen angels and Prince of the Third Circle. He has captured Bethany to bring her back as his bride. By taking an angel into Hades against her will, he has unleashed a war between good and evil, one that will bring down the Apocalypse.

HADES starts off innocently enough. I struggled a little to get into it because it focused too much on Beth and Xavier’s lovey-dovey romance. They’re completely joined at the hip, almost sickeningly perfect. At a Halloween party, Beth is forced into joining her friends in a sĂ©ance—one that allows Jake to create a portal back into our world. This is where the book really begins to start moving, though. The pace completely changes and becomes more compelling once Bethany arrives in Hades. Sure, there are weird occurrences such as the fact that Hades is full of night clubs for demons and Lucifer is referred to as Big Daddy. Bethany also doesn’t grow as much as a character between the two books as I would have liked. At the same time, the descriptive elements that I fawned all over during HALO are still present. Adornetto remains strong at painting pictures that make a reader able to visualize the scene in his/her mind, from being chased by hell-hounds to burning alive in the deepest Circle of Hades. At one point, Bethany drinks from the Lake of Dreams, allowing her corporal spirit to visit Xavier and her siblings Ivy and Gabriel as they attempt to plot on how to save her. A trite technique, yes, but one that allows readers to witness one of the most visual scenes in the novel, a demonic exorcism. It also allows readers to witness the way Ivy and Gabriel experience slight character growth while Xavier wallows in misery and adds romantic angst to the novel.

HEAVEN is the final book in the trilogy and scheduled to come out in 2012. The promised Apocalypse is coming. The book ends on a cliffhanger that could have gone one of two ways, but answers won’t be revealed for another year. A certain character also comes full-circle and will most likely find a way to do so again in the final volume. My biggest hope is that there will be more character growth, less wallowing, and another infusion of Adornetto’s beautiful descriptive passages.


This cover is great: It’s dark and edgy. In a way, unless you read the summary, it’s also misleading. It looks like an angel on the way to Hell…voluntarily. One who’s bad to the bone. That doesn’t describe Bethany at all. I like the way the cover is HALO’s complete opposite. All of the colors are the same except for the bright yellow being switched out for a vicious red. I love the addition of lightning in the background (maybe to match the sunspot and perfection of HALO?) and the way the title/author logo is duplicated. There is still, in my mind, a “stone-angel” quality to the angel, and I love that the characters remain in silhouette.

I’m anxious to see the final book’s cover. With a title like HEAVEN, the cover might be just as bright and airy as HALO was, creating two book-ends with a little darkness in the middle. Likewise, it could be a combination of the two covers, red and yellow, both sides engaged in battle. Or something else completely. Time will tell!

And now, a special treat!!!

Here is HADE’s official trailer:

But wait, there’s more!!!

Enter now to win your VERY OWN COPY of HADES by Alexandra Adornetto, courtesy of MacMillan!

All you have to do is fill out this form! The contest is only open to bookworms in Canada and the USA!


  1. wowza! that halo cover is just... gorgeous. wow.
    hades is well done too, but based on cover alone, i would have picked up halo and not hades. but based on your review, hades sounds much, much better!
    i don't read many angel books. i think city of bone, glass, ashes are the only ones... except for a wip i critted for someone. i hear there's a buncha them out there though. anyway though, i think a light blue with the silhouettes would be GORGEOUS for a book titled heaven! i have such a soft spot for silhouette art!

  2. Thank you for the great giveaway I loved Halo was so good can't wait to read Hades!

  3. So, I actually didn't know about these. They look good though. I think Halo's cover is beautiful and very striking.

    PS-- I found a retelling of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Looks good.

  4. @Vic: Aren't those covers lovely? I picked up HALO based on how gorgeous it looked, too! HADES was definitely the deeper book of the two. I don't read many angel books, either. I always thought the Cassandra Clare books were about vampires. Didn't know they were about angels, lol! A really GOOD angel book is UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand. Have you read that yet? One of my 2011 favorites! A blue book WOULD look divine!

  5. @Latisha Jean: You're welcome! Good luck!

    @Flashlight: HALO is *gorgeous* Oooh, what's the Shakespeare book?

  6. I am so excited about this book and I hope that I win! I loooooved Halo and can't wait for this one. I lvoe angel books! http://www.deadtreesandsilverscreens.blogspot.com

    going to go add myself as a new follower right now..

  7. nope! i've never read unearthly, but i just added it to my ginormous to-read list on goodreads! thanks for the heads up!

  8. @Vic: It's really, REALLY good. Like, as in, "I didn't want to read this ARC and sat on it for a month, then decided for some light reading before bed and stayed up way too late reading" -good. AND it's one of my favorite books of 2011.

    The character development is AMAZING. I even want to know more about secondary characters like her mom and brother (yay, family unit!), not to mention Tucker, whom I love, love, LOVE!

    This was my review: http://abackwardsstory.blogspot.com/2011/01/unearthly-by-cynthia-hand-debut-author.html

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