Note: I received an Advanced Reader's e-galley for free from the publisher for review.
I received an digital copy of Heartborn, by Terry Maggert, from Netgalley for review, and I squealed at the cover. I admit that I absolutely judge books by their covers, and look at how beautiful this wing is! The colors are gorgeous, and they make the whole scene very ethereal, which is what I was hoping for when I read, right on the cover, that "her guardian angel was pushed."
Her guardian angel was pushed.
Keiron was never meant to be anything other than a hero. Born high above in a place of war and deception, he is Heartborn, a being of purity and goodness in a place where violence and deceit are just around every corner.
His disappearance will spark a war he cannot see, for Keiron has pierced the light of days to save a girl he has never met, for reasons he cannot understand. Livvy Foster is seventeen, brave, and broken. With half a heart, she bears the scars of a lifetime of pain and little hope of survival.
Until Keiron arrives.
In the middle of a brewing war and Livvy’s failing heart, Keiron will risk everything for Livvy, because a Heartborn’s life can only end in one way: Sacrifice.
Fall with Livvy and Keiron as they seek the truth about her heart, and his power, and what it means to love someone who will give their very life to save you.
Unfortunately, Heartborn did not live up to my expectations. Here are a few (spoiler-free) reasons why.
Livvy Foster, the girl with "half a heart," just wasn't a strong enough protagonist for me. She has a compelling backstory of personal and physical willpower, but this did not shine through when, inevitably, she ended up falling head over heals for her fallen guardian angel. Her personality just didn't translate in the storytelling, and I wish it had, because it would have been really interesting to have a "heroine" who was physically weak, but emotionally and mentally strong.
Next up, the pacing was all off. I was incredibly bored at the parts of this book where we focus on the "war [Keiron] cannot see," because of how much Maggert needed to explain to the reader. And, this is done while alternating between Livvy's story on Earth. Because of this, I was forced to do mental leaps and jumps to understand this brewing war and the politics behind it. There are some really interesting aspects to the place that Keiron left behind, but the world-building just wasn't there. It didn't seem like a solid place to me. Too much was thrown at me too quickly for me to care, and too little information was provided when I needed it most.
This is a total shame because the writing itself wasn't bad! There were beautiful described moments and imagery, and I took pleasure in the fact that a majority of the time spent on Earth was at the library, where Livvy's works.
I think Heartborn had potential! And if you are a fan of angels and the paranormal genre in general, you may have an easier time with this book than I did. But for all of Maggert's beautiful writing, I could not get over how slowly the book moved, or the plot holes, or the lack of a strong character for me to focus on.
I rate Heartborn 2/5 stars.