Welcome to day nine of the Harbinger blog tour! Below you will find my book review for the third installment in author Olga Gibbs’ young adult Celestial Creatures series. I was sent the ebook in exchange for my honest review for the Blog Tour, and there are no spoilers for any part of the series in my review.
Many thanks go to Melanie of Fraser’s Fun House and Olga Gibbs for putting together this tour, and for inviting me to participate alongside a [great] number of talented bloggers. You can find information on the author and where to get a copy of the book at the bottom of this post.
“I am Uriel: The Harbinger of Chaos, The Keeper of the Gates, The Begetter of Life, The Dam of The Ends, and I’m coming to take what is mine!”
The clash with Baza and his angels had demonstrated to Ariel that Earth (Apkallu) is not the safe heaven she hoped it would be, and it is only a matter of time before she is hunted and dead.
The only way to survive is to accept her destiny and to fight back.
But upon her return to Uras, Ariel is rejected in her own domain and has to suppress the revolt against her reign. The angels refuse her and her lead, abandoning her and Uras in favour of another ruler.
She knows that without an army of followers she won’t stand a chance against Baza or Mik’hael, so now she needs to go into the most unexpected places to find it.
Once again we are thrown into the world of angels, where Heaven and Hell are not all they appear to be, where ruthlessness and betrayal are around every corner, and where Ariel is still continuing to fight for her sister, what she believes is right, and for herself.
Right away the reader is inserted into the action, and there was no better way to begin this installment of the Celestial Creatures series by Olga Gibbs. ‘Harbinger’ is not only the title and overarching theme of the book, or even just part of Ariel’s new title; its meaning is present in every action and conversation, which included with every other element, gives the story a completeness that will please any reader.
The settings and story itself were once again entirely captivating. Like I’ve said in my previous reviews, Olga Gibbs knows just how to pull the reader into a scene without being excessive in her descriptions. Everything can be clearly imagined, from the buildings of Uras to the design of the characters’ garments and weapons, because the paragraphs and sentences beautifully reach all five senses without being weighed down by purple prose.
Even more incredible than the descriptions is the consistent pacing of the entire book. The story moves at a quick speed, but this works so well with Olga Gibbs’ writing style that it’s not difficult to stay on top of the action and thoughts of our main characters. The plot may be quick-moving, but that does not diminish the power and impression of what’s happening. Each scene feels, again, complete; and each chapter feels crucial to the timeline. Harbinger is a book that is nearly impossible to put down because of the stakes and anticipatory atmosphere; even with the plethora of character introductions right at the end, Olga Gibbs managed to keep the story moving while also keeping my full attention.
It would be remiss to not briefly talk about Ariel, and her character development up to this point. In Heavenward, she was thrown into a world she knew nothing about as she dealt with personal trauma. In Hallow, Ariel was more knowledgeable but still immature, trying to figure herself out and stick to her personal responsibilities while learning about new, otherworldly responsibilities. And in Harbinger, she is still a little rash and unsure, but there is a strength that I’m realizing had been present and building all along. In this third book, she still experiences moments of doubt, but it feels like she is at a point where she is looking at a bigger picture. It feels like she has really accepted both parts of her life, at least to the extent that she has accepted her place in the Universe. She is able to keep her Rage (personified in the story) at bay, or at least not let it control her to the extent it did in the past, and she is taking her fate into her own hands – as much as she possibly can. This stage of development feels perfect for this point in the series, not only in the sense of the plot but as a realistic progression of the personal sort. Ariel still acts and feels like herself in the reader’s eyes, but she is definitely not the same Ariel we met in Book #1. And especially with the jaw-dropping conclusion of Harbinger, I will be [excitedly, distressingly] waiting to see where she goes from here.
To sum up, Harbinger is an exceptional continuation that not only deepens my investment in these characters and world, but also my admiration for the way Olga Gibbs writes and tells a story. The only thing Harbinger leaves me wanting for is the next installment of the Celestial Creatures series.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Olga Gibbs lives in a leafy-green town, nestled amongst the green fields of West Sussex, England. She was writing from the age of fifteen, mainly short stories and novellas and was a guest columnist for a local newspaper. When she is not dreaming up new adventures for her imaginary friends, she does outreach work with teenagers.
She is currently writing the final books in the “Celestial creatures” series and another stand-alone psychological crime thriller.