by Terry Maggert
Published on September 1st, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Length: 6 hours 28 minutes
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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.
I usually have good luck with books about angels. Needless to say, this gorgeous cover called my attention and the mysterious synopsis only increased my interest all the more. I was not disappointed in the least.
Livvy Foster was born with half a heart. She’s been prodded, analyzed, investigated, and operated on for all her 17 years of life. She knows pain, both physical and emotional and very little joy. She seeks escape in books, so it’s not strange that she is employed in the library. Here Livvy makes a friend for the first time and finds something to do that she truly loves. I liked Livvy from the begining. She’s loyal, brave, outgoing, smart, and she loves books. Since her life has been so difficult and she’s very conscious of her own mortality and is not shy or denies herself simple pleasures.
We know from the very beginning that Keiron was ‘pushed’ from above. What Livvy sees, however, is a handsome boy that for the first time sees, acknowledges and loves her just as she is. Keiron is not a main character in the story although what he does for the plot is quite significant.
Apparently parallel to Livvy’s story, is another story. The story of Keiron’s family in the sky. Here the truly fantasy part starts and where the world building shines. It is fascinating. This place in the ‘sky’ is gray, colorless, and violent. It’s a culture of magnificent beings, of angels, of hierarchy and brutal, dictatorship. Keiron’s family is powerful and starts a revolution that took years to accomplish.
All the stories are told from the third point of view, so we are able to know more than one side. The writing is magnificent, it kept me wanting to go faster and faster in the story and to figure out how both worlds coincide. The characters are vividly portrayed and developed
The book was confusing at times. I’m not sure if the printed version has something that distinguishes between one ‘world’ and another, but the narration did not. It switched between worlds, times and characters from one chapter to another (thankfully, not in the middle of chapters!) There are some other things that are not explained (maybe they will later) and others that are not believable, like Livvy and Keiron spending time (and even kissing) together while she’s at work, who wants to harm Livvy and why, how exactly was she rescued…
Overall, Heartborn is a fascinating and heartbreaking story. It read like the beginning of a series – especially at the end – and I wasn’t surprised to find its sequel, Moonborn, in Goodreads. This makes way more sense to me. Now that I’m hooked, I can’t wait for the next installment.
Heartborn is short for an audiobook and I liked that a lot. It was narrated by Julia Whelan, one of my favorite voice actors and that is always a win-win for me since I know what to expect. As always, she did a marvelous job, especially since part of the study was in the contemporary world and part in the “fantasy” world. What I mean by this is that the language and ‘feel’ is different and I think she nail it.