Book Review: Aaru: Halls of Hel by David Meredith
ashley | I’ve read and enjoyed a couple of books by David Meredith – The Reflections of Queen Snow White and Aaru (book one). Aaru: Halls of Hel was a strong sequel to Aaru and an enjoyable continuation of the near-perfect cyber after world of Aaru.
I enjoyed the opportunity to revisit Aaru, I still think this is such a clever and interesting concept and this book takes that concept even further, closing the gap between just seeing into the after life and actually visiting it, which I enjoyed. I also liked seeing the characters grow from the first book into the second, coming in to their own and trying to find their footing in their new worlds.
But I had a bit of a harder time getting into things this time around and the story points seemed a bit more juvenile than previously… fighting with mom and dad, running around with boys etc. All of that is part of growing up, but I’m grown up and can’t relate to that on the same level anymore.
We were also introduced to a lot of new characters as they entered Aaru, but by far Hel was my favourite. I think she was a necessarily addition to balance out the rest of the novel. Her darkness created conflict and uproar within Aaru and it helped move the book along. She was meant to be a villain and underwent a lot of unspeakable torture that made her that way, but honestly, I liked her a lot.
I enjoyed the themes of this book also; Koren having to deal with being seen as a victim and Rose having to deal with trying to find meaning in a life where you can have anything you want without having to put any work into it. I thought these plot points were really interesting and liked seeing the characters struggle with these aspects.
As I said, I felt this was a strong sequel and I like where the story is going, but I just had a bit of trouble with some of the stepping stones along the way. Things are left pretty open ended again, so there will be more to follow, and I’m looking forward to seeing where things end up.
july 27, 2018
book provided for honest review by