Heartborn by Terry Maggert

MaggertHeartbornNarrator: Julia Whelan

Publisher: Terry Maggert (2016)

Length: 6 hours 20 minutes

Author’s Page

Keiron believes the girl is worth the attempt. His brother Gerrick does not. Keiron falls to Earth without his wings and he remembers just enough to seek out Livvy Foster, a teen-aged girl with half a heart. He believes she is the key to something greater, but is he right?

There were many things I loved about this book. First, it’s a very different take on angels. In fact, these winged beings rarely bring up the word ‘angel’. Most believe their world is entirely enclosed with nothing of interest below them. They have their own politics and factions, deceivers, creators, historians, and warriors. I really enjoyed this take on the ethereal realm of angels. It was so much more fascinating and beautiful because it was so visceral. These angels are not of the peace-loving, nurturing variety.

The story switches back and forth throughout. There’s 17-year-old Livvy with her little job at the library. Then there’s Vosa and Sinoff dealing with the aftermath of their son Gerrick giving their other son Keiron a good shove into the human realm. War is brewing in the angels’s realm. Meanwhile, Livvy has her own struggles – she has a faulty heart which often leaves her breathless and rather slow on her feet. Luckily, she has Dozer who is her self-assigned best friend at the library.

At first, I was mostly interested in the angels’s realm because it was so very interesting. There’s Cressa, a blightwing, who is currently serving an indefinite amount of time in servitude to this ruling council. She brings Vosa and Sinoff the summons, and they treat her like a real person instead of shunning her. Things continue to get interesting when one of their daughters, Habira, joins them. She’s a warrior in her own right.

It took me a bit longer to get into Livvy’s story line. She has this heart thing, but few specifics are given. The focus is mostly on how it affects her day to day life. Dozer provides some humor, which is good. Then Keiron joins the mix and a little romance enters the story (which was OK but not necessary for me). Yet it was when we start getting hints of something more going on with another lady at the library that I truly became interested in Livvy’s storyline. There’s a bit of mystery, a hint of danger there.

So we have all these great elements going on: the uniqueness of the angels; Livvy’s limited function; Dozer’s humor; a war brewing; Cressa’s back story; the mystery at the library. I was really into this book. And then, in the final quarter of the book, things take a turn. Well, actually, I’m not sure where things went. I really thought I missed a chapter. I went back and relistened to the section to make sure. In the end, I felt like there were pieces missing. The final outcome I was OK with, but I don’t get how we got there and how certain characters went from being evil to being good guys. I suffered more than whiplash from how quickly this story changed things up near the end. I really hope there is a sequel that will answer all of the many, many questions I have.

I received a free copy of this book via The Audiobookworm.

The Narration:  Julia Whelan did an excellent job with this book. I really liked her young Livvy and her wise, patient Vosa. Her playful Dozer was great too. She imbued the characters with all the right amounts of emotion and that did much to bring this book a live for me.

What I Liked: The realm of the angels; all the interesting politics, etc. of the angels; war is brewing; Livvy’s friend Dozer; a mystery at the library; great narration; gorgeous cover art.

What I Disliked: The last quarter of the book really jangled things up – what? huh? why? are you sure? how did we get here?

What Others Think:

Obsessive Book Nerd

Angelic Book Reviews

Books, Books, and More Books!

The Audiobookworm

The Bookworm Central


3 thoughts on “Heartborn by Terry Maggert”

  1. Hallo, Susan, I’m following the blog tour for this title!

    I am new to reviewing audiobooks (first one for me goes live on Sunday!) however, this particular title interested me originally when the author found me on Twitter. Then, I considered reviewing it for the blog tour but felt a bit indifferent towards how I’d feel about the story-line. I couldn’t get a proper take on the novel so I awaited for the blog tour to follow along with the reviewers who would be sharing their own thoughts! 🙂

    Similar to you, I do find it perplexing when a story leaves off with an ambiguous ending – where you feel you need ‘more’ to understand the reasons why everything is happening the way in which it is at that junction. Was anything foreshadowed earlier in the story? It seems strange this last quarter would do that, but I’ve had the same thing happen to me, so I do understand where your coming from! For me, the last quarter I didn’t feel fared as well in a novel was a Historical called “The Story of Land and Sea” by Katy Simpson Smith.

    The novel that left me hanging was “The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker but blessedly I learnt a year ago (or so) we are getting a sequel in 2018! 🙂 I do hope you’ll get your chance to find out what is happening – it’s so disheartening when you love characters & world-building to leave everything unresolved.

    You’ve given me food for thought – I’m still curious about this title and I loved how you said it’s an alternative spin on Angels and the concept of what they are doing to occupying their days. I’ve read stories about Angels too; including having two scheduled for Sci Fi November (another series by LG O’ Connor). Thanks for being openly honest and descriptive with your reading experiences! I appreciated this review as it gave such a strong impression of what you were thinking and how the story was resonating with you as you listened to it! Such joy!

    *Reviews of the stories I’ve mentioned are on my blog in case you’re interested in what I felt about them. Search box in upper right corner to find them.

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