Review: Horns and Haloes by Nia Rose

This book has an absolutely phenomenal premise. It is set in a quasi-Western apocalyptic world full of scattered human settlements, each of which relies on a pact made with a devil to sustain themselves. When Sia is chosen as a sacrifice to her village’s devil, she is cast out into exile and must explore this strange and dangerous world.

My favorite character, by far, was Draki, a demon with whom Sia is forced to make a deal of her own for survival. He is clever, sly, compellingly evil, and I kept looking forward to his appearances in each scene. All of his banter with Sia is beautifully executed. He is a truly great character.

Another real strength of the book is its prose. Rose is an extremely skillful writer, and her mastery of the English language shows throughout the book. Particularly strong are her descriptive passages, which really conjure up the imagery of this new world. However, character-based introspective scenes are also written with moving insight, and the dialogue is clever and consistent to each character.

The only thing I didn’t love was the pacing. It felt like the revelations and worldbuilding came very fast at the beginning, and then there was a long period of relatively aimless wandering for Sia, followed by an explosive climax. That did not detract, however, from an overall excellent read.


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