Release Day Review: H.A.L.F. Origins (H.A.L.F. #3)

Title: H.A.L.F. Origins | Author: Natalie Wright | Pub. Date: 2017-8-24 | Pages: 376 | ASIN: B07263P84J | Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy from the author for review consideration

H.A.L.F. Origins

A deadly alien virus spawns an epidemic. Predators attack Europe. And a clandestine organization conspires to profit from chaos and forge a New World Order.

In this heart-pounding finale of the award-winning H.A.L.F. series, Tex, Erika and the rest are in a race against time. They fought for their lives. Now they battle to save our species.

Tex and Erika are fugitives and running for their lives. But when Tex falls gravely ill, a Navajo healer is his only hope for survival. Tex emerges from the ordeal changed in body and mind and with vital information: how to stop the predatory M’Uktah from overtaking the human population and destroying those he has come to love.

Erika Holt seeks a respite from the constant threats to her life but she’s not about to give up. As she and Tex launch a mission to shut down the intra-galactic highway used by invaders who prey on humans, she grows closer to her troubled half-human companion. But what about her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Jack?

Jack Wilson, with his friend Anna Sturgis, is on a mission of his own. He’s determined to destroy The Makers, an Illuminati-like organization behind the H.A.L.F. program. It’s time to put an end to their schemes for world domination. Complicating matters, an anti-viral that could save millions from an alien virus has been stolen. As both alien and human forces line up against them, the destiny of all mankind is hand the hands of these young warriors. And time is running out.

Book cover for H.A.L.F. Origins

H.A.L.F. Origins Review

Natalie Wright’s H.A.L.F. Origins, the conclusion to the H.A.L.F. series, will delight her faithful audience. The series, which is aimed at young adults, skillfully mixes science fiction, politics, and heart.  The trio’s journey, which took them all briefly along different paths, has brought them back together again. Humanity’s existence as something more than foodstuff depends on more than just the three of them, though. It rests mainly on the shoulders of H.A.L.F. 9, and he’s going through some changes of his own in this book.

I have mixed feelings about almost every character in this series besides Erika and Jack. And, for the most part, that’s a very good thing. If you want to read a book where the good guys are undoubtedly good guys, this is not the series for you. Almost all of the characters end up doing things that are repugnant, but they’re doing them for the right (or at least understandable) reasons. I think this is where Wright’s strength lies. Though I do wish the romance angle would have been tamped down a bit in this third book.

H.A.L.F Origins has us witnessing the final play for humanity. In the previous books, it was a fight for survival on a personal level. This time, it’s very much more than that. Not everyone is going to make it out of this unscathed, whether it’s on a physical or an emotional level. And most of the weight rests upon the shoulders of two alien-human hybrids who have no real reason to try to save the world.

This book feels like a much quicker read than it actually is. I had no trouble immediately immersing myself in it, but I was also a little disappointed by it. H.A.L.F. Origins feels like it skimmed the surface of what was happening. Part of that is to be expected as young adult novels tend not to show things quite as harshly as adult novels do. Not that she slacked on the violence, mind you! There is plenty of action, confrontations, and growing up to be found in H.A.L.F. Origins.

I won’t lie, H.A.L.F. Origins didn’t really do it for me. I definitely liked it more than I liked book two, but… Well, there’s a reason I tend to not read trilogies, and this is a perfect example of that. It’s not that I don’t think Natalie Wright is a good writer, because I do. Objectively, she is able to craft a story that appeals to its intended age range. She has characters that appeal to a wide range of readers and that aren’t cardboard cutouts. I just didn’t care. My interest blazed in book one, dwindled to sparks in the second book, and made a valiant effort that amounted to a mediocre flare in the third book.

I did like the ending of H.A.L.F. Origins, though. The direction Natalie Wright went in for one of the primary characters had me expecting a typical ‘rise from the ashes’ type situation. But she defied my expectations and instead gave me something that was a bit more hit-in-the-feels. The book ended on a bit of a melancholy note, and I thought that was a perfect choice. I also liked the story line with the Vree. It definitely went in an unexpected direction. It was these two things that ended up bumping H.A.L.F. Origins up to a 4 star rating for me.

I would love to see the author let her talents out to play on something a bit darker and for adults. I have a feeling she could turn out some really interesting work for older readers as well! Still, for what it is, the H.A.L.F. series is well-written and I think teens and young adults will enjoy it.

Click here to read my reviews of Books 1 and 2 of the H.A.L.F. series.