Monday, September 3, 2018

Aaru: Halls of Hel (The Aaru Cycle Book 2) by David Meredith

Aaru: Halls of Hel is a YA sci-fi fantasy book sent to me by the author. This is the second book in the Aaru Cycle series. After Rose died, her brain was uploaded into Aaru, a utopian virtual world. In Aaru, Rose has nearly a perfect life where she has the power of a God, but wants more in her life. Meanwhile, her sister's life is falling apart as well. As pressure mounts on both the girls, they need each other more than ever. But the Magic Man is not finished with them, and his new sinister plan will tear the girls apart and destroy Aaru.

I loved this second installment! The author built on previous themes but added so much more emotion and heartbreak. Mental illness was an added theme, with people ending their lives just to escape into Aaru. They isolated those with mental illness in quarantine, and I adored the moral conflict of what to do with them.

I appreciated the added internal conflict for the girls. In a utopia where one can shape their world at will, and have everything they've ever wanted, what is their purpose? What is there to work for, to set goals for, to be motivated, when all of that can be done with a snap of a finger? There is no such thing as a utopia. I loved the theme of how one who has everything also has nothing. Aaru: Halls of Hel leaves readers with much to contemplate about and the purpose of life.

Hel is a very enthralling character. The main villain of this installment is Hel, a broken young girl brainwashed into atrocious acts. I feel very sorry for her, and what has happened to her. All she knows is pain and sorrow. The detailed descriptions of the torture she endured by the Magic Man brought tears to my eyes. I don't believe that she is all evil, and I feel that there is still light inside of her.

I highly recommend this book, and I cannot wait for more to come in the series!

Click here to read my review of the first book in this series, Aaru!

Title: Aaru: Halls of Hel
Author: David Meredith
Publisher: Bowker
Pages: 386
Series: Yes, Book 2
Rating: 5 Stars

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