Her guardian angel was pushed.
Keiron was never meant to be anything other than a hero. Born high above in a place of war and deception, he is Heartborn, a being of purity and goodness in a place where there violence and deceit are just around every corner.
His disappearance will spark a war he cannot see, for Keiron has pierced the light of days to save a girl he has never met, for reasons he cannot understand. Livvy Foster is 17, brave, and broken. With half a heart, she bears the scars of a lifetime of pain and little hope of survival.
Until Keiron arrives.
In the middle of a brewing war and Livvy's failing heart, Keiron will risk everything for Livvy, because a Heartborn's life can only end in one way: sacrifice.
Fall with Livvy and Keiron as they seek the truth about her heart, and his power, and what it means to love someone who will give their very life to save you.
©2016 Terry Maggert (P)2016 Terry Maggert
4.75★ Audiobook⎮ Heartborn is the first story of “Angels” that I enjoyed from start to finish and to this magnitude. I usually shy away from angelic tales because I haven’t had the best experiences with them in the past. But having heard and liked Terry Maggert’s writing in Halfway Dead, I begin listening to Heartborn without reservation.
Maggert’s unbridled writing ability is on display in Heartborn. It’s absolutely majestic. Terry’s writing is as beautiful as the cover art. There were several times when I rewound the audio just to hear a phrase again. Heartborn had a direct line to my heart and spoke to it incessantly.
I’m still a teensy bit indifferent about Keiron, most likely from a lack of meaningful exposure to the character. But I absolutely adored Livvy, the protagonist. Her story of living with a debilitating medical condition is reminiscent of that of the main character in Magonia. Livvy was extremely relatable and likable. I connected with her almost instantaneously and rooted for her until the very end. She was an exceedingly authentic character and was certainly no “Mary Sue”.
As I’ve said before, I will never get tired of reading about protagonists with disabilities or significant medical conditions. It’s an extremely refreshing shake up to the usual YA tropes and offers literary representation to an often underrepresented group. I especially appreciated the delicacy with which Maggert approached her medical condition. I can imagine that many, many readers will be able to identify with Livvy’s experiences.
Another thing that intensified my enjoyment of Heartborn were the alternating POV chapters. The paranormal/contemporary universe setting swap was also reminiscent of Magonia, but was better done in Heartborn. Normally when reading stories with alternating POVs, I tend to gravitate towards one of them and suffer through the others. That was not so with Heartborn. I was just as invested in the happenings of Keiron’s noble family as I was in Livvy’s ordinary human life on Earth.
Heartborn presented emotional depth for which I was completely unprepared. In my experience, the first installment in a Terry Maggert series is just the tip of the iceberg. Oh, there are unanswered questions, for sure. They first appear to be plotholes, but experience and intuition tell me they are just thin areas in the plot that will likely be reinforced in coming installments. My enjoyment of Heartborn was more than enough to persuade me to exercise patience instead of frustration and anxiously await Heartborn #2.
Narration review: From the moment I heard Julia Whelan would be narrating Heartborn, I was beyond excited. There are certain narrators that are so consistently spectacular that you know a homerun is coming before they even step up to the plate. She’s a rockstar in the world of audiobook narrating. Julia’s narration of Heartborn was flawless. Her voice acting skills and Terry’s gorgeous writing made for one phenomenal listening experience. I implore anyone interested in Heartborn to consider giving the audiobook a listen. Your ears deserve an experience like this.
No, but this one was very good!
Yes, it was!
The narrator for Heartborn was fantastic. She had a crisp, clear voice that I could perfectly understand even with the speed turned up. She also made the story sound really good. I was more keen on listening to her voice throughout the story because it was so soothing.
This audiobook was not long; clocking in at 6 hours and 20 minutes. Throughout those six and a half hours (less because I had it on 1.5x speed) I did not lose focus. I even sat down with almost 4 hours left just to finish it because I was so interested.
My one complaint about the narration was that she made all the men sound the same. I could not tell the difference between the male characters as I could the females. It made listening difficult, especially when there was more than one man in the scene.
I left confused. I really enjoyed the story that was told, don’t get me wrong, but I have questions.
• Why is Keiron so well adjusted to the human world?
• What the hell is a Heartborn?
• How does a 17-year-old have a full time job?
• Why isn’t Livvy in school?
• Where does Keiron live in the human world?
I need those to be answered so I can actually understand what the heck is going on in this dang story!
Besides all my questions, I did like the story. Like I said above, I sat down just to listen to the story so I could know what happened! Besides the vagueness, the story was very well written and entertaining.
I absolutely loved Livvy. She is one tough cookie that has not let having half a heart get her down. Even though she can’t fully live life, that doesn’t stop her. She isn’t sad and moping about her situation, instead she does what she can and doesn’t let herself let a moment go by that she isn’t savoring life.
I wish I had more from Keiron’s perspective. He was a very vague character that suddenly appears in Livvy’s life for a few day’s and suddenly she is dating him. Like what? It took me over a year of getting to know my boyfriend before we started dating. That doesn’t just happen! You can’t go around kissing people in a library, that’s not how it works. Though, it might. This was a YA Fantasy novel. Anything can happen in them.
All in all, I loved Heartborn. I need my questions answered and I hope that there is a sequel so I can continue on with the story and also have these pesky questions answered! I do wish I had the book in my hand to follow along with, maybe I would’ve found the answers to some of those questions. Plus, there was some really good quotes that I wished I could’ve highlighted! I would recommend reading or listening to this book if you are into angels and strong female characters. Oh, and one hell of a plot twist.
This is a beautiful story of love, machination, family and sacrifice. The author has created a fascinating world you want to hear more about and characters that you can not help but fall in love with. Angel based books are not usually my favourite but the unusual take the author puts on these angels is captivating and I enjoyed hearing every word. The different "houses" and types of angels, and the intrigue, decept, manipulation and aggression shown is anything but what you would normally consider angelic. The intertwining story lines, action, heartache, excitement and beauty of this story will capture your heart and your imagination and take you on a journey that you don't want to end. I loved Livvy, her humour, vulnerability, strength and determination makes her character shine and the development of her and Keiron's relationship is pure and tender. The author's ability to draw you into this world with his artful descriptions, flowing style, captivating storyline and amazing characters will have you excited, happy and heartbroken all at the same time and the narrator captured the feel of the characters well, imparting the anxiety, sorrow, love and tension of the different character into her voice. I will look forward to hearing the next audiobook in this series. I received this audiobook at no cost and under no obligation.
No I love both. Print books are my first love but audio books are what helps me get through my hour long commute
How did it was from anything else I've read lately. I really liked how I though I knew where the author was headed but my guess was wrong
No but I really loved how she brought the story to life
It didn't make me cry but it really made me think deeply about so much while listening to this
Was intrigued by this book when I first read the synapsis and was not disappointed at all.
Worth a credit and then some.
Yes. This was a beautiful story to listen to. I practically love anything that has to do with angels and this was not a disappointment. It had romance and action in this and the writing was great
Fallen by Lauren Kate. That is the book that comes to mind. They both deal with angels and saving their true love from dying. It also has action and the angles are on the brink of war as well.
My Rating: 4 1/2 Stars
*I received a free audiobook copy in exchange for an honest
Heartborn is a wonderful story and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spent listening to it.
This was my first book by the author and I wasn't sure what to expect, but I enjoyed every aspect of the story from the unique characters and the intriguing storyline to fantastic world created in Heartborn. Every element was so refreshing and interesting to me that I lost track of time as I listened to this engaging story.
Livvy, a teenager born with a rare heart condition, finds her world turned upside down when a handsome stranger walks into the library where she works. Keiron, a Heartborn guardian angel, has unexpectedly come to earth and knows he must protect Livvy at all costs. However, things don't go smoothly for the pair or the family Keiron left behind. And as war threatens because of his absence, Keiron's family must decide what actions to take to protect themselves and their home.
Flipping back and forth between the two settings, we are offered a glimpse of what life is like post-Keiron's fall for both Livvy and for his family. And I absolutely loved it. I loved the character of Livvy and her toughness despite, or perhaps because of, what she has been through during her life. And her friendships and interactions with other characters are so interesting and fun as her personality shines through. She's such a great character that you can't help but care for.
And the entire world that the author created with Heartborn, Windborn, Lightborn, and more types of angels and their homeland is so interesting. I enjoyed learning more about them and their history. I found myself looking forward to each scene in which we would visit and learn more while trying to understand the politics of this unusual world.
Terry Maggert's vivid descriptions and fascinating characters help create a story that lends itself well to the audiobook format. And Julia Whelan brought this world to life with her voice. She truly is a magical storyteller, in my opinion. I became lost in the story as I listened to her soothing voice and enjoyed the life she breathed into the story as well as into each of Terry Maggert's characters.
I enjoyed each personality that she gave the wide variety of characters. I soon forgot that she was the sole narrator as I listened to each voice and conversation. And as I mentioned before, I adored the character and personality of Livvy, and hearing her "voice" endeared her to me even more.
This book was so good and I am so glad that I got the chance to listen to it. I now want to "read" it again for myself if only to savor the story and its characters at my own pace.
Heartborn has made me want to listen to more of Julia Whelan's audiobook work as well pick up more of Terry Maggert's books. I definitely recommend this one!
First, and completely shallow I know – just look at that freakin’ cover! Absolutely gorgeous! I listened to the audiobook, but I’d definitely buy a paper copy to put that beauty on my shelves.
Okay, moving onto the actual plot – most of the story splits pretty neatly into two separate parts:
One half is the more traditional fantasy with lots of world-building about the society and culture of the angelic warriors. It focuses on the political intrigues of Keiron’s family — House Windhook — and features action-packed combat Trials as they take on the villainous Crescent Council. This part has an epic-style feel to it, with large scale repercussions and world changing power struggles.
The flip-side of the coin is Livvy’s story, her work in the library and her meeting with Keiron. This part is slower and more reflective, really delving into her character and past. I found Livvy to be a really interesting lead character. She’s complex — much of her personality is affected by her medical condition, but she’s incredibly likeable and I think we’ll see great things from her as the series continues. The romance between the two is well written, and even although the dreaded ‘instalove’ is employed, the romance is subtle and only a small part of their characters.
This story was completely different from what I was thought it would be. I was expecting a relatively bland paranormal romance, along the lines of the sea of Twilight knockoffs out there. Heartborn is so much more than the typical YA paranormal story. The plot is engaging, the characters are deep and complicated and there’s a killer plot twist. Maggert has a very lyrical and descriptive style of writing with some beautiful turns of phrase that somehow manage to avoid purple prose.
My only real problem is that it’s clearly the first in a series and it really feels like it. There’s loads of unanswered questions about the backstory and character motivations, but I’m hoping they’ll be answered in the sequel which I’ll definitely be picking up.
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Whelan is a very good narrator and gives an enjoyable performance. She has a low, soothing voice and an unobtrusive accent that is pleasant to listen to. She speaks clearly and slowly — I didn’t ever feel that she’d skimmed over passages or missed out important information. It made the story easy to follow along with, which I think is critical to a good audiobook.
She provides a good variety of voices considering how many characters there are. Sometimes the characters could have been a tad more differentiated, especially in the scenes between Windhook and the Council, but as generally little description is given to the characters, she worked well with what she had.
The recording is well produced, clear and well-paced – a pleasure to listen to.
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.
After I read the book description of ‘Heartborn’ I just knew I had to read this book. I love stories about angels and this book just sounded so good. So when I saw the sign up for the Audiobook tour I was even more excited. Now I would be able to listen to a story about angels while I was driving to and from work. I really couldn’t wait to start listening to this book.
‘Heartborn’ is definitely unlike any other book I read. The story is very original and I found myself fascinated with the characters and the storyline right from the beginning. Terry Maggert definitely wrote a beautiful story of love and sacrifice and I really enjoyed it.
I did have some trouble keeping all those character names apart in the beginning. This definitely frustrated me a little, but I honestly think this was more because I’m just so terrible bad in keeping apart names than that is was something about the writing.
The characters in ‘Heartborn’ were a lot of fun to get to know. I loved the main character Livvy the most. She was just so kind and good despite what life had given her: half a heart. I admired her strength and the way she still seemed to trust easily. I really enjoyed getting to know her.
The romance between Livvy and Keiron was not really what I expected. Although it was nice to read, I did expect a little more. But I must say this romance definitely fitted the story perfectly.
This was my first audiobook narrated by Julia Whelan and I really enjoyed listening to her voice. It took some getting used to when she talked as one of the ‘males’, but I must say I really liked her as a narrator. I definitely found myself being hooked to her voice and I could easily forget that she was only one person. Seriously.. Sometimes I wondered if maybe I was listening to more than one narrator. I’m definitely a fan of Julie Whelan now.
‘Heartborn’ is a beautiful story and I would definitely recommend it.
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