I love fantasy and science fiction novels – always have, always will. I have posted on my blog about J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and C.S. Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles. A contemporary fantasy author, L.B. Graham, made my fantasy favorites list with his Binding of the Blade series. Now I have another author to recommend: Shannon Dittemore, author of the Angel Eyes Trilogy.
I was introduced to this author by the Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy (CSFF) Blog Tour which was initiated by a group of writers who saw a need to raise reader awareness about the books in the genre after reports that editors were not seeking to expand SF and fantasy due to a small market. In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of Broken Wings from the publisher in exchange for an honest review of the book.
Broken Wings is the second novel in the trilogy which just came out this past February. The third and final novel, Dark Halo, will be available August 20, 2013. Although I committed to an honest review of the second novel in the series, I made sure to read the first one first! Angel Eyes was good, but in my opinion, Broken Wings was better. This author bravely tackles the realm of angels and demons much like Frank Peretti in This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness. Demons feature in many current books and movies, but more rarely are angels highlighted. Dittemore does a splendid job of detailing different types of angels: “shields” (guardian angels), “sabres” (worshipping angels from God’s throne room), and “cherubim” (messengers), among others. The novel flashes back and forth between the “Celestial” and “Terrestrial” realms.
Using the contemporary setting of Oregon, Dittemore weaves a compelling story of teenageers drawn against their will into celestial adventures that threaten to overwhelm them in their intensity. The author uses dialogue with fluency to create personalities and relationships between characters. High school seniors, Brielle and Jake, stand at the center of the story, with interesting friends and relatives surrounding them. Although the trilogy is written for young adults, it touches on some mature themes such as child trafficking, familial alcoholism, and sexual attraction. However, the underlying message is that redemption and restoration will come in the end.
Shannon Dittemore doesn’t sugarcoat life’s real battles: “I’m a firm believer that books open doors into the imagination and remind us that we should venture there often. We should dream. We should try hard things. We should be fearless. And while there are many obstacles that stand in the way, I hope my stories remind readers that life is to be lived. Pain is to be tackled. Mountains are to be climbed. And while you may fall into dark places along the way, light is as close as the prayer on your lips.” from the author’s website: http://shannondittemore.com
Particularly compelling to me is the contention in the books that when human beings worship God the Creator, breakthrough in the celestial battle between good and evil occurs. I also enjoyed the element of mystery which is nicely developed throughout books one and two.
My only complaints are the following: 1) the descriptions of actual combat are awkward. 2) the romance between Brielle and Jake seems accelerated for their age. 3) each novel cuts off at the last page with such painful cliff-hanging.
Other bloggers who participated in the tour are:
<a href=”http://ofbattlesdragonsandswordsofadamant.blogspot.com/“> Gillian Adams</a>
<a href=”http://kinynchronicles.blogspot.com/“> Julie Bihn</a>
<a href=”http://quiverfullfamily.com/“> Jennifer Bogart </a>
<a href=”http://rbclibrary.wordpress.com/“> Beckie Burnham</a>
<a href=”http://hosannaschristianreader.blogspot.com/“> Pauline Creeden</a>
<a href=”http://janey-demeo.blogspot.com/“> Janey DeMeo</a>
<a href=”http://tweezlereads.blogspot.com/“> Theresa Dunlap</a>
<a href=”http://myrdan.com/“> Emma or Audrey Engel</a>
<a href=”http://vicsmediaroom.wordpress.com/“> Victor Gentile</a>
<a href=”http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com/“> Nikole Hahn</a>
<a href=”http://jessebecky.wordpress.com/“> Becky Jesse</a>
<a href=”http://www.spoiledfortheordinary.blogspot.com/“> Jason Joyner</a>
<a href=”http://thestephanieloves.blogspot.com/“> Karielle @ Books à la Mode </a>
<a href=”http://carolkeen.blogspot.com/“> Carol Keen</a>
<a href=”http://emileightherebuilder.blogspot.com/“> Emileigh Latham</a>
<a href=”http://www.shannonmcdermott.com/“> Shannon McDermott</a>
<a href=”http://www.bloomingwithbooks.blogspot.com/“> Meagan @ Blooming with Books</a>
<a href=”http://hardcoverfeedback.blogspot.com/“</a> Megan @ Hardcover Feedback
<a href=”http://rebeccaluellamiller.wordpress.com/“> Rebecca LuElla Miller</a>
<a href=”http://www.bookwomanjoan.blogspot.com/“> Joan Nienhuis</a>
<a href=”http://dadscancooktoo.com/“> Nathan Reimer</a>
<a href=”http://www.jamessomers.blogspot.com/“> James Somers</a>
<a href=”http://reviewsfromtheheart.blogspot.com/“> Kathleen Smith</a>
<a href=”http://www.jojosutiscorner.wordpress.com“> Jojo Sutis</a>
<a href=”http://stevetrower.com/“> Steve Trower</a>
<a href=”http://christian-fantasy-book-reviews.com/blog/“> Phyllis Wheeler</a>
<a href=”http://www.shanewerlinger.com/“> Shane Werlinger</a>
Thank you Laure, so very much, for taking the time to read and spread the word. Means more than I can say! And for those worried about the cliffhangers, August is not far away! You won’t have to wait long! 🙂