Book Review: Angel Eyes

21 Jan

1401686354.jpg_3Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.

Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen.

shannon07_web-199x300Shannon Dittemore is a wife and mother. A sister. A daughter. A friend. She was raised in Northern California by her parents—pastors of their local church and constant figures of inspiration.

As a youth, Shannon traveled with an award-winning performing arts team, excelling on stage and in the classroom. As a young adult, she attended Portland Bible College, continued acting, and worked with an outreach team targeting inner-city kids in the Portland-Metropolitan area.

It was in Portland that she met her husband, Matt. They were married in 2002. Soon after, they took the reins of the youth ministry at Living Way Community Church in Roseville, California where they continue to serve in that capacity. In October of 2004, their son Justus was born, followed by their daughter Jazlyn, born in 2008.

ANGEL EYES was Shannon’s debut novel and the launch of a young adult supernatural trilogy. It was published in the summer of 2012 by Thomas Nelson. The sequel BROKEN WINGS will be out February 19, 2013 with the final novel in the trilogy, DARK HALO, available August 20, 2013.

My Impressions:

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore. When I signed up for this blog tour, all I knew was that it was YA fantasy. That could be anything. What I found right from the start was a smart and well-written novel that explores the world we see and the world that is very much real, yet unseen — the world where a lot of God’s work takes place. Angel Eyes introduces a grieving eighteen year old girl, Brielle. She is home after her best friend has been murdered. Her life has changed a lot since leaving small town Stratus to pursue her dreams at a prestigious performing arts boarding school in Portland, Oregon. Her world has been shattered and she is not certain if she will ever heal or be warm again. Then Jake enters her life. Jake is not like her other friends. He seems to understand her grief and he is incredibly hot – temperature-wise that is, although he is also easy on the eyes. Brielle’s life begins to thaw, but the danger does not go away. She soon has her eyes opened to the spiritual warfare that is going on around her — unseen, yet very real and vital to her existence.

Angel Eyes is written for the Young Adult audience. That is evident in various cultural references — from clothing to video games. Yet I enjoyed it so much, even though my young adult years are way in the past. The writing is fresh, the characters are engaging and the subject matter is handled deftly and responsibly. I loved Dittemore’s use of the metaphors of cold and heat to describe the condition of our souls. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to older high school and college age adults. In fact, I plan to hand my copy over to a friend’s daughter as soon as I can.

The message of Angel Eyes is profound. God exists, His plans are eternal, and our choices and circumstances matter to Him and His economy. Dittemore doesn’t pretty up the evil in this book. Its real and real scary. But neither does she downplay the ultimate victory that will be God’s. The revelation of human trafficking as a major concern for Satan and his demons casts this tragic sin in a new light. I especially appreciate that in this novel. It underscores that our battle is not only with those in this world.

I look forward to the next book in the series, Broken Wings, due out early next month. I just might have become a YA fan!

Highly Recommended.

(I received Angel Eyes from Thomas Nelson in conjunction with the CSFF blog tour. All opinions expressed are mine alone)

Angel Eyes is being toured by the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy blog tour this week. Please check out what others are saying at the links below.

Gillian Adams
Julie Bihn
Theresa Dunlap
Nikole Hahn
Jeremy Harder
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Anna Mittower
Faye Oygard
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Jessica Thomas
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Dona Watson
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler

8 Responses to “Book Review: Angel Eyes”

  1. Meagan @ Blooming with Books January 21, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    I also liked the reference to temperature in regard to the soul’s condition.

    • rbclibrary January 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. Rebecca LuElla Miller January 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    Great review, Beckie. I especially liked this: The message of Angel Eyes is profound. God exists, His plans are eternal, and our choices and circumstances matter to Him and His economy.

    I think there is so much to love about this book–good writing, characters well developed, intrigue, struggle. But the spiritual dimension folded into all of it so beautifully, it made this one really sing, as far as I am concerned.

    Becky

    • rbclibrary January 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

      I agree with you. I didn’t have as much trouble as some had with the YA element. I just went into the reading experience with that in mind. Got my copy of The Orphan King yesterday. Looking forward to that one as well.

  3. Emileigh January 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    I agree with Becky. I loved your comment on how God exists (so do His plans) and that our choices truly do matter. Great review!

    • rbclibrary January 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

      Thanks so much. And thanks for stopping by!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. CSFF Tour – Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore, Day 1 « A Christian Worldview of Fiction - January 21, 2013

    [...] Adams √ Julie Bihn √ Beckie Burnham Theresa Dunlap √ Nikole Hahn Jeremy Harder √ Jason Joyner Carol Keen [...]

  2. CSFF Tour – Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore, Day 3 « A Christian Worldview of Fiction - January 23, 2013

    [...] perhaps my favorite so far, Beckie Burnham highlights the truthful theme of Angel Eyes: The message of Angel Eyes is profound. God exists, His [...]

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