Brielle is gifted with sight into the Celestial, and at times, it is be a burden she cannot bear. There is one halo, however, that offers her a reprieve from what she sees, despite that she can now see without the halo that first offered her a glimpse into that other world. An evil that no Terrestrial eyes can see threaten her little town of Stratus, Oregon, and every mortal's soul is at stake. Brielle cannot sleep at night for the nightmares that haunt her, and the Terrestrial veil is ripping apart with every day that passes.
A trap puts Brielle face to face with her biggest challenge yet - the Prince of Darkness himself. Stuck in a desert with the creature she now believes is real, she is tempted almost beyond what she can bear. The Prince promises relief from the nightmares that plague her, and he promises a future with Jake. All she has to do is accept the halo and deny The One who gave her life. Will Brielle trade her soul for the chance to be normal again? Or is there more than just her life at stake in this deal?
As always, Dittemore has delivered a spectacular novel that stays with you after you've finished the book. Despite being a work of fiction, the Bible tells us clearly that, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12. The author has captured the essence of this scripture with very fine writing - something all young people will love reading and exploring. Too often we focus on that which we can see, instead of the secret, hidden things of the soul.
This book was provided by Thomas Nelson Publishers for free in exchange for an honest review.
The final installment of Shannon Dittemore's "Angel Eyes" trilogy is aptly titled "Dark Halo." It is the darkest of the three novels, with the Prince of Darkness himself making appearances with lies and bargains. At times, the plot is as chilling as the icy blue eyes on the cover. Dittmore packs spiritual lessons into her story, but her use of action and imagery keeps the book from ever feeling preachy. Tension is at an all-time high in "Dark Halo" as the angelic army battles the demonic army above Stratus. There are some much needed lulls in the action as mysteries from the previous novels are solved, with some surprising realizations.
"Dark Halo" chilled me more than "Angel Eyes" and "Broken Wings." It is a culmination of the forces of darkness and light, with fear and temptation showing even more strength. While darkness is a strong opponent, light and love prove even stronger. Brielle's struggle with her celestial vision reaches a pinnacle in the final novel. While it allows her to see the beauty of faith and worship, it also reveals to her the disturbing images of suffering. As is often the case in real-life, the bad often overshadows the good - in our minds and in the media. Dittemore directly connects the common emotions of fear and temptation to evil. It is a theme that weaves throughout the trilogy, even more tangibly in "Dark Halo." The demons that are present throughout the series are formidable and overtly evil. But the Prince of Darkness hides his evil behind beauty. Both he and his promises are alluring and disguised to trick the mind. Dittemore saves the earthly manifestation of the Prince of Darkness until the final novel, when Brielle's emotionally and spiritually exhausted. Although Brielle has seen the beauty of angels and the strength of faith, she finds her defenses weakened to temptations that will destroy her life. The Dark Halo is a weighty reminder of Brielle's encounter with the devil and her struggle to resist his promises.
Shannon Dittemore compels readers to take the seemingly supernatural events of her "Angel Eyes" novels and compare them to reality. "Dark Halo" concludes the series with a message of promise and the impetus to fight darkness and conquer the barriers that try to hide true beauty.
I received a complimentary e-copy of this novel from Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I absolutely loved this book. Not only does Shannon Dittemore's prose read like poetry, her story bursts with creativity and is rich with meaning. Reading this book has forever changed the way I think of fear.
Dittemore writes with unflinching honesty, dropping her characters into all kinds of horrible circumstances that require courage and faith. Brielle and Jake feel like living, breathing people, but Brielle's best friend, Kaylee, really leaps off the pages. Her friendship to Brielle was one of my favorite facets of Dark Halo.
A powerful and captivating conclusion to a great series!
Woo hoo for the happy ending! Unless it's a book like The Hunger Games no book series should ever end sadly. Ever. And even though Dark Halo starts off with a sad and hopeless start I am so glad it ended happy. :)
Pros: The characters were well written and well developed. The plot was an incredible affair that led to tons of nail-biting and chair (or bed) gripping scenes. The writing style was easy to understand because there weren't too many big words in there like triskaidekaphobia, instead Ms. Dittemore kept it simple which is a great way to write.
Cons: The book throws you right into the middle of the story so definitely read the first two books in the series before you pick up Dark Halo.
Conclusion: Amazing cover. I am just blown away by the book cover. Dark Halo is a great book for any reader that enjoys books with a paranormal twist. :D
*this book was provided by Book Sneeze in exchange for my honest review*
"Dark Halo"â€”where to begin? This book came as quite a surprise. If this had been the first book in the series, I probably would have steered clear of it. But it's the third in a trilogy and I really wanted to learn how the story ends. What started out as the story of a teenage ballerina with a halo led to a full-blown spiritual showdown with Satan himself.
Who'd have guessed?
Here are a few random thoughts about this book:
1. I liked it. Shannon Dittemore is a talented writer with a knack for telling a great story full of subtle, spiritual truth. She captured my attention with the first book in the series, "Angel Eyes," and, though I had a few reservations about the second book, "Broken Wings," Dittemore finished the trilogy triumphantly.
2. There's a lot of meat tucked into this story if the reader is watching for it.
-Though angels and demons are battling it out, God is sovereign over all creation. No one on either side does anything unless He wills it or allows it. (No. He is not portrayed as a character in this book. Dittemore wisely refrained from that, revealing His Presence by having characters talk about what He was allowing or commanding.)
-One character learns to forgive someone despicable and even to care what becomes of his soul.
-Other characters learn that when God says no, He sometimes means not yet.
-The main characters learn that personal failure doesn't mean the war is over.
-Satan is portrayed not as a hideous monster who repels, but as an attractive being who knows how to lure his prey in. Characters who know he is evil and are aware of his schemes still struggle with temptation.
These are just a few examples of truths worked into this book.
3. My one disappointment was that Brielle (the ballerina) never went to God for help. When confused or tempted or up against a wall, she either tried to stand on her own or consulted humans or angels. As I read the story, I kept telling Brielle that she needed to stop and pray. (Yes. I talk to characters in books or movies. They rarely listen to me.)
4. Though the story is well-told and full of truth, I still have a few reservations about the fictionalization of angels and demons and such. With the popularity of truly fictional, supernatural beings like vampires and zombies and witches and werewolves, readers need to remember that angels and demons and Satan and a spiritual realm really do exist. They need to know what the Bible says about these, pray faithfully, and stick close to God, so they'll stand strong against temptation and so others will come to know Him. "Dark Halo" communicates most of that well, but if readers classify it all with other supernatural stories, they'll fail to take the message seriously. For that reason, I would caution parents to be aware of their teenager's spiritual maturity, to read the book themselves if their teenager does, and to talk openly about issues of concern.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review.