"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.
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 war between angels and demons continues in the final novel in the Angel Eyes Trilogy by Shannon Dittemore, Dark Halo. This is the darkest of the three and the best part I loved about this one is how Shannon spent sometime highlighting the series for those that may have grabbed this one without understanding a bit of the backstory or for those that have and it's been so time between novels, this is a nice reminder of where we left off in Broken Wings.
The novel surrounds Brielle and Jake, a couple fated to fall in love and then be placed in helping to aid in the battle against good versus evil that puts the lives of those most close to them in deadly peril. Brielle has been given a special gift though a halo that Jake gave her, which when worn, allows her to see into the celestial realm and see the spiritual world around her. Jake has been gifted with the ability to heal when he places his hands on those that are injured or dying, and together they are the biggest target the enemy is seeking to destroy. Jake and Brielle's angelic shield, Caanan attempts to protect and lead them in what they need to do to save the enemies attempt to take them from the town of Stratus, Oregon.
When the Broken Wings ended leaving the reader at the cliff hanger ending, a demon by the name of Damien had captured Jake from the safety of Caanan's wings while a heavenly war was raging over the skies of Stratus. Brielle could do nothing to save him but watch as they disappeared into the sky. The Sabre's, a group of twelve angels, whose worship has the capacity to tear through the terrestrial veil and allow the town of Stratus to see just what is harming their small town. Damien has been commissioned by he Prince of Darkness to capture and bring Jake and Brielle to him, and now he has managed to secure the first of the two of them. He can only hope that Brielle's love will bring her to search for Jake and thus secure the one true treasure the Prince of Darkness is seeking, to be able to gift her with the dark halo and give Brielle a break from the nightmares that continue to plague her sleep.
I received Dark Halo by Shannon Dittemore compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable one. Having read all three novels in this series, this was the one I anticipated reading the most. Shannon does an exceptional job at answering all the lingering questions that have popped up since being introduced to the first novel. I can even see the opportunity for future books in this series as well. I think she did a masterful job at showing just how deceitful the enemy can be when Brielle comes face to face with Satan and helps readers understand the subtlety he can use to twist his lies into what would appear as the truth. This is such a great series to offer young teens as an alternative to all the fiction flooding the marketplace with paranormal romances and for that reason I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. There is also a great discussion guide included for book clubs as well as a sneak peek into the novel Anomaly by Krista McGee.
Dark Halo by Shannon Dittemore is one of the most beautifully written novels that I have read this summer. It was also one magical ride of a tale. Brielle is now on a journey solo without Jake. And worst of all she has to suffer the evils of Damien, a demon. Brielle has to make one of the most important decisions of her life with so many risks that she cannot handle on her own without lots of soul searching.
I could not put this novel down until I read the next chapter which lead to one sleepless night but I was happily groggy the next day. This book #3 in the angel eye series is worth at least one lost night of sleep, its the least I could do for this magical story.