Sunday, December 1, 2013

Review of "Dark Halo"

Rating: 4 Stars

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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.”

Summary from Thomas Nelson: One halo brought sight to Brielle. Another offers sweet relief from what she sees.

Brielle can’t help but see the Celestial. Even without the halo, the invisible realm is everywhere she looks. It’s impossibly beautiful—and terrifying, especially now. Because a battle rages above Stratus, Oregon.
The Terrestrial Veil is ripping, and demons walk the streets past unseeing mortals. Dark, sticky fear drips from every face, and nightmares haunt Brielle’s sleep.
Worst of all, Jake is gone. The only boy she’s ever loved has been taken by the demon, Damien. When she receives instructions from the Throne Room leading her to Jake, she unknowingly walks into a diabolical and heartbreaking trap.
Now she’s stranded in a sulfurous desert with the Prince of Darkness himself, and he’s offering her another halo—a mirrored ring that will destroy her Celestial vision. All she has to do is wear it and she’ll see no more of the invisible world. No more fear. No more nightmares. No more demons. It’s a gift. And best of all: it comes with the promise of a future with Jake, something the Throne Room seems to be taking from her.
Will Brielle trade the beauty of the Celestial and the truth of the world around her just to feel ordinary again?

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