Book Review: Angel Eyes

Book Review: Angel Eyes

About the Book:

Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee.

Brielle 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 an 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. And a beauty brighter than either Brielle or Jake has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices begin.

A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.

About the Author:

Shannon 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.

Shannon is represented by Holly Root of the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency and is an active member of Inspire Christian Writers of Sacramento.

“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.”

You can read more about Shannon at her website and blog at: http://shannondittemore.com/

My Thoughts:

Angel Eyes was one of those books where I read the press release and didn’t feel particularly drawn to read the book, but the novel kept popping up all over the place.  Friends mentioned it.  An author I follow included a reference to the book in her recent novel.  Thomas Nelson offered it for review and then it also appeared on my Amazon Vine review list.  With the all the attention the book was garnering I decided to give it a second look.  I’m glad that I did.

Angel Eyes is a story of one author’s imagination building on the principle that there is a spiritual realm just beyond our sight that is very, very real.

“The Celestial is every bit as real as the world we walk around in every day, and as I stare around this room of horrors, it occurs to me that the Celestial holds more truth that I’ll ever fully comprehend.  The Terrestrial is a facade, a place where we can control how we’re viewed, how our friends and neighbors see us.  Here, though, in this heavenly realm, nothing can be covered, nothing hidden.” pg 237

The thing that I appreciated most about Angel Eyes was that while the book was full of suspense and pain and conflict in the heavenly realms, it was not built on fear and horror, but on hope.  I’ve read some of these types of novels where you set it down and think, “I shouldn’t have read that before bed.”  With this story, by the time I finished chapter thirty-nine, I had a smile on my face.

Another thing that I appreciated about the novel is that while unresolved questions leave you awaiting the sequel, the story does come to an acceptable conclusion.  I have a strong dislike of books where it seems that the author simply stopped writing.  This is a proper first book in a trilogy, drawing you toward the next book while also presenting a story that is complete in itself.  Bravo Shannon!

Written about teens for a young adult audience, but complex enough for adults to enjoy, the novel was well crafted, the plot fast paced, the characters fully developed and the sub-theme of human trafficking was presented in a manner that was clear and yet still appropriate for the target readership of the book (12 and older).  I also thought that the Group Reading Guide contained insightful questions.

***I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion***

I review for BookSneeze®