Title: Dark Halo
Series: Angel Eyes #3
Author: Shannon Dittemore
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 20 Aug 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads
One halo brought sight to Brielle. Another offers sweet relief from what she sees.
Brielle can’t help but see the Celestial realm. Even without the halo, it’s everywhere she looks. And with the heavens above Stratus ravaged by war, Brielle wishes for another gift, any gift. Because Jake is gone. The only boy she’s ever loved has been taken by the demon, Damien—and she knows if she ever wants to see him again, she must fight.
But fighting is so hard when everything you see makes you afraid.
When she receives instructions from the Throne Room leading her to Jake, she unknowingly walks into a diabolical and heartbreaking trap. Then the Prince of Darkness himself offers Brielle a halo of his own making. With the dark halo, she won’t have to see the fear and brokenness that surround her. She’ll be free of that unbearable burden. And it comes with a promise: the guarantee of a life with Jake.
When confusing details about Jake’s past emerge, and the battle above reaches a fever pitch, Brielle is forced to make a choice. Will she choose the dark halo and the ignorance that comes with it, or will she choose to live with her eyes wide open and trust the Creator’s design—even if it means a future without Jake?
Please bear in mind that this is the third and final book in the series and the review may therefore contain spoilers for the previous books. There is a nice summation of the first two books at the beginning of Dark Halo that refreshes the main parts of the story or introduces them if you wish to only read the last book.
Above all else I love the sense of hope and faith this series brings as you read it. Yes it is centred around religion and I appreciate that a lot of people would have a problem with that as a basis. However, I must say for someone that has such an in depth religious background themselves, Shannon Dittemore manges to portray faith without the rigours of religious institutions. Instead the idea that worship is individual and unique to each person is a fundamental part of the narrative, it should not be viewed as dictated or rigid in its doctrine. There is a fascinating debate below the surface of the story (for me anyway) balancing the pro’s and cons of institutionalised religion which should not be confused with faith. I believe this is a confusion a lot of people have, you do not need to be part of a standardised religion in order to have faith. Anyone who believes in fate and destiny has faith.
The mix of first person and third person narratives to differentiate the narrator help keep the people separate while continuing the plot and making revelations that would have been withheld if the story was only told in the first person (Breille’s point of view). Saying that I would really love some of the pivotal scenes to be in Jake’s perspective but in first person rather than the third person we have in the book, purely for selfish reasons as I adore Jake and need to feel the emotion that emanates from him rather than the distance the third person narrative creates.
While the plot is action packed it is none the less character driven, you cannot help but become invested in the well being of all the characters. The thought of redemption for the mistakes some of them have made adds to the hope within the story. The writing is sensory encompassing and vividly descriptive, the imagery re-enforces aspects of the plot beautifully.
The multiple plot threads were tied together ingeniously and I have to say I really did not see the twists coming at all. It is amazing how people’s lives are connected by the smallest thing and how it can alter the course of their future (good and bad).
The main thing I’ve taken with me from this series (as well as my love of Jake and Brielle) is that life is not easy, there is no short-cut or easy option for anyone; all we can do is have hope and faith that things are meant to be even if they don’t feel like it at the time (I’m living proof) Negativity feeds upon fear and despair, positive thinking really does have a power of it’s own (Viv would be proud of me)