Monthly Archives: April 2013

Broken Wings by Shannon Dittemore, a review

Broken Wings by Shannon Dittemore, Book Two of the Angel Eyes trilogy
Published 2013 by Thomas Nelson, 304 pages
Genre: Young adult supernatural, Christian

Brielle has a gift to sometimes see angels and demons, though no mortal normally can. And Jake, her boyfriend, has the gift of healing in his hands. The news has reached the dark throne:  the Prince of Darkness himself wants both of them kidnapped and brought to him. And he’s sending his unseen army to Stratus, Oregon, to get them. Archangel Michael’s forces are coming to the rescue, but slowly.

Meanwhile, Brielle and Jake are oblivious to the forces converging over them. All Brielle sees is that her beloved father hates Jake. Her father has also started dating Olivia, who seems … not to be on Brielle’s side.

Brielle and her father still mourn the death of Brielle’s mother fifteen years before. Just how mysterious this death was is only starting to become clear to Brielle. Dreams show Brielle shards of truth: a young girl living in fear, a dying woman.  When Brielle’s mother’s grave is desecrated, Brielle discovers that what her father told her about her mother’s death was a lie. And where is the truth? Whom can she trust?

This book is a worthy sequel to its wonderful predecessor, Angel Eyes. The prose sings. The characters speak to the heart. And it’s a tale of brokenness and ultimate redemption. What more could we want? If you haven’t read this book, what are you waiting for?

Read my review of the previous book, Angel Eyes: http://www.phylliswheeler.com/angel-eyes-by-shannon-dittemore-a-review/

This is part of the CSFF (Christian Science Fiction/Fantasy) Blog Tour. Please check out what others are saying about this book:

Gillian Adams
Julie Bihn
Jennifer Bogart
Beckie Burnham
Pauline Creeden
Janey DeMeo
Theresa Dunlap
Emma or Audrey Engel
Victor Gentile
Nikole Hahn
Becky Jesse
Jason Joyner
Karielle @ Books à la Mode
Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Megan @ Hardcover Feedback
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nathan Reimer
James Somers
Kathleen Smith
Jojo Sutis
Steve Trower
Phyllis Wheeler
Shane Werlinger

Author Website http://shannondittemore.com/

Avenger by Heather Burch, a review

Avenger, a Halflings Novel, by Heather Burch
Published 2013 by Zondervan, 300 pages
Genre: Young adult supernatural with Christian worldview

In this third book of the Halflings series, Nikki Youngblood now knows she’s a Halfling — a descendant of the dark-angel sons of God and daughters of men as mentioned in Genesis 6. She knows that her godfather Damon Vessler wants her to turn to the dark side, so to speak, something that’s so easy for a Halfling to do. But there’s something more she doesn’t know. And her godly friends are afraid to tell her about it. Not only that, but there’s a shredder monster out to kill her.

These books have great characters and a catchy premise: orphan angels. Halflings are given up at birth by their Halfling parents and raised by true angels, to keep their dark-angel heritage at bay.  The Halflings have wings and unusual powers.

The book also has some overly familiar story elements: the love triangle with two “brother” Halflings vying for her attention, and a thoroughly  modern heroine, able to physically fight and win. (But at least she’s not a wimp like Bella!)

I read the first book in the Halflings series, skipped the second, and read this one, the third. There was enough background information in this book for me to do this, and I suspect that even someone picking up this third book cold would have been able to figure out what was going on.

I think that fans of Twilight, especially Christians, will like this book. I’m glad to see Christians writing in this genre.

Captives by Jill Williamson, a review

Captives by Jill Williamson, Book One of The Safe Lands series, a review
Published 2013 by Zondervan, 381 pages
Genre: Dystopian suspense, young adult and up

Three brothers live in a tenuous settlement that shares a Colorado valley with a huge walled city called the Safe Lands. The year is 2088, and the Thin Plague has wiped out the population of the United States except for isolated pockets close to clean water sources. It’s a hard life for the brothers and their kin, surviving off the land and off what they can glean from the empty Denver City not far away.

Omar, a sensitive boy mocked and bullied by their father, decides to make friends with the people who live in the Safe Lands, although others warn him that those who go in never come out. Maybe there he will feel like he belongs. It turns out the Safe Lands desperately needs people like Omar and his clan, people uninfected by the Thin Plague who can help the Safe Lands repopulate. Omar decides his family will like the apparently easy life in the Safe Lands, and he arranges to have them taken there.

Levi, the oldest brother, is away on a trip when the Safe Landers arrive, and he returns to a village empty of life. As son of the village elder, he is elder now. He must go in to rescue the survivors, including his fiancee Jemma. But will he be able to control his temper?

Mason, the middle brother, is a gentle vegetarian who finds himself in a position of responsibility in the Safe Lands. He’s a medic, with access to the others from his village from time to time. Will he be able to make a difference for them? And can he begin to figure out what how to defeat the Thin Plague that is stunting the lives and eliminating the fertility of the Safe Landers?

Jill Williamson has delivered another impressive tale with believable, detailed characters and a strong plot line. Dystopia is a new genre for her, and she does very well in it. Her vision of 2088 Colorado has some similarities to the authoritarian world of the Hunger Games, of course, and a lot of differences too.  The faith element is present but not center stage, and so I expect non-Christians will be comfortable reading this book (and hopefully thinking a bit about the faith part). There’s a clue at the very beginning: a verse from the book of Daniel. Is Mason a recasting of the Biblical Daniel, a vegetarian living in a hostile kingdom and working for the good of his people?

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series!