Today I am a bit conflicted about being a part of the Dark Halo Blog Tour hosted by YA Bound--on one hand, I'm so happy to share with you my love for this series, on the other, I'm saddened to see it reach its finale and post my final review of this phenomenal series. (I'm all "WHY CAN YOU NOT LAST FOREVER?!") You can find the other tour stops listed here.
Dark Halo (Angel Eyes Trilogy #3) by Shannon DittemoreGoodreads:
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
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?
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Dark Halo is the thrilling conclusion to the Angel Eyes trilogy. Let me tell you, I have followed this series since the release of the first book and each book just seems to get better than the last. As Dark Halo is the final novel, I was very worried. There is always a lot of pressure on finales--especially for beloved series. I should not have been worried. Shannon Dittemore's story ends just as strongly as it began.
I (again) feel the need to state that I'm not a very religious person. I say that because this is a very religion driven series and I was still very much able to enjoy it. Dittemore's strong prose and plots made it impossible for me to feel anything but love towards this series. Her talent gives Dark Halo the ability to stand on its own merits. There is something for everyone in this book. Though religion is a very heavy theme, I never once felt like it was being shoved down my throat. It is very common for authors to (whether consciously or not) push religion at its readers in novels with angels, and frustrate those who read them, too. I've had this experience several times, but Dittemore never made me feel uncomfortable. I applaud her for that.
There isn't much I can explain in regards to the plot without spoiling the first two books in the series, so I will just say that the cliffhanger from book two is immediately addressed. Jake and Brielle, along with their friends, must find the faith and strength to overcome their enemies while saving the world as they know it.
These characters… I don't even know how to properly describe them. Jake, Brielle, Marco and Kaylee all have found a place in my heart. While I originally found it strange to switch from first to third point-of-view, Dittemore pulls it off. It works well for this book. We get great insight into each of these "players." The different perspectives help us understand the motives behind their actions, and help the audience bond with them. After this novel, I even found that I was able to care for Liv--albeit reluctantly. Though she was not shown as a good guy, her redemption was excellent. Each character, major and minor, was given a role in Brielle and Jake's journey. No one felt out of place, or disjointed. Dittemore sees these each of characters through to the very end.
There is so much intensity in this book, but that's to be expected after the last two.The plot is strong, and moves very steadily. It never felt rushed, or seemed to drag on. The pace fit with the themes and events within Dark Halo very well. Dittemore shapes an excellent story and brings a beloved series to a close while being sure to answer any questions the readers may have. Even as we witness all of the trials these characters are put through, the author leaves us with hope in our hearts and a smile on our faces.
I am so happy I decided to give this series a chance. It was an amazing journey, watching these characters grow and come into themselves. Dittemore has impressed me and it saddens me to let go of these characters, but the ending leaves nothing but smiles. This book/series was amazing. Dittemore is a very talented writer, who I hope to see more of in the future.
I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher and YA Bound for my honest opinion and review.