If you haven't read the first book in the series, here's a little about Angel Eyes:
Publication date: May 29, 2012
Paperback/e-book, 336 pages
Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . .
Brielle’s a ballerina who 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 the 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 Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.
A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.
And now, for some info on the second book in the series, Broken Wings:
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Paperback/e-book, 320 pages
Giant angels with metal wings and visible song. A blind demon restored from the pit of darkness. And a girl who has never felt more broken.
Brielle sees the world as it really is: a place where the Celestial exists side by side with human reality. But in the aftermath of a supernatural showdown, her life begins to crumble. Her boyfriend, Jake, is keeping something from her—something important. Her overprotective father has started drinking again. He’s dating a much younger woman who makes Brielle’s skin crawl, and he’s downright hostile toward Jake. Haunting nightmares keep Brielle from sleeping, and flashes of Celestial vision keep her off kilter.
What she doesn’t know is that she’s been targeted. The Prince of Darkness himself has heard of the boy with healing in his hands and of the girl who sees through the Terrestrial Veil. When he plucks the blind demon, Damien, from the fiery chasm and sends him back to Earth with new eyes, the stage is set for a cataclysmic battle of good versus evil.
Then Brielle unearths the truth about her mother’s death and she must question everything she ever thought was true.
Brielle has no choice. She knows evil forces are converging and will soon rain their terror down upon the town of Stratus. She must master the weapons she’s been given. She must fight.
But can she fly with broken wings?
I wasn't sure how I was going to like this sequel. The first book, Angel Eyes, didn't have much religion. The dad doesn't have much faith in god, but after Brielle's eyes were opened to the world of angels and god and heaven, and hell. And now, Brielle can't deny that there is a god, and that there is a reason for everything. I think what drew me to Angel Eyes when I was reading it was that there wasn't a lot of religious context. There have been plenty of angel books about angels that barely mention god, but this series is not like that now, which made me roll my eyes a couple times. I was raised a Christian and went to church every Sunday for a long time, but I decided that I hated being forced to go somewhere that I didn't want to be once a week, so when I turned 18, I stopped going. I still believe in a higher power, but one of the things they say to never bring up in conversation is religion. Let's just say I hated being reminded about what I was told in church every Sunday. I now understand what this series is really about, and even though there's slight doubt about god's intentions, there's very little doubt as to whether he exists or not. It's just... this whole book was filled with god; with worship music and constant prayers, and being god-smacked is not something that's attractive to me in a guy, so while I see Brielle's attraction to Jake, I don't feel anything for him, which is abnormal for me.
There was some romance, but like I said, pretty much everything was overshadowed by the theme of religion and that whatever is happening to the characters is god's will. It made me mad that even the music was worship music, which, honestly, I hear enough of when I go home from college. Anything that was going on with Brielle and Jake felt like it was all based on god's will. The place where Jake had found the ring that he would eventually give to Brielle to marry her now holds a dagger with Brielle's blood. Which, of course, he keeps from Brielle. But Jake hasn't told Brielle that the ring is gone and what sits in its place. This means that the Throne Room is being confusing and it's unclear as to whether their fate together has changed. I feel like Jake and Brielle have never had the choice to decide whether they actually belong together or not, and aren't just part of some big plan of god's. The romance is still believable, but I just wish that it didn't seem so dependent on what the Throne Room wants. The romance is the only thing about this series that has kept me interested, and they never really had enough moments alone for my taste.
Just like the first book, I enjoyed Dittemore's writing. The only thing that really bothered my about this book was all the god-worshiping that I honestly wasn't expecting. The first book didn't have nearly as much religious parts, but there was at least a nod to religion in every paragraph, and so it got annoying after a while. But I liked the story when I tried to get over the overly-religious references. We get another POV from a lesser angel named Pearla, who is being a spy for the Throne in Hell. This way, we get another perspective of what's going on and how the angels are now having to get involved with what's happening on earth. We also find out that there are fallen angels that aren't bad. But I can't say too much about that. I really enjoyed the angel mythology in this book, but I just couldn't get over the fact that the characters had no sway over their own fate, and that really bothered me. According to scripture, god gave man free will. Does that not pertain to Brielle and Jake? Because they're part of some big plan, their choices are already made for them? I know I'm ranting, but I've had some time to think about it, and now I realized how much it bothers me. But if you really enjoyed Angel Eyes, I think you'll love Broken Wings. There's a lot of heartbreak, especially with that ending! I would consider finishing the series for the simple fact of knowing what happens to our hero and heroine.
Shannon Dittemore has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a focus on youth and young adult ministry. The daughter of one preacher and the wife of another, she spends her days imagining things unseen and chasing her two children around their home in Northern California.
Angel Eyes is her first novel.
(1) Print copies of Angel Eyes and Broken Wings (US Only)
(5) Print copies of Broken Wings (US only)