Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tour Stop: Broken Wings by Shannon Dittemore - Review, Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Broken Wings, book #2 in the Angel Eyes Trilogy by Shannon Dittemore.  The tour is hosted by YA Bound Tours.  You can visit all the other great stops on the tour here.  There is also a great giveaway going on in association with the tour, the details of which are below, so be sure to check that out.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Broken Wings (Angel Eyes Trilogy #2)
Release Date: February 19, 2013
320 pages

Summary from Goodreads:  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?
My Thoughts:  Jake and Brielle's story continues in this second installment of the Angel Eyes Trilogy.  "Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . .ANGEL EYES."  That is the first line of the synopsis of book one, Angel Eyes, and I think it describes Brielle better than any words I could write, because that is exactly what Brielle can do.  It is her gift.  She is able to see into the celestial realm with her own eyes, into the realm of angels and demons.  At first she was only able to do this with the special halo that Jake gave her, but now, it is happening without it, and it is happening a lot more frequently.  Jake is special also, he has the gift of healing hands, hands that have been used to save Brielle's life.  Jake also lives with his Shield, which some of us would refer to as our "guardian angel," but the Shield's assignment entails much more.  Canaan, Jake's Shield, is an angel that can also take on human form.  He has raised Jake since he was a small child.  Brielle also has a Shield, and her name is Helen.  Helen doesn't live with Brielle and only was assigned to her after she met Jake and discovered her gift, but she would do anything to protect her.  

Jake and Brielle thought the threat from the demon Damien was over when he was sentenced to the pit at the end of book one, but is very far from that.  In fact, not only is Damien still after them with the approval of Lucifer himself, there is also a great battle going on in the heavenlies that is taking place over the city of Stratus itself. With the presence of magnificent beings called Sabres, who have metallic knife-like wings and posses song as their fiercest weapon, things begin to really heat up in Stratus.  Brielle's mother's grave is desecrated revealing a secret that her father and others have kept from her for years.  Her dad has started drinking again, and that is getting out of hand, and to top it all of Jake, who she never thought would lie to her,  has been keeping the truth about what was in a sacred chest from her, though he did it only to protect her.  When Jake receives a clue about his family and who they might really be, Brielle encourages him to check it out.  While he is gone, everything in the celestial world crescendos as evil beings called the Palatines arrive over Stratus, and Damien reveals himself to Brielle in a last ditch effort to capture both her and Jake.  With a little Angelic help, Jake manages to get back to Stratus, to Brielle, but Damien is persistent and won't let up.  Meanwhile, the Sabres are battling on the side of heaven, while the Palatines are battling on the side of hell, and right in the middle of this battle are two teenagers, Jake and Brielle.  One side is trying to protect them, while the other is trying to abduct them.  What they don't realize, is that these two teens have more power than all of these supernatural beings combined.  It is the power and song of the redeemed, and only humans are capable of possessing it.  When Brielle is loses everything she loves, it is up to her to use it, but will she be strong enough, or will she give into doubt and the fear that threaten to consume her?  

I really enjoyed this book.  It has a lot of emphasis on God and Church, but this is the core message of the book, so that is expected.  Jake and Brielle continue to pursue their faith in God, and also try to figure out their instructions from the throne room about what they need to do next.  I really love Jake, he is so swoon-worthy and he loves Brielle so much, to the point he wouldn't hesitate giving his life for her.  I liked Brielle to.  She has been through so much, yet she perseveres.  We get to see more of Marco in this book, and are also introduced to a new character, Olivia, who Brielle is not crazy about, but is an intricate part of the puzzle they are trying to solve.  Shannon Dittemore has done an excellent job with her world building, creating a celestial world that rivals even the best of high fantasy fiction novels.  Personally, I found it all fascinating.  The romance between Jake and Brielle is sweet and adds a lot to the story also.  

The one quote that touched me the most in the entire novel causing me to look at Brielle in a whole new way, occurred when she was at her lowest moment.  She had lost everything, none of her questions were being answered, and she was totally broken.  Yet she says, and I quote, ".....then I stand as the tendrils of sound and light surround me.  I breathe in and let the music take me.  I let myself dance.  I may not have the confidence to sing my redemption song, but I can wield it anyway.  My arms and legs can fight even when I don't have the courage to move my mouth.  The orchard doesn't provide the easiest dance floor, but my heart doesn't care.........Even though everything I love has been taken.....I'm broken, but here in the red orchard, surrounded by the sweet smell of worship, I raise my hands above my head, and I believe." 

I found that statement absolutely beautiful.  I really enjoyed this book, if you have a problem with religiously based books, then this may not be for you.  Personally, I don't.  I believe in God, in heaven, and in hell, and I like to think that there is more to heaven that just sitting on a cloud playing a harp for eternity.  Shannon Dittemore really gives you something to think about, and I would pick her heaven over the retirement cloud in the sky any day.  I recently read an interview by Miranda Kelly, the author of Catching Jordan, Stealing Parker, and Things I Can't Forget, books which also contain a lot about faith and God.  She was talking about her upcoming release and said, "Things I Can't Forget is all about learning to have your own beliefs, but learning to respect the beliefs of others as well."  That sentence says a mouthful and very profound.  It is a nugget of wisdom I think everyone good glean from.  I know I did, and I ended up really enjoying Broken Wings, and I am really looking forward to seeing how the series concludes in the next book, Dark Halo.  

Release Date: May 29, 2012
336 pages

Summary from Goodreads:  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.

You can read my review of Angel Eyes here

About the Author
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)

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  1. I have the first book in this series and I am glad to hear you are enjoying the series. I don't mind a little religious undertone as long as it isn't too preachy or the whole theme of the story and it sounds like it isn't.

    Nice review, I think I will have to look into this one more.

  2. I've never heard of this series before, and I'm glad that the story connected w/you. It sounds like a powerful book. Nice review!

  3. I do get a bit uncomfortable with religion in books, especially if God and Faith is talked about a lot. But sometimes it doesn't bother, so I guess it just depends. I'm glad you really enjoyed it!

  4. I have the first book in this series, and it sounds like I really need to make time for it. Lovely review!


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