CSFF Tour – Broken Wings Day 3

Day 3 of the CSFF Tour – the wrap up day.

We’ve been featuring Shannon Dittemore and her latest book,  Broken Wings, second in the Angel Eyes trilogy. I introduced the book on Monday, and gave my overall review yesterday.

I wasn’t quite finished though.

Being a Christian novel, there is another layer to consider when reviewing or discussing a book like Broken Wings. There are the spiritual underpinnings of a CBA book to explore.

Faith can be applied as one layer of a multi-layered story. It may be more of a base layer, the foundation of what happens, but not as apparent on the surface. This would be a book where a character is a Christian, but overt aspects of faith aren’t featured in the story. Or it may be a novel written with the idea of a Christian worldview without explicit statements or actions of Christianity. I wouldn’t say these are any less of a Christian novel, but the story has another purpose. It isn’t dealing with the specifics of faith and belief.

Other novels are Christian from specific content. Whether it is set in a church community, a crisis of faith, or a conversion story, the author wants to explore themes and ideas of faith and religion. The layer of faith is close to the surface, easily discernible.

Since Broken Wings deals with angels and demons, it is not the former.

It is a criticism if a book forces the faith aspect when it isn’t natural to the story. It comes across as preachy. Thankfully, Shannon has created an organic exploration of faith, fear, and living for worship in her series. Brielle is on a journey of faith, and throughout she has ups and downs. She can see into the spiritual realm, what Shannon terms “the Celestial.” It is the crux of the plot.

It doesn’t become a gimmick. The spiritual life is a beautiful thing in Broken Wings. By ascribing colors to emotions and spiritual aspects of life, it allows for imaginative descriptions of what happens in the unseen realm. Worship shows colors dancing in ribbons and waves that captivate Brielle. More than having “angel eyes,” she can sense the spiritual. She can smell worship. Rich scents accompany worship. Hearing the angelic worship draws her and calls to her. Brielle may not be a singer, but as a dancer she expresses her feelings in movement, and this is a precious depiction of a way of worship that is not always appreciated in church today.

The descriptions are rich and varied, but the themes resonate with power. I don’t want to spoil things, so I won’t explain each one, but one theme is sacrifice. As the little cherub Pearla notes toward the end:

“It’s the greatest expression of love, she knows, to lay one’s life down. But she wonders if humans know just how unique the ability is to do that. Death is not something an angel has to offer her loved ones. How glorious it must be to have one’s days numbered by the Father.

How precious it makes each and every one.” (page 259, emphasis mine)

What a statement to consider. Wow.

In short, Broken Wings is exactly the type of Christian YA fiction I would want my daughter to read. Now, she’s only four, but I will be saving these for her.

That’s all I have for this tour, but there are other great people talking about this book – just go to Becky Miller’s page to find other posts. And remember how precious each day is.

CSFF Blog Tour – Broken Wings Day 2

Onto the review.

The CSFF Tour is featuring Shannon Dittemore and her latest book,  Broken Wings, the second book in the Angel Eyes trilogy. I did a synopsis of the book yesterday.

Shannon nailed her debut novel Angel Eyes with a strong voice for her protagonist Brielle, an intriguing premise, and a different take on the idea of spiritual warfare and dealing with angels and demons. The sophomore slump is always a concern for writers.

Thankfully, Shannon kept up the strong work in Broken Wings. A bold choice was the initial setting: hell. An angel especially designed for reconnaissance is peeking into a demonic conference when the adversary from the first novel, Damien, is allowed to return to Stratus, Oregon, to see if he can corrupt Brielle and her boyfriend Jake.

From there the intrigue continued. Brielle has grown from when we first met her, but more obstacles are making life harder than before. The progression of Brielle is nicely handled. Her doubts and fears are realistic and deftly shown. She has experienced faith, but is still new in it and learning how to walk in faith.

YA novels are their own genre, with the sub-categories of fantasy, romance, or since the Twilight novels took off, paranormal or supernatural romance. I read a lot of YA having boys that read a lot, and Shannon does a great job of capturing a younger voice. Now, my boys don’t read romance, but I have really enjoyed Jenny B. Jones in the past, a writer that has a wonderful voice with sass and a real touch for the romantic. I think Shannon is right there with that type of romance that will appeal to the young women looking for quality reads.

The book was a very enjoyable read for anyone who enjoys a look at the supernatural or a YA romance. I’ve said it before: good writing is good writing. That’s what Shannon delivers, and I don’t mind saying that I really like her books. Heck, I handed over my man card the last time we featured her.

There’s another major aspect to the book I’d like to address apart from this review, but I think that can wait for tomorrow. If you’re looking for more, Becky Miller always keeps the latest and greatest from the tour on her blog. And no CSFF Tour is complete without Steve Trower’s post of songs that match the book. Theme: Broken Wings. Check that out, and I’ll be back with final thoughts…

CSFF Blog Tour – Broken Wings Day 1

A question: how do you fly with Broken Wings?

The Christian Sci-fi/Fantasy Tour (CSFF) is back with the latest book from Shannon Dittemore. Broken Wings is the second book in her Angel Eyes trilogy. This is a unique situation for our tour, because we just featured the first book in the series, Angel Eyes, in January. We don’t usually get to review books in a series so close together. Readers won’t have to wait long for the conclusion either. The final book Dark Halo will release in August. Certified fresh content.

In the first book, Brielle Matthews had her eyes opened. In Broken Wings, she sees more than she may be able to handle.

Brielle had returned to her hometown of Stratus, Oregon, after tragic events happened while in Portland at an exclusive arts school. Thanks to her boyfriend Jake and her new look on life, things have settled down. However, her father has taken up drinking again and is seeing a younger woman that makes Brielle’s skin crawl. Jake is hiding something. And a startling event opens up old wounds regarding her mother’s death when Brielle was just a little girl.

Unknown to Brielle and Jake, the demonic forces they tangled with in Angel Eyes aren’t done with them yet. A new offensive is authorized to strike the small town of Stratus. This time, even having the eyes of an angel may not be enough to save all Brielle cares about.

That’s the preview. The review will be following tomorrow. Hope to see you there. My posts from the tour for Angel Eyes is here. If you want to see what others are saying, check out the fellow tour members below.

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