Dark Halo

Brielle can’t help but see the Celestial. Even without the halo, the invisible realm is everywhere she looks. It’s impossibly beautiful—and terrifying.

One halo brought sight to Brielle. Another offers sweet relief from what she sees.

Brielle can’t help but see the Celestial. Even without the halo, the invisible realm is everywhere she looks. It’s impossibly beautiful—and terrifying, especially now. Because a battle rages above Stratus, Oregon.

The Terrestrial Veil is ripping, and demons walk the streets past unseeing mortals. Dark, sticky fear drips from every face, and nightmares haunt Brielle’s sleep.

Worst of all, Jake is gone. The only boy she’s ever loved has been taken by the demon, Damien. When she receives instructions from the Throne Room leading her to Jake, she unknowingly walks into a diabolical and heartbreaking trap.

Now she’s stranded in a sulfurous desert with the Prince of Darkness himself, and he’s offering her another halo—a mirrored ring that will destroy her Celestial vision. All she has to do is wear it and she’ll see no more of the invisible world. No more fear. No more nightmares. No more demons. It’s a gift. And best of all: it comes with the promise of a future with Jake, something the Throne Room seems to be taking from her.

Will Brielle trade the beauty of the Celestial and the truth of the world around her just to feel ordinary again?

Conclusion of the young adult supernatural suspense Angel Eyes trilogy

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Michelle R. Wood
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I do not usually care for angelic warfare novels OR teen romance, but the author won me over to this series with her excellent prose, great characters, and a surprisingly powerful story of growing into a more mature faith. The first book I liked in spite of myself. The second inspired both hope and appreciation, and so I was chomping at the bit by the third.

Dark Halo not only proved a worthy and enjoyable sequel, it lifted the series as a whole to make it one I would recommend to all readers.

In this concluding novel of the Angel Eyes trilogy, teenage protagonist Brielle is reeling from the battles of the previous books. She’s stronger now, with a heightened sense of faith and purpose, but the stakes are raised as her boyfriend Jake is held hostage by the Prince of Darkness himself. The cliffhanger from last time implied that Jake may face a most perilous temptation, one that could shatter everything they hold dear. But deception is always at play with demons, and Brielle soon learns that it’s her own weaknesses that could destroy them both.

By all rights the reversal of the cliffhanger (one built to over the course of two books) should feel like a cheat. But author Shannon Dittemore really is that good: she completely changed my preconceptions as a reader, even down to my anticipation of this novel’s plot. I’d forgotten, as the characters did, that deceit is the ultimate weapon of the enemy, and this novel’s devil is no cartoonish caricature. He’s sly and subtle, ferocious and fearful, the most metaphorically True depiction of Satan’s power I have experienced in a work of fiction (perhaps supplanted only by Lewis’s Screwtape Letters).

Brielle’s voice continues to be the strongest weapon Dittemore employs in selling the plot’s twists and turns. All the characters are at the zenith here, even secondary ones that in lesser hands would crowd a full tale. Instead, everyone’s stories unlock meaty theological realities, the bedrock that grounds this supernatural journey. Dark Halo shows the roots of temptation forming in our lives from the inside out, reminding us that sin is a personal responsibility we must accept if we are to truly repent.

Perhaps the ultimate triumph of this novel is that it doesn’t overreach. The characters, while growing in maturity, are still teenagers with real life problems. Rather than treat these issues as banal distractions from the deeper fight against evil, Dittemore guides teens to realize that these are the stuff of which such battles are made. Satan is not meant to be defeated by us; instead, we’re to let God win that war in His own time, while we are used by Him to serve others.

Nowhere is this clarity in perspective greater than the relationship between Brielle and Jake. What romance, supernatural or not, allows the characters to face the idea of not being together, even to accept such a separation if it means bowing to God’s will? Furthermore, what book would dare actually hold the characters to such a proposition even after the main climax is over, not dangling marriage as a prize to be won but a commitment to be pondered and not entered into lightly? These two individuals grew as people first, as a couple second.

There are a very few bumps in this well-hewn road, especially with one secondary’s tragic backstory that at times felt tacked on. But such a critique is minor compared to the treasure these books ultimately offer readers. I highly recommend the entire series for any and all who wish to be encouraged, convicted, and inspired.