Review Detail

3.2 3
Young Adult Fiction 3122
Lovely and exciting Christian teen fiction
Overall rating
 
3.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
I have to admit, I get a little dubious when I pick up something labeled “Christian Fiction.” It’s not that I don’t admire what the authors are trying to do; I do. And I’m firmly planted in their target audience — I’m a Christian, I read a lot, and I like stories where fantastical events take place. But so often, these books come across as cheesy and kind of lame. The writing is sub-par. The dialogue is hokey. The characters are unrealistic. The plots are forced. The reader feels completely steamrolled by the “moral of the story.” And I wind up disappointed.

However, I was pleasantly surprised with Angel Eyes. I liked Brielle and Jake. Brielle asked some hard questions. Jake didn’t always have all the answers. There was a wee bit of insta-love lurking around their relationship, but it’s mostly understandable considering the scenario they are in. I liked that Brielle wasn’t able to just bounce back from her friend’s murder, and that she didn’t just blindly accept everything that Jake told her. She struggled throughout the book, and I appreciated that.

The way Ms. Dittemore writes about her angels and demons, you can tell she put a lot of thought into their realm and how it functions. It was interesting and exciting and mysterious. I definitely kept in mind that this is a work of fiction, so I didn’t really mind if not everything matched up perfectly with what I believe to be true. She’s allowed some artistic license in how she chooses to portray her world, and the spiritual warfare portrayed in Angel Eyes was very compelling.

I did have a few minor complaints with the book. I wasn’t a fan of the perspective changes between Brielle, Canaan, and Damien (one of the demons). Brielle’s perspective was easy to read, natural, and engaging. The other two felt a little forced. I understand that it would have been impossible to completely portray everything that was going on in the Celestial realm without switching from Brielle’s POV, but it just didn’t feel right to me. I’m not sure how it could have been done better; I just know I wasn’t totally satisfied with the way it was. Probably part of the problem was that I just didn’t really connect with any of the Celestial characters. I loved all the human characters, but the supernatural ones fell a little flat to me.

There was a tiny bit of cheese. Just a bit, and not enough to overwhelm the book or take me out of the story. But occasionally, cheese reared its ugly head.

And there was a bit of a Touched By an Angel steamroller moment. If you already believe in God, it probably wouldn’t bother you. It didn’t bother me. But if you don’t, you may find it a bit much. But then again, if you don’t believe in God, you’re already taking a bit of a gamble in reading Christian Fiction. Only you can know your own tolerance level for that sort of thing.

I’d categorize Angel Eyes as kind of a cross between the books of Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker, but for the YA audience. It has likable characters, an intriguing story, beautiful descriptions, and a powerful spiritual message. Ms. Dittemore sets up the ending for a sequel, although the story from this book is wrapped up nicely, and I’ll be very interested to see what happens to Brielle and Jake.
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