Monday, January 21, 2013

CSFF Blog Tour: Angel Eyes

Visit the post for Day 2 and Day 3 of the tour.

It's that time of month again! Time for the CSFF blog tour that is. If you were paying attention, you noticed that I haven't participated for the past two months. This was due to a technical mix-up which cancelled the November tour and I refrained from participating during December which preserved what sanity remained to me. But it's back on schedule this month. The book is "Angel Eyes" by Shannon Dittemore and it's book one in the "Angel Eyes Trilogy".

Where should I begin this review? I guess my first impressions of the book ought to be a good place to start. The cover is fairly standard for YA fantasy. I guessed from the beginning that the circle she's holding onto is a halo and I was pleasantly surprised to see how it was worked into the story.

But I'm discussing first impressions. The blurb on the back is intriguing and attracted my interest from the moment I ripped open the package to see the latest book I'd be reviewing.

"Once you've seen, you can't unsee. 

"Brielle 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 either Brielle or Jake 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."
However, I didn't crack open the book until I was ready to review it and boy what a surprise awaited me. It took until the beginning of the first chapter for it to fully dawn on me that yes, "Angel Eyes" is written in not only first person POV but also present tense. Aye. Present tense. I almost stopped right there. It was so odd to read since past tense is the norm and therefore what I'm accustomed to reading. That same tense choice is precisely why I've been avoiding reading The Hunger Games (that and I've spoiled enough of the plot that I know I won't like how the series ends).

But, I thought, let's give this a chance. A review is no good if one hasn't read the whole book, good or bad, after all.

So I kept reading and nearly stopped again at the second surprise. The first chapter and indeed the set-up of the story in the rural town of Stratus reminds me of the first few pages of chapter one in Twilight. And that's not a good thing. Both have a girl who's not happy moving to a small, dreary town in the middle of nowhere. And both are complaining about it. Dreading it in fact.

After this nasty shock I was even more reluctant to read on. Nevertheless, I persevered and turned the next page - I had this thing called a review to write, remember? Strangely, though, each page I read drew me further into the story. Jake's entrance took myself as well as the main character, Brielle, by surprise. I eagerly anticipated the revealing of the angels and demons who took flesh around them. Bit by bit it drew me in until I wasn't so conscious of the present tense anymore, more the switching POVs between good and bad characters. The climax was suitably scary even if I knew instantly that the tragedy which befell Brielle couldn't be permanent.

All in all, by the end I was glad I hadn't given up at the beginning. I enjoyed it, even if it wasn't the typical fantasy or supernatural book I'd pick up somewhere and decide to read after browsing the first few pages.

Of course, the author's bio is on the last page in the book (after the page announcing the release of book two, "Broken Wings" this February). I was surprised to read that this was her first book. But I was also impressed. It's a decently written book for an author's first published work. I look forward to seeing where she'll take the trilogy from here.

In conclusion, this is a good YA supernatural fantasy book in the Christian tradition, despite the slow start. I would recommend it to the teens and young adults in my life. However, I think this author, Shannon Dittemore, has room to grow even within this trilogy and I'm looking forward to it.

You can find the book at here: http://www.amazon.com/Angel-Eyes-Shannon-Dittemore/dp/1401686354/
Also visit Shannon Dittemore's website and Facebook page.

Many other bloggers are participating in this tour. Check them out here!

As part of the CSFF blog tour I received a promotional copy of the book for this review.

5 comments:

  1. I've never read the Twilight books so I didn't know there were any parallels between the two. I read Brielle's dread at returning home as having to due to her failure rather than her actual return to her small town. I'll have to get this more thought.
    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only made it through about half of the first chapter before I dropped it even though I was reading it purely to create a parody of it. The parody got dropped too. lol

      I think the underlying dread is the same. It's a fear of going to a place where it's so small that you can't hide in a throng of people.

      Delete
  2. I saw quite a few Twilight similarities at the getgo, and I read a bit less of Twilight than you did, Anna. LOL Though I do think Dittemore was at least aware of the potential for comparisons, since she has a reference to sparkling vampires, if I recall correctly...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one seeing the similarities! That is a good point though. It would be interesting if she continued along that line knowingly. Perhaps she hoped it would hook Twihards?

      Delete
  3. I didn't have trouble adjusting to the present tense, but that seems to put me in the minority. I have read only two novels in the present tense, "Angel Eyes" included, and I don't wonder why. It's a hard thing to make work.

    Glad you persevered and that it paid off. Thanks for sharing how your opinion evolved as you read; it was interesting.

    ReplyDelete

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