Monday, May 28, 2012

Angel Eyes Tour Stop: Review + Giveaway

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Angel Eyes
Shannon Dittemore
Series: Angel Eyes Trilogy, #1
Release date: May 29th, 2012
by Thomas Nelson Fiction

Goodreads / Purchase

Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . .

ANGEL EYES

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.

*A copy was provided by Thomas Nelson for review purposes*
Angel books are not a rarity nowadays. I have read my share and even though this one didn’t absolutely wow me, I enjoyed it for the most part. It starts to feel long, plot-wise, after a bit, but the characters are engaging and the angel lore is enticing.

My immediate thought was that this was going to be the same old – full of clichés – kind of story. We have Brielle moving back to her old town, starting school and meeting the gorgeous new guy who, to her surprise, seems to be into her. Sounds familiar? It’s not a very unique start, but as the story progresses it does get a lot more original with some surprising elements and, amazingly, no love triangle. I was also quite surprised by the direction of the heroine herself. I had imagined the usual cookie cutter plot where the protagonist finds out she’s really an angel, so I was happy to get a different sort of twist that kept this story fresh. Brielle is a well-rendered character with raw emotions. I found her easily relatable as she’s an average Joe but with a heavy, mysterious past that I was kept captivated by. The story itself alternates from a few different POVs, including the villain’s which I always find intriguing as we get the anticipation of seeing their plans unfolding. I did find it sometimes got distracting, however, especially at the beginning where I felt flopped around from side characters I wasn’t connecting with. But It does leave us with a deeper understanding of their whole world.

Jake could be seen as Brielle’s savior. In him she finds a companion to whom she is able to open up to and move on from a place of sorrow and grief. It’s a sweet, natural relationship that I would simply call nice. It’s not filled with pulse pounding chemistry, nor is it monotonous, it’s the kind of relationship where they just fit, balancing one another. It’s not swoon worthy but it’s satisfying.

Struggling with the death of her best friend, Brielle is questioning her faith and the existence of God. From someone who is not religious I wasn’t too enthused by the strong religious undertone in this novel. Nevertheless I understand the importance of its addition in the story; it serves its purpose. Obviously, being an angel book I was expecting it, but this one can get particularly heavy in that department. I also appreciated that it doesn’t force any belief system on the reader. It’s merely commonly asked questions and reflections by someone who has been through such a devastating loss like Brielle.

There’s not a whole lot that you can do to make angel lore original while keeping it inside common beliefs. Dittemore does stray from the usual notions, but by re-imagining, not necessarily recreating. The realms, the spiritual warfare, the angel’s purpose, and my personal favorite – the halo, all have the common assumptions at their core, but with an added creative flair to leave it mysterious with some exciting twists. I thought it was all wonderfully described, keeping me fascinated – which has not been accomplished by many angel books to be honest. The pacing itself could have been better, especially at the beginning and end. It takes a while before we start getting some answers, then the ending feels overly prolonged. Otherwise, though, it flows nicely.

An enjoyable addition to its genre, Angel Eyes delivers beautiful angel lore with three-dimensional characters. Even though it didn’t absolutely enchant me, fans of Angel stories will most likely find this one surprisingly up to par with the most recent popular angel titles today. 

3 Hot Espressos
This review is a part of: 

Giveaway
As part of the blog tour, an ebook copy of Angel Eyes was donated for giveaway to one of my readers.

Open internationally
Giveaway ends June 8th, 2012
Use Rafflecopter below to enter
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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31 Responses to “Angel Eyes Tour Stop: Review + Giveaway”

  1. Danny

    I nearly had the exact same feelings about this book! I really enjoyed it, but it lacked something to make it awesome. I loved however the idea with the halo – this was beautiful and the ending was great! Fans of Angel lore truly shouldn’t pass on this one!

  2. Sam

    I mentioned on Goodreads… but I’m glad to hear the book gets better as it progresses. Also, the alternating points of view… I’m still not far in yet so I can’t quite get a grasp on the secondary characters, but I agree that all that was confusing at the beginning. Anyway, great review! 🙂

  3. Nick

    Angels are like the new vampires and I still haven’t come across one that I truly enjoy.
    Still, this one does look interesting.
    I enjoy villains’ POVs too since they make books more entertaining.
    I don’t know if I’ll be checking this one out, but thanks for the great review, Giselle 😀

  4. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    I agree about the choppy flow, in the beginning/middle I was so into it! It’s really unique and totally had my interest. But the ending was like the energizer bunny, it just kept going & going & going. Overall I really enjoyed this one though! Great review love 🙂

  5. Kristan

    Hmmm not sure how I feel about this book now. I’m excited there aren’t any love triangles for a change and that we get alternating POVs but nowadays I need an angel book that’ll really stand out. Its hard when a certain genre becomes so popular that plots start to become unoriginal. I’m glad to see its not a disappointing read though so I’ll look into giving this one a try. As always, love your honesty Giselle!

    Kristan @ Lost Amongst the Shelves

  6. Nicola

    Awesome review, Giselle! I ended up pulling out of the tour but I’m not sure if it would be my kind of thing anyway. The religious undertones would bother me I think. Or maybe I’m just worn out on angel books at this point!

    Glad it was enjoyable for you though 😀

  7. Amy

    I have been wondering about this book. I saw it on NetGalley, but passed over it. I have a love hate relationship with angel books, so I don’t tend to want to read them until I have heard a bit about them. This sounds good though. I may have to read it sometime. Great review as always chick!!

  8. Helen Keeble

    Your thoughtful and well-balanced review now has me rather interested in this book, despite your reservations. Having read quite a lot of angel romances recently (for research as well as enjoyment, as – shameless plug! -my own next novel is a YA angel comedy *grin*), I’ve noticed that most of them gloss over the religious aspects of the mythology. So I’m quite intrigued by this one, which sounds like it handles them without necessarily being a full-on Evangelical publication. Might see if I can pick it up!

  9. Silverlight

    I started reading this for my tour stop and I’m only a few chapters in. I’m not sure what I think, yet. I haven’t read too many “Angel” books to actually compare this to. So hopefully it won’t disappoint…but by your review I may become bored with the whole concept and plot –We shall see.

  10. Julie

    Ooh! This sounds like a great book. I’m not a huge fan of angels, but I love 3 dimensional characters. I might have to check this one out. Great review.

  11. Mel - Thedailyprophecy.

    The beginning of this book sounds very familiar. Angels are really a new hot thing right now, huh.. I’m not sure if I like them that much, but they do fascinate me. It’s good to hear that the book becomes much better towards the ending. I wasn’t planning on reading this one. I’m still not sure why, but it just doesn’t blow me away and after reading this, that only proves I’m right about my feeling. Thanks for the review! 🙂

  12. ShreShre

    Thanks for your review Giselle 🙂 I’ve been seeing that so many people are reading this, and I was having mixed feelings with the summary and everything. If it gets at least 3 hot espressos, I’ll have to give it a try sometime. 😉

  13. Aneeqah

    I have this one from NetGalley, and still haven’t gotten around to it! I wasn’t expecting it to be any good, based on the synopsis, but I’m glad to hear that you at least liked it. =) Thank goodness there’s not a love triangle, at least! Fabulous review, Giselle. =)

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  14. bookworm105

    I don’t really like angel books that much but i think this will be original one. I love the sound of the villain POV-something you don’t see in many books.

    Thanks for the giveaway and sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  15. Shellie

    I’m about 1/2 way through this one…things haven’t taken a particular religious feeling…yet. Glad that there is no love triangle in this one. Hope that I like the rest of it. <3

  16. Jennifer Messerschmidt

    Angel books can be really hit or miss with me. I don’t like the heavily religious ones since I too am not religious. This one does sound on the heavy side for me. The romance sounds sweet and I am always happy when there isn’t a love triangle. It does sound unique in the way that I’m not sure what is going on with Brielle and if she is an angel or if Jake is. I do love alternating POVs and the villains perspective is usually interesting.

  17. Cindy

    I am a little hesitant when it comes to angel books, but this one sounds interesting. I’m glad you enjoyed it overall.

    Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  18. Candace

    I haven’t been very eager to read any angel books lately. I think I just got burnt out. I’m glad this one was mostly enjoyable for you though!

  19. Rebecca

    This looks like a fun read. I like it when books don’t go down the predictable route even though they start that way. I’m glad it kept you entertained.