Book Review: Shannon Dittemore’s Dark Halo

Shannon Dittemore is finishing up her trilogy featuring a war between angels and demons, and one girl who is in the possession of a halo that gives her a lot of power. For teens it’s a good alternative for secular novels like City of Bones. I didn’t find that the novel reminded me as much of Twilight or anything considering all the fantasy elements of the novel, even though that seems to be the goal of what they are aiming tis novel at. Dittemore though is lacking something I can’t quite place my finger on that doesn’t quite evoke the same feelings I had reading books like City of Bones or Twilight though.

Summary: Brielle has a halo given to her by Jake that gives her the ability to see beyond her world. Jake’s been kidnapped and a war is happening, so life has become very stressful. After Brielle falls into the hands of the Prince a.k.a. Satan. He offers her peace from the fear and death she is finding in the world with another halo to replace the one she already owns. Now Brielle is met with the temptation of leaving her faith and jeopardizing her relationship with Jake.

Characters: This is a series that did improve as the book’s went on. I felt after Dittemore stopped trying to force the characters in a Twilight mold after the first novel she found her footing in making this a real story with strong characters. Brielle is a great role model for teens. She has her own flaws and temptations she deals with but the character development she makes at the novel regarding what is important in her life and God’s importance to her then the novel is summed up to have a great message. I think particularly for boy obsessed teens the point is made well and not shoved in your face. Jake isn’t as strongly developed, but for a first person novel written from a teenage girl’s perspective I think it’s understandable, but there are moments where we are supposed to be in Jake’s perspective. The switching point of views in the book is something I felt never strengthened the novel though.  I felt it took away from their development.

Writing: Thomas Nelson does release some of the better edited books out there to read from Christian authors. They still publish things not written quite that great, but the overall cleanup is better. This book doesn’t have as much rambling to make up for the lack of story that someone might deal with than writing. Each chapter usually has something going on to develop the plot. There are some wordy adverbs and adjectives throughout the novel, but overall none of the voices of the characters annoyed me.

Plot: The plot is really for those who enjoy fantasy. I think Dittemore’s novel hits at a time that really is catching the wave where fantasy is popular for teens right now. Also, for Christian teens this provides a book that has a message that is very nicely woven in. I like the plot that she has developed here as far as having doubt and temptation, and how Brielle fights that with her own faith, and doesn’t rely on a boy or something else to fix that. I feel like the thoughts that go on in Brielle’s head are normal for her own age. What seems a little bit of a hold up in the plot for me is the focus on Macro and Liv. I never fully understood their characters and could have done without the whole chapters dedicated to them.

Dark Halo is a novel that is strong in message, and presents character development that maybe the first two other ones in the series lacked. Hopefully Dittermore doesn’t get carried away and just decide it’s better to keep writing it even after you said this was the end though. There are some parts that don’t contribute to the constant flow, but otherwise it’s interesting. I think it’s more so for teens than anyone else though.

Rating 6 of 10.

This book was provided by Booksneeze in exchange for a review.

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