Brielle is back home in a rural town in Oregon to finish her senior year of high school. Her mom having died when Brielle was a child, she lives with her father, a logger. She is a talented dancer and two years earlier had been spotted and taken to the big city. Rather than finding a glorious career, Brielle found tragedy when her good friend was murdered.
Brielle returns to her old high school chilled, always chilled. She meets a new guy, Jake. Jake is friendly and his gentle touch is warm.
So begins this novel that reminded me so much of Peretti's first two. It is not long before we enter into the world of angels and demons. Along with Brielle, who is given the ability to look into the celestial realm, we see the forces others are unaware of. There are strong, protective angels watching over their charges, receiving their instruction from the very throne of God. We see hideous, evil demons bent on destroying what God has set in motion. We see fear, like black tar, flowing from terrified children.
The descriptions and scenes are captivating. I felt like I was being allowed to see behind the curtain, watching the spiritual forces of good and evil battle as events play out on earth. The plot was, perhaps, a little complex. The start of the novel was a little rough. I was a bit confused at the opening. I felt the background, the reason Brielle was back from the city, could have been laid out a little clearer. If you get into the novel around 50 pages or so, it becomes clear and the plot takes off.
This is a great novel for teens. They will be introduced to the spirit realm and the battles going on there. They will also see Brielle struggle with her concept of God. How can she believe in God when He allowed her mother to die way too early and her good friend be murdered? They will also see the necessity of being a part of the spiritual battle for their friend's lives. As Jake says, “Eventually evil everywhere will burn, but until it does, the kingdom of light, God's kingdom needs warriors.”
Shannon Dittemore has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. The daughter of one preacher and the wife of another, she spends her days imagining things unseen and chasing her two children around their home in Northern California. This is her first novel.
Thomas Nelson Publishers, 336 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this novel from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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