Genre: Juvenile Fiction/Fantasy
I wish I could recommend this book because I’m a big fan of supernaturally oriented Christian fiction. But there were a couple theological issues in the story that bothered me: 1) the Christian characters had no power against the demonic realm and were frequently abused or tormented by the demons, and 2) the Christian characters had to keep their supernatural gifts a secret (especially from the demonic realm, lest their gifts be stolen and used for evil). Since this is juvenile fiction, I feel these are especially big issues. I want my own kids to know and see that they have power in Jesus against the demonic realm. And, though we shouldn’t flaunt our supernatural gifts for our own benefit, we should be actively using them to encourage other Christians and to evangelize to the world. We need more juvenile fiction that demonstrates the supernatural realm through a biblical perspective, and this was so close (the spiritual battle is described well, as is the spiritually tangible fear, and the metaphor of the power-giving halo), but it fell short.
I also found Dittemore’s use of the first person present tense really awkward and distracting. This is a much smaller issue, but it did prevent me from melting into the story.
Despite these setbacks, I did enjoy the characters and overall story. The heroine, Brielle, is a dancer who is dealing with the loss of a good friend, and I felt her struggle with why God allows suffering was presented very well. I also enjoyed the interaction between the humans and angels/demons and the balance of action and dialog. Dittemore is a creative storyteller with an excellent handle on human emotion–and I can tell she has a strong faith. I pray her future books will also have a more accurate handle on supernatural theology.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Thomas Nelson.