The truth, when uncovered, can cause a lot of trouble. Brielle knows this, after all the chaos stirred up when Damien discovered the secret of her eyes and Jake’s hands. That trouble is now on the back-burner, where it’s simmering to a boil. In the meantime, Brielle has enough to handle with the truth the angel unearthed in the cemetery.
Broken Wings is Shannon Dittemore’s second novel, continuing what she began in Angel Eyes. It’s a second act, but it feels like a middle-act. Dittemore handles the “before” events with enough skill that you could begin the story here, if you wanted, but you would be missing something.
What mainly creates the impression of a middle-act is the story-lines that are only begun and those that never really come to a head. Nothing is concluded. The end of the book does not set the stage for new conflicts; it merely lowers the curtain on a drama full of unfinished fights and unanswered questions.
All sorts of forces are at work in this story – demonic and angelic, human and divine. The designs of the demonic enemies are kept largely hidden; the purposes of God are more mysterious still. To Dittemore’s credit she gives God an unseen but present role, never fully explaining Him. Her characters are left to trust, or not trust. Like we are.
Shannon Dittemore keeps interest alive throughout Broken Wings, seasoning it with dashes of excitement. I enjoyed the development of Kaylee, and the textured introduction of Olivia. Marco – over this book and the first – strikes me as a bit of an idiot, but that’s acceptable in a secondary character.
I liked Jake and Brielle a little less this time around. Strangely enough, the reasons are related largely to their romance. I thought it shallow and selfish that Jake – with a miraculous healing gift in a world full of suffering, dying people – essentially reduced his criteria for healing people to, How will it affect my girlfriend? And no one will ever justify why Brielle would not wait until Jake was done healing a bleeding, unconscious person before she began kissing him.
I also thought unmarried Christians should be more hands-off than they were, though I know that the majority opinion is probably against me. And the author’s use of a few (mildly) crude words was a bad thing
Despite these moral missteps, the book had a solid spiritual foundation, themed in trusting and worshiping God even when we don’t understand. Shannon Dittemore dealt creatively with the speculative element, and the characters were strong and, on occasion, winning. Even by the standards of professional writing, the prose of Broken Wings is notably good. Those who like books about angels will find this the sort of thing they like. Even those who don’t may make an exception.
And now, happy campers – and unhappy ones, for that matter – here are the links:
Broken Wings on Amazon;
Shannon Dittemore’s website;
and the CSFF’ers, as our organizer Becky Miller calls us:
Emma or Audrey Engel
Karielle @ Books à la Mode
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Megan @ Hardcover Feedback
Rebecca LuElla Miller
11 thoughts on “CSFF Blog Tour: Broken Wings”
I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought of this as the middle, Shannon. That was the word that jumped out at me as I finished.
Interesting that you didn’t feel as sympathetic toward the main characters. I wasn’t quite as much either, but for a different reason I’ll get into in my review. Still, with my antipathy for angel books, and all, I am so happy to read this one. Shannon’s writing, as you say, is, even using high standards, good!
Thanks for posting your review. I like how you pointed out both the agreeable and disagreeable aspects of the book. Your review came across as unbiased.
Great thoughts as usual. I hadn’t thought about Jake being so selfish (just more of a vague unease), but you’re absolutely right. That also reminds me why if the question comes up “What superpower would you like to have?” healing actually never comes up near the top…because selfish me wouldn’t like to devote every waking moment to healing people. (Also it would get tricky because rich people would try to buy their way in and I have no idea how well I’d deal with that. 😛 )
Thanks for the good review!
Now you’ve made me curious, Becky. I’m looking forward to your review.
Thanks for commenting, Timothy. I’m happy to hear I came across as unbiased. For a little while I was afraid I was going to come off as cranky. Picking on their love …
Interesting point about healing as a superpower, Julie. I think that, for most people, a gift like Jake’s would be hard to handle. It wasn’t hard for the apostles – but for them, healing wove seamlessly with their ministry and the calling God had given them to proclaim the Gospel. We can all understand why a nineteen-year-old boy would find it a predicament – but I can’t remember Jake ever thinking about helping others or about what God would like him to do.
Good morning, Shannon! I just wanted to stop by and thank you for taking the time to read and spread the word about both Angel Eyes and Broken Wings. I know your time is valuable and your TBR list is probably long, so It is greatly appreciated. God bless.
Reading Angel Eyes and Broken Wings was my pleasure, and the blog tours are fun, too. Thanks for coming by.
I totally agree with your assessment of Brielle and Jake’s romance. I mean Brielle’s dad has every right to be a bit of a grump where Jake is concerned. Probably worried that with the trauma Brielle suffered the last year she’s in a vulnerable condition.
Hello, chaperon, of his choice, would probable make him happier.
Refusing to heal and use his gift, but trying to make Brielle use her gift is just a bit pushy in addition to the selfish part.
Guess this all goes to prove they are just human.
Enjoyed reading your thoughts.
Thanks for stopping by, Meagan. “Guess this all goes to prove they are just human” is a generous angle to take; we do want some imperfection in our protagonists.