Megan has been given the ability to see angels and demons. This has changed her life, causing her to enter a battle to the death for her family and friends.
As a Christian, I am always looking for books that portray the Christian faith in ways that entertain and are of high quality. As a writer myself, I am annoyed when I see poor storylines and ‘all over the place’ sentence structuring that leads to no rising plot and has no conflict. This was not the case at all with Lisa Grace’s Angel in the Shadows.
The message here is about the power of standing to do what is right even if you have to stand alone. The message and plan of salvation is brilliantly embedded in the story without sounding preachy; the novel’s tone embodies the idea that you must choose to do what is right or live with the shame of bad choices.
Angel in the Shadows, the first book in Lisa Grace’s Angel Series, has been on AOL’s Top Ten Most Challenged Book List. It is also considered the Christian Alternative to the famed Twilight Series. In most recent news, the Angel Series Book 1, Angel in the Shadows, and Book 2, Angel in the Storm, have been optioned by Motion Picture Pro Studios and are being fast-tracked into pre-production.
Angel in the Shadows was released May 23, 2011. Lisa Grace has done more than an exceptional job in bringing the world of the supernatural to the visible eye. The heroine in the story operates in the world of the supernatural without the use of supernatural powers. The story is phenomenal and the plot is genius.
Angel in the Shadows starts out by introducing Megan, a fifteen-year-old girl, who discovers she can see angels and demons. Megan encounters this discovery while off at a Christian youth camp. The last thing on Megan’s mind is the ability to see angels and demons. She has her heart set on spending time with her boyfriend Seth. Megan and Seth live three hours away so they take every opportunity they have to spend time with each other. Megan and Seth’s plans become difficult when Megan realizes her ability.
Megan first realizes that she can see into the world of the supernatural when she is the only one to see Mr. Z., a counselor at the camp, glowing. He confronts her about what she sees and reveals to her that he is an angel. Mr. Z. informs Megan that she also has the ability to see demons as well. Megan is in shock and not in the least prepared for this type of life. Mr. Z. informs her that because she can see demons, she and her family and friends will be targets. Megan’s mind is torn between enjoying her time with Seth and stopping the work of the demons. The reality of what Megan can see pushes her towards preventing the damage the demons are out to do.
After leaving the camp, Megan goes home only to find a demon wreaking havoc in her school. Judas is the most handsome, charming boy at school. Megan knows that Judas is not what he appears to be, but a demon set on destruction. Judas, realizing that she can see him for who he is, plants himself in nearly all of her classes. Judas begins his destruction of Megan right away by targeting her friends as well as causing havoc in her life.
Megan also encounters Johnny, an angel who has been following Judas and working to prevent his destructive plans. Megan’s ability to see both Johnny and Judas has brought more challenges and responsibility into her life than what she planned. All of a sudden, Megan, with the help of Johnny and several of her friends, is in a fight to the death to save the lives of her friends and family.
The world created in Angel in the Shadows is one that is so phenomenal you will find yourself hoping, praying and squinting for the characters’ survival. Lisa Grace has genially mixed together the beings of the supernatural world and the human world, drawing the reader in with the possibility of ‘what if’ or ‘maybe’. The world of angels and demons is given a new meaning through the idea that they are right next to you every day. The choice becomes yours which to allow into your daily world. Angels are sent to help restore and save. Demons are sent and set on destruction. Humans are caught in a world of chaos, not understanding their plights of temptation, riding the wave of ‘whatever may come.’
The reality of this world created by Lisa Grace explains the reason behind suffering, pain, and hard decisions, as well as peace, unexpected favors and blessings. Mixing and molding the two worlds into one is the same as uncovering one side of a two-sided mirror. The eye is faced with a reality that cannot be denied or falsified, the reality of a world that was created for peace and pleasure and now battles for a prize: the human soul.
The characters of this story were very well developed. Lisa Grace took the time to develop each of the characters, giving them their own unique voices. Lisa Grace made the characters so that young teens could easily put themselves in the roles. The characters are not far from the truth. The issues addressed in the book are the very issues many teens deal with today.
Megan, the main character, is a normal girl. She has normal fifteen-year-old aspirations and desires. She feels as though she loves her boyfriend Seth and is eager to see him at any chance she gets. Megan has a best friend, Mandy, with whom she shares her dreams and secrets. Megan’s only elevation is that she has the ability to see into the world of the supernatural. Megan’s ability does not take away from her personality. When she learns she can see angels and demons, she does not become some super heroine. She remains true to her character, trying to figure out how to prevent the destructive work of Judas and his demons.
Seth is a normal teen boy. He truly loves Megan and does everything he can to show her is commitment is real. Seth encourages Megan in all that she desires to do. There is nothing he would not do for Megan and everyone knows this. Seth’s character is not blown out of proportion to the point of unbelievability.
Mandy is Megan’s best friend. The two have been friends for many years. Mandy is not a girl who bases her success on her appearance, as this is what she perceived from her mother. Mandy enters a struggle many young girls in their teens face. I like the character of Mandy because not all girls live with the impression that who they are on the inside matters. Robbie is Seth’s best friend and the guy all teens have had in their class. He is the jokester. He is loyal and unyielding in his friendship. Carrie is Megan’s friend and Robbie’s girlfriend. She is a carefree girl who is enjoying her teen years. Vania is a teen girl who is into the Gothic look. Her life is changed when she has a close encounter with Judas, causing her to develop a sincere friendship with Megan. Sam is a young teen who becomes the victim of Judas’ destruction, but with the help of Megan and her friends his life is saved.
Johnny, an angel, is a character whose purpose is so clearly defined. He has a mission and a goal to stop the destruction of Judas the demon. Johnny is careful to not only keep a watch on Judas but to also offer valuable advice to Megan and her friends. Johnny, although he is an angel, can in no way force Megan to do the right thing. The choice is hers to make alone. Judas the demon is a horrible deceiver. He preys on the lusts and desires of humans. Judas is in no way afraid of Johnny and is challenged by Megan’s ability and strength to make the right decisions. Judas enters a game of cat and mouse with Megan, trying to get her to be on his team.
The characters overall drove the story from beginning to end. There was no need to fill up empty space with characters of no foundation. Each character was clearly defined and held their own role and played their part with perfection.
The story starts off immediately with the introduction of Megan. Megan is introduced as a normal girl who is given the ability to see the supernatural. Amazingly enough, Megan’s chance encounter of this ability is at a youth camp. I enjoyed this entire beginning because it detailed the normality of her life amongst her friends. She was not surrounded by anyone or anything that would provide her with a supernatural inheritance. The beginning of the story validates the reality of her ability.
The plot of the story is not repetitive in any way. Each element stands on its own, building a road to the conflict. The story is excellent reading, keeping the reader on the edge wanting more. The story ends at the right moment for book 2. Angel in the Shadows, the first book in the Angel Series, is well worth the read. You will not be disappointed. It has action and adventure but is also a clean read. The issues touched on in Angel in the Shadows are premarital sex, drugs, self-esteem, trust, and faith.
Please join me on Monday March 26, 2012 for an interview with author Lisa Grace. She will be talking about her Angel Series. I will also be hosting a giveaway of her book “Angel in the Storm” book 2 in the Angel Series.