Angel Eyes is about two teens' journey through the world of something most people never see: angels and demons.
In Dittemore's view, it seems that most of all, demons love fear. Here is how an angel sees fear:
She's on the phone, her back stiff, the black tar of fear soaking through her shirt and pouring thickly onto the floor. A fog rises like steam from the muck and settles heavily around them. From under her blond hair, the clingy substance oozes, running the length of her body. Her hands shake, desperate to be rid of it...
If human beings could only see the manifestation of such a weapon, they would understand how it paralyzes, literally holding them captive with the glue of it.
And later, from a demon's point of view:
...but Damien finds little delight in the pain he's inflicted.
Pain is not nearly as satisfying as fear.
I thought the description of fear was interesting (and often disgusting). I think it's a good lesson for us to think about--especially for a book directed toward teen girls, who, I think even more than most people, tend to be terrified of what others will think. I know I still struggle with fear of putting myself out there, even though Jesus gives us freedom from fear. (and even though I'm far from a teenager)
That said, I wonder...is it Biblically accurate, that demons love fear even more than pain? When their mission (even in the book) is to steal, kill, and destroy?
Of course, the Bible repeatedly instructs us to "fear God."
“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. --Luke 12:4-7 (NIV 1984)
Getting into the actual meaning of "fearing God," contrasted with the Biblical commands to "not fear," is outside the scope of my discussion here. OK, mostly I'm not knowledgeable enough to get into it, though if you have any thoughts, I'd be interested to hear.
On the other side of fear, even ignoring the fear the Israelites' enemies certainly would have felt, just looking up the word "fear" comes up with a lot of instances of fear that doesn't seem to be against God's will. For instance, people fear the Jews (Deuteronomy 11:25; Esther 8:17) , and God Himself threatens or promises to punish Israel by what they fear, if they're unfaithful (Ezekiel 11:8; Leviticus 26:36). In the New Testament, even Jesus calming the storms made his disciples afraid (Luke 8:25). I don't like to think that after Jesus performed an amazing miracle, his disciples were covered in the sticky black tar of fear, demons looking on in glee.
Anyway, I wouldn't say the "fear" imagery is anti-Biblical, per se, though I'm not convinced in the world outside of the book, "fear" is always a bad thing. I see the book as more extra-Biblical, speculating about how things could be, more than reflecting about how things certainly are.
But it mostly felt plausible to me, unlike some other angel books I've read. I don't know that I completely agree with the portrayal, but I was willing to follow along anyway, as a "well, maybe it could happen this way." From the little I've seen of angel books, I think Angel Eyes is a rarity in that regard, since so many other books get it so distinctly wrong.
Here are the other tour participants!
Late entry - April Erwin
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Rachel Starr Thomson