Strange Angels: The Book of Damaris is a haunting and beautifully written novel that stays in your mind days after you’ve finished it. First-time author Kristan Ryan has done a magnificent job of creating a world filled with characters who will continue to live inside your head and your heart.
The story centers on a little girl named Damaris who discovers she has the power to heal. Her miracles don’t sit too well with the more fundamentalist Christian folks in her small Virginia hometown, especially with her fire-and-brimstone Nana and the local Pastor Johnson who longs to use Damaris for his own redemption. But at least her parents are levelheaded, especially her loving and supportive mom. Suddenly, this perfectly innocent little girl is being treated as a religious icon, and the death of her beloved mother only puts her innocence at greater risk, for now she is unprotected and vulnerable as even her once anti-fundamentalist father slips into the darkness of fear and despair and puts his daughter square into the hands of the enemy.
As she grows, so too do her powers and the associated fears and controversies they provoke from churchgoing townspeople, and eventually Damaris is forced to go to Paris, where new and mysterious adventures await her. She experiences the pain and suffering of loss, and the constant visitations of otherworldly entities bent on swaying her to their side. Soon she realizes just how special she truly is, for she is an angel of sorts, and she is about to discover that there are other “Strange Angels” and creatures called “Intruders”, all of whom are embroiled in an age-old war between good and evil, a war that now draws her into the front lines of spiritual battle. She also meets powerful new guides meant to assist her in her destiny.
Ultimately, the story ends with Damaris as an adult in her full power, able to finally speak the secret she has kept deep within her soul all her life. The final two words of this book sum up the awesome secret of Damaris, and will send a chill up your spine as it did when I read them. No, no spoilers here, folks. Buy the book and find out for yourself. The writing is strong and solid, filled with honest dialogue, well-rounded characters, and lush descriptions that will draw you in from the first page.
But mostly I recommend Strange Angels: The Book of Damaris because it is a great read and a mesmerizing story, something I can rarely say about many of the
print-on-demand books I review. Kudos to Kristan Ryan for her awesome debut novel. I will be on the watch for her next book, and who knows, maybe the special angel named Damaris will even show up again. I would really like that.