When Roland West, Loner, the first book in Theresa Linden s magnificent series for Catholic teens, hit the shelves in 2015, it instantly became my favorite novel of the year Now I can say the same for book three of her same series, the newly released Battle for His Soul, which tops my list for 2016 Don t worry, however, if you haven t read the first two Life Changing Love being the second , as all three books can certainly be read as stand alone novels But do be warned you will love the characters so much you ll want to go back and discover their earlier adventures Battle for His Soul revolves mainly around Jarret West, Roland s older brother, whom readers met as a cruel, self centered bully in books one and two Of all three West brothers, Jarret is the one who ll make your blood boil Yet deep down, you can t help but like the guy, knowing he has such incredible potential Even in the earlier books, I longed to see him convert to God I was so immersed in book one that I found myself actually praying for the conversion of Jarret and his twin brother Keefe, before remembering they were only characters in a book Well, Jarret s conversion is the plot of Battle for His Soul, and believe me, battle is the right word Want heart stopping action that you can t put down You ve found the right thing to read With a delightful twist which makes this book different from her others, Linden writes many of the chapters from the viewpoint of Jarret s guardian angel, Ellechial, giving the reader an amazing and often hilarious insight into the battles between the good angels and the demons which rage around each one of us at every second of the day Some scenes chilled me, while others made me laugh so hard I received weird looks from those around me And than once I had tears in my eyes but I m used to all three of those reactions after reading the author s other books I must say, truly, that reading this novel has fostered devotion to my guardian angel than any other book I ve read, including those written by priests and theologians I will never ignore my angel again, and am now much aware of the forces of evil around me than I had been before encountering this story With her usual blend of drama, humor, and everything in between, Linden has crafted yet another magnificent tale you won t be able to put down She is truly an author at the top of her craft. This novel has some of those amazing elements that I require to give a book five stars Human characters have their story going on, while in a different dimension, guardian angels and demons argue and battle over the humans Add to that flashbacks, which the author handles really well This novel is strongly Christian and Catholic, containing many elements of the faith, so readers should not expect a typical secular story of good vs evil It is the third book of the West Brothers series and the third I ve read I think a reader would benefit from reading the two previous books to truly appreciate this one I received an ARC of this book to review. Battle for His Soulis quieter than most tales, similar toI Thirstby Gina Marinello Sweeney The action is mostly spiritual, how Jarret West s guardian angel battles demons in an attempt to save his soul Quiet tales aren t my thing, but it was good for a quiet tale.It was nice to see old characters appear Roland, Peter, and Caitlyn, and it was nice to see Mr West and Miss Meadows s romance that started in Book 2,Life Changing LoveLove love love Caitlyn and Roland I did have a few concerns, though The use of obsessive compulsive about a meticulous gardener wasn t appreciated, and the prayer group jumped on Peter s throat too much They kept saying he was too judgmental toward Jarret and needed to forgive, but maybe they should help Peter forgive instead of yelling and punching his arm and making him the bad guy.It was interesting to see comparisons between Zoe and Selena, the two women in Jarret s love life I personally preferred Selena She seemed less self absorbed than Zoe, although view spoiler Zoe goes to church with the Fire Starters It might be the beginning of her conversion and she might get over herself hide spoiler Battle for his Soul is the third book in the West brother s series This book focuses on Jarret West the brother who has spent his life bullying his younger brother Roland, controlling his twin brother Keefe, and engaging in many dangerous and self destructive behaviors.This novel has a very interesting twist that the other two books in the series do not Not only do we see the story from several different character s perspectives but we also get to see this story unfold from a spiritual realm We actually experience the fight between angels and demons that surrounds not only Jarret and his decisions but all the characters It s a fascinating concept to think about what could be happening around us as we go about our lives.Though this book is about a teen boy it would be great for all teens there are plenty of female characters and an intriguing story that illustrates the struggles and temptations teens face and how they can protect themselves from those temptations One thing I love about Linden s books is the interesting Catholic topics she includes and this novel is no different with the idea of being called to a religious vocation What a wonderful end to the West boys trilogy. Interesting young adult novel that left me wanting to know about angels and spiritual warfare Looking forward to reading by Ms Linden. Why must books end I could it read this for a long while before ever getting tired sigh..It is amazing how one short book can change your view over things I think so very differently now about temptation and guardian angels The angel on the right and the devil on the left has such a different meaning now and my view of a Catholic teen s life has also changed Yes, it is hard Yes, one can overcome it YES, this book is amazing, especially for a Catholic teen I ll leave it at that. BATTLE FOR HIS SOUL by Theresa Linden is what could be considered an important book In this day and age, the existence of evil and its battle with good is often dismissed, or twisted so that the identities are falsely reversed Sin is downplayed, disregarded, and denied With that state of affairs in place, it goes without saying that spiritual warfare is largely ignored by our modern society This work of literature is refreshingly counter cultural in that regard it dispels false notions of secularism and brings forth, in vivid detail and through compelling narrative, the full scope of the battleground in which we live Yet, at the same time, it is filled with hope The existence and continued intercession of guardian angels on our behalf is of particular focus and strikingly noteworthy in its depiction The angels are presented in such a way that they are very concrete and real, yet appropriately mysterious and ethereal After reading portions of this book, I found myself, on multiple occasions, thinking fully about the presence of my own guardian angel in my life and subsequent desire to follow the direction pointed towards by this heavenly sentinel and guide That is a testament to the profound quality and great significance of this novel.Since the main topic is a rather serious and potentially heavy one, I also enjoyed how Ms Linden intermixed humor, mystery, and intrigue into the narrative As the target audience is teens, I thought that was an adept choice that should make the story particularly enjoyable for them I especially enjoyed the humorous yet reverent and thought provoking presentation of Keefe s vocation discernment From his awkward phone conversation with Peter to spying on the friars from a tree, it was pure comedy I also found myself fascinated by the robbery storyline, curious as to the answer to the classic who done it Character development was likewise striking and did not suffer with the thematic depth, but, rather, illuminated it From Jarret s story, told in present day and through enlightening flashbacks, to the moving representation of a brotherly relationship and the importance of family, readers will find a story that is refreshingly real.Yet, in my view, the very best part of the entire book occurs at the end in what could be termed the final battle Without giving away too many details, I would say that one word describes it best powerful I found myself a bit teary eyed when reading it The juxtaposition of the teens joined in Eucharistic adoration alongside the angels bent in prayer through beautifully presented imagery, and the juxtaposition of THAT with the battle that occurred at that time was nothing short of stunning I recommend this book to truth seekers and those who either have a desire to grow closer to their guardian angel or maintain a curiosity about the angelic presence in which Catholics believe Excellent work I packed this book for some light reading by the pool on our family Spring Break, but reading Battle For His Soul by Theresa Linden turned out to be a life altering experience for me While that statement may seem a little over the top for a woman pushing 50 and still reading YA novels, what I mean is this 1 I can t stop thinking about it, and 2 It has changed my behaviors, truly transforming me into a better person Linden vividly describes her characters guardian angels, as well as the demons they fight Something that made a big impression on me was how acts of sacrificial love as well as prayer actually gave extra powers to the guardian angels and took away power from the demons I have found myself prattling on endlessly to my family about how much I enjoyed this book But, importantly, I have been actively looking for ways to perform acts of sacrificial love for them in my day to day activities This little change in me seems to be spreading out like ripples, affecting the rest of the family I am catching them doing extra little things for me and for each other I am also reminded that this is what Lent is all about making acts of sacrificial LOVE It doesn t do any good to give up chocolate if it s just going to make us hateful Giving up sacrificing something only counts if it is done with LOVE Who da thought I d find such a message in a teen novel Although I believe the target audience for Battle For His Soul is teen boys, I highly recommend this book for EVERYONE Jarret West, A Rich Teenage Boy, Has Been Accustomed To Having Control Over Others And Getting His Way When His Life Begins To Fall Apart, His Guardian Angel Ellechial Hopes Now Is The Time For His Conversion Jarret Must Be Freed From The Deep Clutches Of Deth Kye, The Demon Bent On Seeing Him In Hell The Fate Of Several Others Depends Upon Jarret S Conversion While Jarret Gets Ensnared In Deth Kye S Traps, Ellechial Can Provide Little Help Since Jarret Doesn T Pray, Doesn T Believe, And Hasn T Listened To Him In Years Ellechial Hopes Jarret S Twin Brother, Who Has Recently Found God, Will Be Able To Influence Him But Jarret Goes On Vacation With His Father And Younger Brother Where Temptations Only Increase Meanwhile, Jarret S Twin And Other Teens Form A Prayer Group And Begin To Pray Before The Blessed Sacrament Unaware Of The Power They Provide The Angels Though Ellechial Gains Strength, Deth Kye Wins Victory After Victory His Weapons Emotion, Vice, And Memories Who Will Win The Battle For Jarret S Soul Wow What a fantastic reminder that we are never alone We are surrounded by angels, supported and encouraged by our guardian angel, and tempted by demons Theresa Linden brings this to life with her fantastic visuals of the spiritual world She just as successfully portrays her characters, from the individual personalities of each of the West brothers, to the struggles that pull at them internally The author is also very detailed in her descriptions of settings I really visualized the scenes, which, for me at least, is a plus in pulling me into the story There were also very powerful moments in the story that I can t share on this post, for giving it away would spoil the story So, you ll have to read it for yourself This is a great story for teens and a reminder that every choice we make, regardless of the size, is an opportunity to glorify the Lord or please satan So, we must choose wisely I look forward to reading from this author.
Raised in a military family, Theresa Linden developed strong patriotism and a sense of adventure She began writing in grade school and her passion for writing has never waned Love for faith, family, and freedom inspired her to write the Chasing Liberty trilogy, a dystopian story about a future she hopes never becomes a reality She is also the author of award winning Roland West, Loner and
- 316 pages
- Battle for His Soul
- Theresa Linden
- 09 March 2018 Theresa Linden