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Customer Reviews for Barbour Publishing #3: The Shadowed Onyx

Barbour Publishing #3: The Shadowed Onyx

Join dejected seventeen-year-old Joy Christianson on her journey to hope and healing as she leaves a dark world behind and moves into Diamond Estates, a home for troubled teens.
Average Customer Rating:
4.833 out of 5
4.8
 out of 
5
(6 Reviews) 6
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Rating Snapshot (6 reviews)
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6 out of 6100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for #3: The Shadowed Onyx
Review 1 for #3: The Shadowed Onyx
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A moving story

Date:June 3, 2013
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Irene
Location:United States
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is book three in the series titled Diamond Estates. I have not read the others but will as soon as I can! This is considered a teen novel and series but even an adult will enjoy the story. There is depth to the characters and the real life situations draw you into the story. You cannot help but cheer on the young lead characters! I gave this book 5/5 stars. I liked the writing style as it was easy to read without being simplistic. I thought the characters were intriguing and really helped the story flow from one scene to the next. I would recommend this book to any teenager looking for a Christian fiction novel to enjoy!
I would like to thank the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.
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Review 2 for #3: The Shadowed Onyx
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Bravo for this series that deals with tough stuff

Date:February 2, 2013
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Jill Williamson
Location:Oregon
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Joy is having a tough time dealing with her best friend’s suicide. She’s looking for answers. And when some friends suggest she call on a spiritual guide, that guide appears in the form of a white wolf. At first, the wolf comforts Joy, but the longer they are together, Joy comes to learn that the wolf will not tolerate prayer to Jesus. The more Joy wants to reclaim her faith in God, the more the wolf attacks her life. Her only hope lies with the staff at Diamond Estates, but if they can’t stop the wolf from having his way, who can?
This was a fascinating and all-too-real look at what dabbling in the occult can do in your life. Scary. Séances and talismans opened up Joy’s heart to the occult, and she gave it too much freedom. Joy’s sorrow and depression was very realistic. She didn’t seem to know how to communicate her problems, even when she had a counselor and parents who were trying their best to help. But this was a book that was full of hope in the end. I applaud Nicole O’Dell for this amazing trilogy that shows girls the one hope that can turn their lives around. Bravo! If you haven’t read the other books in the series, be sure to check them out.
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Review 3 for #3: The Shadowed Onyx
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Joy from the Shadows

Date:December 17, 2012
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Valerie
Location:BC, Canada
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Teenager Joy Christianson always was the life of the party, but all that changed when her best friend committed suicide. Now all Joy wants is to reconnect with Melanie. She wants to know WHY. She needs closure. When some of her new friends tell her how she can find these answers using a Ouija board, Joy is torn between thinking it’s a game and being creeped out, but she can’t resist the lure.
She slips deeper into the occult as she seeks meaning in her life. The old answers from her parents and her church don’t seem sufficient any more. As depression and oppression take hold, any sort of meaning slides further and further away.
But all hope is not lost. What will it take to jolt Joy into a new path, one where she genuinely seeks help? Even a trip to Diamond Estates, a home for troubled girls, is not an easy cure. But with God–and people praying–there is still hope.
The Shadowed Onyx is the third (and final) book in The Diamond Estate series for teen girls. Each story features a girl who’s lost her way and seeks help in regaining her faith. These are not simplistic stories where, once you pray, everything becomes all better. Life isn’t usually like that. Our struggles are real. However, there is always hope, and each of these books also provides that in abundance. All three of these books are highly recommended for the teen girls in your life–girls who know that life is complicated and often difficult, girls who are facing huge challenges, girls who need a road map through their trials to hope. The Wishing Pearl deals with drinking and driving and abuse. The Embittered Ruby is about teen pregnancy, gang activity, and manipulation. The Shadowed Onyx, as mentioned, takes a hard look at the occult. These stories do not glorify the negative lifestyles, but use them as a backdrop to paint hope in bright colors.
I admit to being biased. Nicole O’Dell is one of my critique partners and writing buddies. I’ve seen this story (and series) develop from a mere gleam in Nicole’s eye. She has not only a rare talent, but a driving passion for helping teen girls make wise choices.
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Review 4 for #3: The Shadowed Onyx
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Christian YA Approach to spiritualism

Date:December 6, 2012
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Iola
Location:New Zealand
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Joy Christianson lives in the sleepy Nebraska town of Ogallala. Last week, Joy went to visit her best friend, Melanie, and instead found her body. She had committed suicide, and now Joy wants to know why (and, really, who can blame her?). Joy has also had to deal with breaking up with Austin, her friend since childhood and boyfriend for the last year. Joy has also lost her faith, although her Down syndrome cousin, Beatrice, tries to remind her about right and wrong in her own innocent way. Now Joy has befriended Raven, one of the bad girls in school, because she wants to distance herself from Melanie and Austin’s friends.
First up, I have to say that the opinions expressed in this review are that of the parent, not the Young Adult audience that The Shadowed Onyx is aimed at. I was one of those teens who was hypothetically interested in the spirit world, but who always knew (despite not having a Christian upbringing) that messing with things like Ouija boards was not a good idea. Either they knew fake (and therefore a total waste of time) or they were real, and therefore not something we should be messing around with.
As an adult, I can soon see that Joy is suffering from case of survivor's guilt (but to tell you why might spoil the plot). I don't know if a teen would see this underlying issue, or if it would just go over their head. The story is all written in the third person, from Joy's viewpoint. The narrative does seem a bit juvenile, but that could just be the adult me talking.
Teenagers are fascinated with the concept of the spirit world, and The Shadowed Onyx is a solid Christian response (although it got uncomfortably close to crossing the line at some points). The author writes with a sense of authority around the spiritual content, while at the same time, she has captured the uncertainty of youth without being moody or melodramatic. The Diamond Estates series is based on her experiences as a resident at Teen Challenge as a teenager, and this experience comes through in the writing.
It shows there is power in the language we use. 'Spiritual' sounds so much better than 'satanist', and 'contact' less scary than 'haunt'. But I have two concerns with The Shadowed Onyx. First, parts of the story skate very close to the line, and could almost be seen as a 'how-to' manual. More worrying, a very innocent or undiscerning teenager might not see that this is written from a Christian worldview, and might be encouraged to take the same path as Joy--and for the first half of the novel, Joy's thoughts and actions are quite anti-Christian. And the story is told exclusively from Joy's viewpoint, so there is no indication that she is being lied to and that her actions are wrong.
"She wasn’t afraid of the dark anymore; in fact, she preferred it. Light was unnecessary because it only revealed half the picture, if that. It crowded out the truth rather than illuminating it."
In reading this, it's quite easy to see how a vulnerable teen can be seduced by the power of the dark side, and how well it masquerades as light. As with all the most convincing lies, it is based on the truth. This is a very good novel, and one that many parents of teens would benefit from reading, but it is a story I would recommend to others with caution. Although it is the third book in the series, it is a stand-alone story.
Thanks to Barbour Books and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
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Review 5 for #3: The Shadowed Onyx
This review is fromThe Shadowed Onyx - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

One Teens Journey into the Search For Answers

Date:January 19, 2013
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The Phantom Paragrapher
Location:Tauranga, New Zealand
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Reading The Shadowed Onyx has made me glad that I went back and brought Books #1 and #2 as if they are anything as good as this one then I am certainly in for a treat of a time as The Shadowed Onyx really made me think about how easy it is to be influenced by the outside world and backslide from Christ , Church etc especially if something terrible has happened in your life and you are searching for the answers on why it happened and how it happened.
In The Shadowed Onyx, we meet 17yr old Joy whose anything but her namesake now as her best friend Melanie has just committed suicide and unfortunately Joy was the one to find her dead body. Eager for answers and a way to find out what really is going on , Joy turns to a group of newfound friends who are into Seances and Spiritual guides. All the things that Joy has been taught was wrong towards God. As Joy becomes more heavily involved, she takes things to a next level recieving her own spirtual creature - Silas ( a wolf) and an Onyx necklance which is said to contain her spiritual guidance. As the story goes along though, strange things start occuring and Joy as she starts to realise that maybe God isn;t that bad after all - she starts to find herself under attack. Is the Devil real and does he want too make sure she never goes over to the light? With the help of Ben and Gilly at Diamond Estates will Joy be able to save her soul and turn back to the way of the truth and light and steer far away from evil or will it harm her before she gets a chance to change and confess that she wants to follow God?
The Shadowed Onyx was an amazing and outstanding read that really makes you think about the Occult and the Spiritual world that some people can take. I found it to be a real eye-opener and can't wait to read the others in the series.
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Review 6 for #3: The Shadowed Onyx
This review is fromThe Shadowed Onyx - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A look into the Occult

Date:January 10, 2013
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Kimberlee
Location:Austin, Texas
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Shadowed Onyx is a YA {Young Adult} fiction novel… which if you have followed my book reviews you know is not my standard. I was curious when I read the back and it mentioned; Friend’s Suicide, Witchcraft, and Depression. All things that seem to be more of an issue with today’s teens. With my girls so young it is easy to forget sometimes that they will be teenagers before I know it, but I feel that staying on top how things may influence them later is an important part of a parents job. You don’t have to be ‘hip’ or ‘cool’, but knowing what the hot topics are with youth is very critical. Now onto the book…
This is the third book in Nicole O’Dell’s Diamond Estates series from Barbour Publishing. And is set during the Sevententh year of Joy Christianson’s life. While doing fine in high school, succeeding in sports, and being active in her church; her world and faith are rocked when Joy finds her best friend after she committed suicide. Suddenly Joy has faded, and starts trying to find answers.
Enter some very helpful, not on the right track, teens that tell her they have answers and introduce her ‘innocently’ enough to a Ouija board. After feeling the power there, and knowing in her heart it is wrong. Joy continues to explore witchcraft all in the name of finding ‘real’ answers. In the end she finds that it wasn’t worth it, and she wants her faith in Jesus back. But now she is stuck, and can’t get out.
Reading this book was amazing. I will definitely encourage my girls to read this series as they grow older. The Shadowed Onyx shows how things that seem innocent enough (that you don’t understand why in the world you parents are against them) can take on a life of their own and entrap you. How you deal with each instance of your life has a lasting impact on you and those around you. The discussion questions in the back of the book are on-point and great conversation starters. I agree totally with Nicole O’Dell’s point that “fiction is a way to open teens eyes to temptations, choices, and consequences”. Taking away the mystery of something is half the battle in resisting those temptations. With spiritual battles reminiscent of Frank Peretti’s novels this book was a great reminder of the conflict between good and evil for the souls of both the innocent and not so innocent. ~ Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva
DISCLOSURE: I received an eCopy of this book from NetGalley on behalf of the publisher to review. The opinions contained in this review are 100% my own opinionated opinions
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