Book Review: The Shadowed Onyx by Nicole O’Dell

At age seventeen, Joy Christianson is the life of the party. That is, until her best friend commits suicide. Joy’s already wavering faith slips completely out of her reach. Afraid of letting the depression and evil take root, she decides to seek help in the haven of Diamond Estates—and try to reclaim the Joy she once knew.




This is my third book by Nicole O’Dell. All are part of the Diamond Estates series – and I hope this isn’t the last of them.

All three deal with issues teenagers today face and how God’s grace and love can overcome all of it.

This book left me feeling more than a bit uncomfortable, which is probably a good thing. It deals with what happens when teens [or adults] dabble in the occult, even if they don’t realize that’s what they’re doing.

Joy’s best friend commits suicide and Joy feels at least partly responsible. Sure, they had problems [including a big blow up earlier that day], but nothing they couldn’t have worked through. Eventually.

Instead, her friend left.

Joy’s left struggling with depression, questions, failing faith, and no one she feels she can turn to for answers.

Filling the void is a friend who’s done more than dabble in the occult and Joy believes she’s finding the answers she seeks. The further and further in she gets, the more she believes she’s dealing with truth. All lies – the best lies – have an element of truth to them after all.

After a life threatening incident with Joy’s cousin – a girl about her age but with Down’s Syndrome and a keen eye for all things spiritual – Joy puts her cousin and her cousin’s needs and safety above the demonic forces surrounding her, putting her in danger but protecting her cousin at all costs. Afterward, Joy’s forced to make a decision and she moves to Diamond Estates to try to sort out her life and break free of the chains that bind her.

Once there, things both improve and slide into free fall, leaving Joy to wonder which is the more powerful force – good or evil.

With Shadowed Onyx, O’Dell gives something I wish more single title YA’s did, and that was give a glimpse of the “happily ever after” waiting for the girls at the end. I know it’s not always realistic and I completely understand why it’s often not there, but I was very glad to see it in this one.

I don’t know if this is the last in the Diamond Estates series or not, but I sure hope it isn’t.

Overall rating: 8.25 out of 10 stars

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ecopy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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