Thursday, November 17, 2011

Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey

*** 1/2

Braden was born with witch eyes: the ability to see the world as it truly is: a blinding explosion of memories, darkness, and magic. The power enables Braden to see through spells and lies, but at the cost of horrible pain.

After a terrifying vision reveals imminent danger for the uncle who raised and instructed him, Braden retreats to Belle Dam, an old city divided by two feuding witch dynasties. As rival family heads Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe desperately try to use Braden's powers to unlock Belle Dam's secrets, Braden vows never to become their sacrificial pawn. But everything changes when Braden learns that Jason is his father--and Trey, the enigmatic guy he's falling for, is Catherine's son.

To stop an insidious dark magic from consuming the town, Braden must master his gift—and risk losing the one he loves.

A few things drew me to this book. First being that the main character was a boy and gay. Second, I absolutely (and secretly) have fallen in love with Scott Tracey via Twitter. He is wonderfully snarky and his tweets are a ton of fun. And third, although I don’t usually read books about witches, this seemed to be a pretty original story. In the end I enjoyed the book but unfortunately it was only an Enjoy” and not a “Love It” or “Awesome”.

What I didn’t like:

The supporting cast. With the exception of Trey and his sister most of the side characters fell flat for me. Particularly the parents. I felt that there should be more to Catherine and Jason besides their hate for each other. I am hoping that this may be explored in the next book.

Trey. I have to tell you. He is what I dislike most about Witch Eye’s. I think I was supposed to like Trey, Braden’s love interest. I won’t deny that the chemistry was well written. And oh my, that first kiss….swoon! But here is the thing. Trey is an overbearing, overprotective jerk. Don’t get me wrong. We Bibliojunkies like our share of bad boys – Patch Cipriano being a perfect example. But the bad boys we love always have a naughty sense of humor that wins us over. Trey was just a bad boy. There was nothing to lighten his character which in turn made him completely unlikable and in my opinion not good enough for Braden.

What I Loved:

The story. This story was original. Or at least it seemed so in my eyes (I’ve read precious few books about witches). This isn’t about a witch chanting spells and making potions. This is about a witch with powers that surpass anything imaginable and learning to use them while dealing with the side effects. When I say powerful, think Jean Grey/Phoenix in the X-Men movies.

Braden. We don’t often get a male first person perspective in YA. Particularly one written by a man. And we certainly aren’t often given a story where our main character is gay. In Witch Eyes we get the best of all worlds. Scott Tracey delivers to us a young gay hero that we love more at every turn of the page. Braden is a very strong and extremely likable character. What I enjoyed most about him was his ability to do what was right for him. Even when he knew the consequences of making the right decision.

Braden’s sexuality. I loved that this wasn’t a coming of age story about a boy discovering that he is gay. Braden knows who he is in that regard although he is not experienced or confident about it yet. Love and romance is so new to him.  And really, isn't that one of things we all love about YA, right?  Instead, this story is about him discovering his family and the extent of his powers.

Like I said, in the end I DID enjoy this book. And I enjoyed it enough that I am looking forward to the next one. I can’t wait to see how Mr. Tracey continues this story in Demon Eye’s which is scheduled to be released next fall.


1 comment:

  1. Witch Eyes is a must for readers looking to be captivated by not only the writing, but the characters and the story, and readers who are interested in meeting a witch with some rather incredible powers that might actually be more harmful to him than the magic he can wield.