Stephen's Reviews > Witch Eyes

Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey
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Jul 31, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012
Read from July 27 to 28, 2012

Full Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Witch Eyes from Flux Books.

Okay, I have to admit it. This one took me totally by surprise. My experience thus far with Flux Books titles has been hit (Skyship Academy The Pearl Wars 1 by Nick James) or miss (Shadow Walkers by Brent Hartinger — this wasn't a total miss, just something that I thought could have been a whole lot better). So I really didn't know what to expect when I cracked open Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey.

Paranormal fiction (all things Rob Thurman not included) has never been my first choice. Outside of Harry Potter, I've never really read anything revolving around witchcraft, not "real" witchcraft anyway. No reason, I guess, just that it never really appealed to me. Since I'd wanted to expand my literary horizons lately, I thought I'd try something different. When I read the synopsis of Witch Eyes, I found myself intrigued.

The story starts interestingly enough and I found myself engaged with Braden (the main character) from the very beginning. He seemed like a real person — not just some stereotypical teenager oozing angst from every pore. As he decides to embark on his journey, I bought his motivation quite easily. It didn't seem like the author just needed an excuse to get Braden out of his hometown and travel halfway across the country to begin his adventure.

The folks he meets in this new town were not just stock characters. They all had their own motivations, complications, and their own secrets. The town of Belle Dam had its own sinister aura about it and quickly became a character all its own. I was already interested in the plot, but on page 70 when the little girl on the street says, "You shouldn't have come here, Braden," I was both hooked and totally creeped out at the same time.

It's rare for me to read an entire book in one sitting, but Witch Eyes made it easy. I didn't want to stop reading. The story kept me interested and desperate for more. I kept expecting to be let down by the ending but even that didn't disappoint. Fortunately, I was also able to snag an ARC of the sequel (Demon Eyes Witch Eyes 2) and almost immediately picked it up to find out more.

One more thing I'd like to say about this book. I don't read a whole lot of LGBT fiction but the little I have read seems to feature characters defined only by their sexuality with absolutely no depth to them whatsoever. In addition, these same characters are obsessed with finding Mr. or Mrs. Right and are convinced they won't be happy unless they do. It was refreshing to read a gay character that had far more to him than just his orientation. It was almost an afterthought actually. Braden is a strong individual who knows who he is and is not eaten up with "oh my god I’m gay and everybody hates me" angst. There's angst in the story, sure, but it doesn't consume him and distract him from everything going on around him. Nor does he fixate on finding himself a boyfriend to make his life complete.

If I had to make one criticism, it would be that I was never able to get a handle on how the magic worked, or what exactly was going on while the spells were being performed. It took me out of the story a little bit but not enough to ruin the whole experience. I just felt like I was missing a little something.

I found Witch Eyes to be a solid debut novel from Scott Tracey and I look forward to reading more from him in the future. He's definitely earned himself a new fan.
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