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Through Dead Eyes

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  209 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Alex joins his father on a business trip to Amsterdam. During the day he hangs out with the daughter of a family friend. They visit the usual sights but also coffee shops and flea markets off the beaten track. At one of these markets Alex spots an ancient-looking mask. Before he knows what he's doing he buys it. Later, in his hotel room, he feels compelled to put the mask ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 14th 2013 by Bloomsbury
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Average rating 3.26  · 
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 ·  209 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Yes, it's for kids, but having enjoyed Priestley's The Dead of Winter and a few volumes of short stories, I couldn't resist requesting a copy of this, his new full-length novel. I love a good ghost story and the premise of this one promised an atmospheric and absorbing tale. It centres on a teenage boy, Alex, who accompanies his father on a business trip to Amsterdam, where they stay in an unsettling hotel. The macabre undertones of the trip - in which Amsterdam is portrayed as a gorgeous but un ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
At times this had the depth of something by MR James, Ramsey Campbell or even Peter Ackroyd, but written for younger readers. The ending let me down a bit. I appreciate Priestley's unwillingness to tidy everything up for his young audience, but this felt like one of those final twists cheesy horror films will squeeze in just before the end credits, for one last shudder from the audience. Or maybe I just felt so drawn in that I can't bear not knowing what happened next.
Adele Broadbent
This story is set in Amsterdam. Alex has gone on this trip with his author father. Usually he stays at home but they are trying to reconnect after Alex's mum left them.

They meet up with an old friend of Alex's Dad and then stay in an old hotel. Alex is shown around the city by the friend's daughter and one day they find a stall off the main streets. Alex finds a strange mask and is compelled to buy it.

When he gets back to the motel and puts the mask up to his face, strange things begin to happen
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Characters: None of the characters were developed much at all over the course of the story, apart from an unlikely behaviour change in Alex’s father where at one point he suddenly gets angry at Saskia. Alex himself came across as childish and without much depth, despite a back story of his mother leaving and him getting into trouble at school for obsessing over a girl, suggesting he has some issues to deal with. Angelien was more interesting because of her knowledge of Amsterdam and her behaviou ...more
Feb 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: uk-authors
Apart from old dolls, masks have a great potential for creeping someone out. Something Chris Priestley makes work ever so well in this book.

I have been to Amsterdam a few times but never did the touristy thing, so reading about the places Angelina takes Alex to was interesting. (It also makes me want to go and see them.) The story of Hanna’s past really hooked me on this book I thought that certainly the first half worked at unnerving the reader. The more Alex discovers about the mask and Hanna
Annabelle Heath
There was a lot to like about this creepy little yarn, but it never quite hit enough right notes to elevate it from a light read to something really engrossing.

The good, then.

It was creepy. Priestly does fear well, which he should do by now, having penned many very successful books within the YA horror genre. This is the first I’ve read, but I’ve heard many good things about his Tales of Terror series. And if this is anything to go by, I can see why he’s so popular. I was reading it in bed at ni
John  Trident
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
'You cannot know how people behave when they're in any kind of relationship. People don't always act like they do with other people. We're sometimes most cruel to the ones we love. It's just a part of life.'

'We all have different faces we show to different people.'

'We cannot always help who we love or how we love.'

Alex joins his father on a business trip to Amsterdam. During the day he hangs out with the daughter of a family friend. They visit the usual sights but also coffee shops and flea mark
Aug 23, 2014 rated it liked it
I have also posted this review on my blog A Blonde Librarian

Within the beauty of Amsterdam, lies a secret behind a mask

Ok, so I was unsure whether to even review this book, and here is why....

Basically, I picked this up from the YA section of my local bookshop (my frequent haunt), and having heard nothing at all about it, I was intrigued enough to take it home and give it a go. After finishing it, it became clear that this book is aimed more towards the 'young' in young adult...and definitely no
Ymke De Donder
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. I read it in two days. I was hoping for it to be a lot more scary but I guess it's alright. I liked plot twist at the end.
Saira Ahmed
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
I did not like the writing style. The story had a lot of potential but it felt like all avenues had not been explored. Overall good read, but nothing special.
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was unsure of whether or not to give this 2 stars or 2.5. I considered bumping my rating up to 2.5, because the story was good when the dialogue didn't exist, but the interaction between the characters and the attempt to create a compelling, gripping, truly creepy story was awkward and clumsy. In the end, I just couldn't justify giving this anything more than a "meh" rating.

The reviews on the back of the book promise a "creepy....psychological thriller" that is "chilling". I love the kinds of
Shaz Goodwin
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
We begin Through Dead Eyes with Alex and his father Jeremy arriving at Schiphol Airport on a rainy day in March. Jeremy is an expert on WW2 and his recent book is a best seller in England and Holland. He’s in Amsterdam to meet with publishers and negotiate a TV deal.

On arrival at the hotel, Alex looks up and is drawn to a face at a window. This is the beginning of coincidences that pull Alex into another era.

Family friend Angelien is studying history for a doctorate and she has journals from an
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
Having just visited Amsterdam I loved the touristy detail of the city. Was pretty slow-going until those last few chapters. Really liked that the story didn't end up as I expected!

Full review:

I've never read a book by this author before but what really attracted me to Through Dead Eyes by Chris Priestley is this very creepy cover and also that the book is set in Amsterdam, a place that I very recently visited. I really enjoy it when an author presents a place like Chris Priestley does with Amste
Emma Adams
Original review on my blog:

I was lucky enough to hear Chris Priestley talk about Gothic literature at Lancaster Litfest, and it was there that I discovered his work. When I saw the creepy cover of his latest book, Through Dead Eyes, I decided to request it from Netgalley. Thank you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for giving me the chance to review it!

When Alex accompanies his dad on a business trip to Amsterdam, he doesn’t expect much, least of all the compan
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fic
A fantastically creepy story from a master of YA horror.

Alex hasn't had things easy lately. His mum has left his dad, and he's been in trouble at school. His father, a writer of WWII books, takes Alex out of school to accompany him on a business trip to Amsterdam. There, Alex and his dad stay in a creepy old hotel, and the moment Alex steps into his room, he can't shake the feeling that there is something else in the room with him, watching him.
His father has a lot of business stuff to do, and s
Wilde Sky
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
A boy visiting Amsterdam buys a mask which sucks him into the past.

The first 150 pages of the book didn’t really go anywhere and the characters were bland (it read like padding). Then a couple of chapters from the end the story actually started and the book came to life.

It would be a much better book as a short story (50 pages) or with the story starting at page 150 and really developing what happens to the characters when they discover the truth (which is where the book currently ends).

I might
Barbara Band
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Alex goes with his father to Amsterdam and, whilst his father works on his documentary with his publisher, he is taken around the city by her daughter, Angelien, a history student. He is strangely compelled to buy an old mask at an antiques market and then discovers some startling and rather disconcerting connections between his hotel and the original owner of the mask. The mystery deepens as Angelien's research reveals even more of the story. Then, when Alex puts the mask on, he realises he can ...more
Nov 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book had so much potential and it just fell flat for me. Set in Amsterdam, a troubled young man on a work trip with his father buys a Japanese mask which turns out to be haunted. I know this is a teen book, but even so the characters were one dimensional, the plot was predictable, and the book as a whole was a complete disappointment. The book jacket promised more than the author could deliver.
Misha Herwin
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
A quick and easy read, but very, very chilling. Very vivid picture of Amsterdam and the creepy old houses along the side of the canal. I also liked the way the writer brought across the relationships between the adults and the adults and the children, in particular Alex and his father. As for the ending, it is the kind that lingers long in the mind.

This is the first of Chris Priestley's books I have read and definitely want to read ore.
Mar 08, 2013 rated it liked it
rather reminiscent of an MR James story, but told in his own way, I enjoyed this, but found the main character rather unlikeable. It's suitably menacing and weird and has a pleasing ending. I'll read anything this author releases, as I always enjoy the tension and creepy atmospheres he creates, but I wish he'd do some adult ghost stories too.
Apr 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Alex goes with his Father on a business trip to Amsterdam. He spends his days with a family friend who shows him the city. They visit a market where he feels compelled to purchase an old mask which drags him to a ghost story that started many years before.
I enjoyed the visit to Amsterdam more than the ending. Not bad. It just felt rushed.
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
I found this novel unfortunately disappointing in the last analysis. The main reason for this is that I felt that the novel had too much build-up for too little pay-off at the end. While the build-up started off decently, I found myself getting bored with the book after a while, and the conclusion wasn't enough to rescue it.
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm kinda torn about this book. The Ghost/Mystery story of it was actually really cool and engaging, but the drama, the romantic entanglements and the weird stalking storyline just seemed so out of place even though they made up half of the book. It's a 2.5, but I'm rounding down because it felt so disjointed.
Hedwig Sondervan
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very easy to read, keeps you entertained! I wrote most of in on an airplane (from Amsterdam to London and back, the irony) and picked it up to finish it a week later. I'm a fan of Chris Priestley because of his creepy tales. This is not the most fascinating story and the end was not as shocking as I had hoped, although there were some moments I felt the panic. Good read, I liked it ^^
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this! I thought it was suitably creepy for a YA novel. I liked Alex's character although some things in his back story were a bit dubious. I will definitely try other books by Chris Priestley.
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really liked this book because of the history that actually happend and the fantasy aspect of it.
This book was a very easy read and fun too.
Although it's an oldy very modern written..

Xx ReviewReviewNYC..
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Spooky & atmospheric - full review to come! ...more
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Brilliantly creepy!!!
Jul 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-books
A simple plot and, ultimately, a quick read but enjoyable and worth a read.
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Wonderfully written and chilling, 'Through Dead Eyes' was definitely worth the read! 3.5 stars
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Young adult book set in Amsterdam. [s] 4 24 Mar 08, 2017 07:22PM  

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His father was in the army and so he moved around a lot as a child and lived in Wales. He was an avid reader of American comics as a child, and when he was eight or nine, and living in Gibraltar, he won a prize in a newspaper story-writing competition. He decided then “that my ambition was to write and illustrate my own book”.
He spent his teens in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, before moving to Manchester,

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