Author: Scott Tracey
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Release Date: 09/08/11
Reviewed by: Sara
But the Book:
A boy who can see the world's secrets and unravel spells with just a glance.
Braden's witch eyes give him an enormous power. A mere look causes a kaleidoscopic explosion of emotions, memories, darkness, and magic. But this rare gift is also his biggest curse.
Compelled to learn about his shadowed past and the family he never knew, Braden is drawn to the city of Belle Dam, where he is soon caught between two feuding witch dynasties. Sworn rivals Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe will use anything -- lies, manipulation, illusion, and even murder -- to seize control of Braden's powers. To stop an ancient evil from destroying the town, Braden must master his gift, even through the shocking discovery that Jason is his father. While his feelings for an enigmatic boy named Trey grow deeper, Braden realizes a terrible truth: Trey is Catherine Lansing's son... and Braden may be destined to kill him.
Plot: 3.5 Stars
There were so many reasons I wanted to read this novel. The main character of the novel is gay, instead of a smaller background character. It's a young adult novel that focuses on a male main character instead of a female. Plus, the magic and specifically Braden's witch eyes really drew me in. There are so many ways you can twist magic and wizards/witches to be your own, and the author definitely did that. I really enjoyed Belle Dam as the setting. It was a very creepy place that centered around a fued between Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe. There were a number of details about the fued that were glossed over that would've probably helped me understand things a bit more as the reader, and I hope more of these details will come out in future novels as Braden learns more about his witch eyes.
Pace: 4.5 Stars
This novel flew by as Braden ran around Belle Dam trying to learn anything he can about his witch eyes. Although there were a couple points in which Braden was in a rush, whether to get away from something or to find something else before it was too late, the novel didn't feel rushed. And the calmer scenes, like hanging out with other student at school or falling asleep after a migraine, didn't slow the book down. It felt like Belle Dam was sending Braden in circles as he tried to learn more about his abilities, and it was fun to follow him on his journey.
Characters: 4 Stars
My favorite part of this whole novel was that Braden was gay, he knew he was gay, and he wasn't ashamed of it. It was who he was, and it did not affect the majority of the story. I really liked that he had already figured everything out, it wasn't a big deal, and that this novel was not his coming out. I thought it was a bit too coincidental that Trey, the boy Braden had a crush on, just happened to also be gay. But as they got to know each other, and things weren't always perfect, the coincidental feeling went away. Trey's sister was also a very interesting character, although I wish her part could've been a bit bigger. Although everyone in town knew about the Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe rivalry, I didn't feel like I was as up to speed as the rest of the characters, so I hope more information about them and their rivalry comes out in the next novel.
Cover: 4 Stars
The eyes of the cover model really grab your attention, which makes sense due to both the title of the novel, and Braden's ability. The lightning type detail on one of the eyes gives a hint as to the powers Braden possesses, but still leaves you wondering exactly how his witch eyes work. Although floating face covers don't always work for me, I can't think of any other way to focus on the eyes. I also like that the nose and lips kind of fall away into the forest so that there is nothing to draw your attention to a different part of the cover model. The forest and the mansion below the cover model's face are creepy in all of the right ways. The colors are a bit somber, but fit the feel of Belle Dam quite well.
Overall: 4 Stars
Disclosure: I borrowed this novel from the local library.