Plot: Braden was born with witch eyes. With these eyes he can see into the hearts of men and into the very fabric of magic but the cost is terrible, blinding pain. One day he has a horrific vision that leads him to the town of Belle Dam, a town divided by a age-old feud. The leaders of both sides, Jason Thorpe and Catherine Lansing, want his power for their own. But Braden discovers to his chagrin that Jason is his father and that he is falling for Catherine’s son, Trey. If he wants to stop a magic war, he must master his powers and risk everything he has come to love.
This review is based on an Advanced Reader’s Copy received at Book Expo America.
This is a good first novel, full of suspense and magic with a likable protagonist. Like most first novels it has its problems: the explanation of the magical system is a bit heavy at times and what is made out to be a great Romeo and Juliet style romance turns out to be strong attraction hindered by serious personality conflicts. But honestly, neither bothered me over much. The information overload mirrored Braden’s experience of magic and the world. And though the romance is not a happy or an easy one, it is realistic. They love each other, yes, but they are also true to their (occasionally opposing) beliefs which is where the interesting conflicts arise. The character that grew on me unexpectedly was Trey’s sister, Jade. She manages to traanscend the stereotype of the bitchy, self-absorbed, rich and popular girl to become a character with real depth and feeling.
I hope there will be sequel to Witch Eyes. The novel ends and well (though I thought the resolution of the mystery a little hurried) but the greater saga, the magical feud and the tragic romance, remains unfinished.
I won’t judge the book on its writing just yet as the uncorrected proof is just that: full of typos, formatting errors and unfinished edits. I expect that most of these problems will be corrected by the release date. And in spite of any complaints I might have, the pacing is good and it reads well.
You can look forward to Tracey’s novel in September 2011.
Challenges: GLBT Challenge (4), 2011 Debut author challenge (2)