by Scott Tracey
Publication: September 2011 from Flux
Rating: 4 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really liked it!
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.
Scott Tracey’s debut novel is concoction of awesome – mix up some mystery and drama, a dash of romance and a lot of mystical powers and you have Witch Eyes.
Braden is a witch, but he’s even a bit more special than that – he’s afflicted with witch eyes that, when uncovered, allow him to see the world as it was and is. Braden sees strong feelings that have imprinted on physical places. When he suddenly sees a vision of the future, Braden leaves his uncle and takes off for Belle Dam, where he hopes all the answers to his questions concerning the vision, his family and past can be found. But Braden is in for a lot more than he bargained for, including a feud between two witch families – a feud that he is intimately connected to. Throw in the cute son of the rival family and Braden is definitely in over his head.
I really like Braden. There were times I wanted to shake some sense into him, but I really like him. Braden is, at his heart, a good guy. He cares a lot for his uncle, who raised him, and is definitely trying to do the right thing…he just kind of rushes in head first sometimes and doesn’t think things through. But it’s all part of what makes Braden such a realistic character. Trey often annoyed and confused me, but I think it’s because I was seeing him through Braden’s viewpoint, and Trey often seemed to confuse and annoy Braden – especially with all that forbidden love, son of my enemy, but he’s really hot type angst running through Braden’s head whenever he’s around Trey. I loved their interactions, though, as well as Braden’s interactions with both Jason and Catherine and Jade, Trey’s sister. Witch Eyes showcases some great characterization, a definite strong point for the novel.
Scott Tracey also plays fast and fun with the backstory to Jason and Catherine’s feud, and Braden’s witch eyes. The glimpses we get into the history of Belle Dam are intense – a lot of them are seen through Braden’s eyes when he glimpses the past and the scenes are crazy. I’d love to see them in film, the scene would be this crazy montage of memories and colours and feelings (represented by appropriate music) all giving a history lesson. I thought the pacing was great in Witch Eyes – not too fast you got confused but not so slow you were bored, and we were left with just enough cliffhangers to make you wish you had the next book to read right away. I was intrigued and entertained from page one, and am definitely looking forward to the sequel!
Witch Eyes is part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by The Story Siren.