Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: Witch Eyes

Synopsis:Braden was born with witch eyes: the ability to see the world as it truly is: a blinding explosion of memories, darkness, and magic. The power enables Braden to see through spells and lies, but at the cost of horrible pain.

After a terrifying vision reveals imminent danger for the uncle who raised and instructed him, Braden retreats to Belle Dam, an old city divided by two feuding witch dynasties. As rival family heads Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe desperately try to use Braden's powers to unlock Belle Dam's secrets, Braden vows never to become their sacrificial pawn. But everything changes when Braden learns that Jason is his father--and Trey, the enigmatic guy he's falling for, is Catherine's son.

To stop an insidious dark magic from consuming the town, Braden must master his gift—and risk losing the one he loves.

My Review: What first attracted me to Witch Eyes was the cover.  I know I’m shallow in that regard; I’m a sucker for a good cover.  It’s been on my radar for quite awhile so when I saw it was available for a book tour I jumped at the chance.   Normally “witch” novels kind of fall flat for me.  They’re kind of just all the same.  Witch Eyes completely surprised me and was a very fresh take on the witch idea.  I got it in the mail, started reading it while cooking stir fry, read for an hour at work, came home and stayed up till 3 a.m. just to finish it.  I literally could not put that book down.  I was just so absorbed that I didn’t notice the time flying by.  You will be completely hooked from start to finish.  

Braden is unique among witches.  He doesn’t need a spell to be able to use magic, but rather can will it into doing his bidding.  Braden is blessed (or cursed) with Witch Eyes, allowing him to see the world how it truly is; a complex mesh of past and present with every memory and action imprinted onto the earthly plane.  He can unravel and duplicate a spell with ease, and his abilities make him of huge value.  However, his gifts come with a price.  Every time he looks at the world without the shield of his sunglasses, he is crippled by extreme migraines, nose bleeds, and occasionally passes out.  When Braden receives a vision of his uncle being murdered, he decides to go to Belle Dam in an attempt to keep his uncle protected.  Belle Dam is a complete mystery to Braden, and all he knows is that it is where he and his uncle are from originally. He soon discovers, however, that he has landed himself in the middle of a centuries long feud between the two most powerful witching families in the new world.  Just to make things more complicated, he discovers his long lost father is in fact Jason Thorpe, one of the two witches in town.  With both sides tugging for his attention, Braden struggles to not become a pawn in their endless game of revenge.  Yet something else is happening in Belle Dam, and when Braden digs deeper, he discovers the real reason he was led home. 

I absolutely adored Braden’s character.  He’s sarcastic, funny, and doesn’t take shit from anyone.  Though he is more powerful than the average witch, Braden doesn’t let it get to his head.  He’s very down to earth and just wants to be normal.  His budding relationship with Gentry (or rather Trey) was also a highlight of the novel.  Think Romeo and Juliet and the Montague’s and Capulet’s.  Two young lovers who are kept apart because of a family rivalry.  Except of course it’s ten times better than Romeo and Juliet, because I absolutely hate that play.  I loved how their friendship grew into something more, and the tree scene?  That tree scene was HAWT.  Lol.  Their relationship doesn’t really get defined in the novel, but it’s clear they care for each other.  It gets all complicated because Trey is 100% loyal to his mother, and Braden’s terrified to tell him he’s Jason’s son. In the end though, it’s clear that family ties fade in the face of love.  (God I sound like a Hallmark card) 

I also adored Jade, Trey’s younger sister and Braden’s best friend.  She really tells things like it is, and is the most upfront person.  Out of everyone you could take what she said and did at face value, because she had no ulterior motives.  The other side characters were just as equally entertaining.  Riley was like a hamster on crack and Drew had this whole bad ass vibe going.  They really weren’t featured prominently, but I have a feeling they’ll have a bigger part in the next one. 

I was really kinda surprised at how easily the villain was defeated.  Believe me, I definitely don’t think it will be the last time we see him, but I was still a bit surprised.  Things between the two families are on rather unsteady grounds at the conclusion of the novel, and it’s unclear how things between Braden and Trey will play out.  But hey, that’s what sequels are for! And believe me I am PSYCHED for more.  Witch Eyes was a truly wonderful read that had me glued from the first page.  There are a lot more secrets to be revealed and romance to be had, and I will be eagerly awaiting the sequel.  


LoriStrongin said...

I am DEFINITELY adding this one to my TBR list! I love the idea of feuding families with both wanting to use Braden as a tool. Plus, the fact that it's a Romeo and Romeo (instead of a Juliet), makes me doubly excited to read Witch Eyes! Thanks for the awesome recommendation!