Mini review: Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey

Book form: Kndle format e-book
Genre :LGBT, fantasy, adventure.
Target audience: YA
Source: borrowed




Synopsis:

Braden Michaels, a seventeen-year-old witch boy with a special gift, has lived so far a secluded life with his uncle, John. His gift is called ‘witch eyes’ and it gives him an enormous power but only at a cost of torturous headaches. Although Braden’s uncle does anything to keep his nephew happy and educated it seems that for the boy all roads lead to Belle Dam, a mysterious place he knows nothing about.

One day Braden gets an unusual vision and he knows he must go to Belle Dam no matter what or something terrible will happen. He leaves his uncle behind and lands right in the middle of a sleepy little town where nothing is as it seems to be. He is greeted by a successful lawyer, Lucien Fallon, and taken to a good hotel. Who’s arranged that and paid for it? As the story unravels Braden finds out more about his family, his gift and destiny; he also falls for another boy – in fact the last person he should fall for. And somebody tries to kill him. Will he return to a quiet life elsewhere or will he stand up and fight like an adult witch with a history of family feud? Will he be given a choice at all?

What I liked:

Braden was a nice character with a sense of humour and his journey – a good, action-packed adventure. The narration flowed easily so the book was a pleasure to read. What’s more the descriptions of Belle Dam were so intriguing and lively that I actually felt like visiting the place myself. I liked the fact that every detail had its place and its meaning.

The gay content was presented in a very mild way – the feelings were described quite honestly, erotic scenes toned down to nothing more than a few kisses and embraces (but of course every parent must keep in mind the fact that this YA book clearly present gay relationship as something not only natural but also interesting and exciting). Overall the premise (a young gay male witch) I found refreshing – let’s face it, most such books are written by women, about women and for women (girls, females, whatever). There were no love triangles here (what a relief!) and no major cliffhangers at the end although from my point of view it is clear the author plans a continuation – some problems were still left unexplained.

What I didn’t like:

It seems that in plenty of contemporary YA books a teenager must be left alone in dire straits just in order to gauge his or her own potential and mature. It’s actually strange that adults seem to be presented as only a hindrance, not help. This book didn’t break that scheme and I found it a bit silly. After all, it would be only natural for Braden to look to his witch parent for advice and support. Instead, he constantly challenges his father’s knowledge, good faith and pretty much everything else. I know, he is just a little rebel trying to find his own place but it kind of started to grate after some time.

Now something about the romantic thread…you know me, usually I am hard to please when it comes to that. The fact that Braden and Trey (his love interest) fell for each other instantly and both happened to be teenage gays from affluent witch families at variance defied a bit the laws of probability. It also made me think instantly how the ‘Romeo and Julian’ scenario has never really been my cup of tea. Perhaps it was nicely written but also rather cliche and very predictable.

Final verdict:

A nice, light read but a bit lukewarm. Of course I can imagine many teen boys and more than a few girls enjoying the world and characters and I do have to give Witch Eyes points for daring to be different, but it just doesn’t change the fact that, in my very humble opinion, we don’t deal here with an YA ground breaking masterpiece. I am not sure whether I will read any other installments of that series.

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16 Responses to Mini review: Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey

  1. How interesting and unusual.

  2. Anachronist says:

    That's why I wanted to read this one, The Red Witch.

  3. ‘Romeo and Julian’ scenario has never really been my cup of teaLMAO! I always love a good flip with a duet name. Anyhow, I heard good things about this book, but it didn't really intrigue me for some reason. The cover is quite elegant and the story is indeed different. I am also NOT an R&J fan. Insta love and me aren't on a friendly basis. Besides, some plot devices drive me nutto. I think I'll pass over this one.

  4. Anachronist says:

    Thanks Jen for your comment; that's what reviews are for – to help you decide before you get burned (or not);p.

  5. Tracy says:

    every parent must keep in mind the fact that this YA book clearly present gay relationship as something not only natural but also interesting and excitingI think it's about time it was recognised that some teens will be gay – must be hell for some, probably most, of them , until they come to terms with it themselves, and coming out to their family and friends – every parent must keep in mind the fact that homosexuality is as 'natural' as having blue eyes instead of brown – teens don't 'choose' to be gay.

  6. Great review. Nice to find a gay YA novel that deals with it in a sensitive and honest way. That is definitely refreshing. No love triangle, get out of here! Can't believe it in a ya novel. Rebelling sounds like typical "teenagery." I don't care for teenagers that always seem to challenge authority, I especially dislike the characters that challenge and then make bonehead decisions despite being told otherwise. That might just be the mom in me though. 🙂

  7. Anachronist says:

    every parent must keep in mind the fact that homosexuality is as 'natural' as having blue eyes instead of brown – teens don't 'choose' to be gay.Tracy I didn't address the issue itself in any way but merely wanted to make it clear what message the book in my opinion conveys. I think if you are a parent you should be informed about such things. What you decide to do with it is another story – your kids, your choice.I especially dislike the characters that challenge and then make bonehead decisions despite being told otherwise. That might just be the mom in me though. 🙂I have no children Lena but I totally relate to your feelings! If a character is too stupid to live it puts me off, especially if he/she has been warned time and again. Thanks for your comment!

  8. Thank you for the review here. I've been curious about this one. I don't know if it's one for me. I like more pazzazz or something. But does sound like a lovely read. 🙂 thank you!

  9. Blodeuedd says:

    When it comes to YA I just rather goo all meh and forget about the books since I know that YAbooks seldom thrill me

  10. Anachronist says:

    Melissa, you are welcome!Blodeuedd I do understand but sometimes I find a YA book which makes me curious so I read…

  11. Tracy says:

    Anachronist – I agree with you about informing people about the issues discussed in a book, though, TBH, parents have little control over what older teens read (or don't bother reading :)).

  12. Anachronist says:

    Well, I mainly thought about younger teens' parents to tell you the truth…but you are perfectly right about the older teens – unruly little horrors all of them ;).

  13. This does sound like an interesting book. Slightly different take but somewhat the same. Still, different enough that it sounds like a good read when in the mood for YA.

  14. Anachronist says:

    Yeah…the mood for YA being crucial..

  15. Tracy says:

    My daughter (aged 13) seems to have been a teenager for ever – I'd be quite happy for her to read this (hell, I'd be happy for her to read anything, since all she reads is Facebook and BBM)I'm wondering whether, if I banned her from reading a book, it'd make her go and read it? Trouble is, I should have done that a while back – she'd instantly smell a rat if I tried it now.

  16. Anachronist says:

    I'm wondering whether, if I banned her from reading a book, it'd make her go and read it? Trouble is, I should have done that a while back – she'd instantly smell a rat if I tried it now.I remember you discussing that some time ago Tracy. Well, if you have any acting training it should work. 😉 Ban it seriously and definitely – maybe she will be tempted. It seems that I might be also a teen forever, at least from time to time. 😉

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