Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book Review: Phantom Eyes

Every child in Belle Dam is taught about the feud from an early age. There are ‘our’ people and ‘their’ people. Friends and enemies. Associates and strangers. It’s the kind of town where eyes are always watching, and you don’t need a reason to sell out your neighbors.

But the feud is a lie. As a new wave of fury sweeps through the town, creating a third front to an already overtaxed war, Braden has been broken worse than ever. His innocence? Shattered. His heart? Crushed. His magic? Gone. His new life? Ruined. And this is only the beginning.

Beneath the city lay deep wellsprings of power. The one who controls them is the one who will win the feud. In a city filled with puppet masters, Braden must elude their strings and end the feud once and for all. But first, he must outsmart his father, evade Catherine’s dark magic, regain what was stolen from him, trick a phantom who refuses to die, and foil a demon’s master plan.

Even then, he may not survive. Because power is a problem, and victory comes with a cost…

Phantom Eyes by Scott Tracey is the final book in the Witch Eyes trilogy. In Witch Eyes, Braden moves to Belle Dam and finds himself in the middle of a feud. In Demon Eyes, the feud becomes even more dangerous. In Phantom Eyes, he finds out the truth and risks his life to save those he cares for.

There is a definite surge of witchy books hitting the shelves in the teen section. I, for one, am loving this trend. I really enjoyed this trilogy, and the witchiness is certainly part of why I picked up book one. There are several factors that make this book a bit different than the other witchy books one the shelf. For one thing, it's written by a male author with a male witch narrating. The YA section is dominated by female authors, and it's always a refreshing change to see something different. There are a fair number of books with a male narrator written by women (Caster Chronicles, Curse Workers). And while I enjoyed both of those series, this book had a completely different feel.

Another thing that makes this series stand out is Braden's sexual orientation. Gay main characters is not a new thing in YA, but in my experience this happens a lot more in contemporary, where the character is dealing with coming out, family issues revolving around his sexual orientation, being a part of a same sex couple for the first time. There is none of that here. Braden is gay and that's that. Being attracted to the same gender is a non-issue for him and his friends and family.

Phantom Eyes was impossible to put down. It was fun and fast paced and kept me guessing. Braden had gotten himself into quite a tight spot, and I had no idea how he was going to get out of it. I really enjoyed the story and how Scott Tracey wrapped up Braden's story. I can't wait to start his new witchy series, The Legacy of Moonset (also by Flux books.


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