Book Review: Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey
As a reader of fanfiction, stories with gay characters are very familiar to me but I was still excited to find a published book with a gay character. Published books with LGBT characters are rare and it’s only recently that I’ve seen such books floating around. I really enjoy books with non-traditional characters and was looking forward to seeing how an LGBT character was handled. So I’m very pleased to bring you my review for Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey.
Goodreads summary: 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 biggest fear when reading this book was that the author would merely change the sex of the main character and that would be it. I was probably going to do something violent to the book if the gay character turned out to be a thinly disguised girl (because of course every gay character is completely effeminate). But, I was pleasantly surprised to find Braden a convincing gay character, clearly male and believable as a teenage boy. He was not helpless, weak-willed, or any other stereotype I was afraid to find when cracking open Witch Eyes. Braden is a confused teen who is doing the best he can with no information and a power he can’t control and the gay relationship is almost secondary. The characters are very well balanced.
Nobody is annoying and I don’t want to stab any character in their eye for being too stupid to live. (In case you haven’t noticed by now, not having a character that annoys the piss out of me is the biggest compliment I can give a book. That’s about 80% of a good review in my opinion.) There are a lot of characters running around this book, two of them we never even see. There is a lot of history in Belle Dam and many great characters that I wished had a bit more development. The story isn’t crowded or jerky but you do have to do a bit of work to keep track of everyone. The story branches off into several paths, some of them a dead end. We’re never quite sure what once happened in Belle Dam or even what is happening in the present.
The only complaint I could possibly make is that the beginning is a tad slow and you’re not sure anything is really happening until the action explodes and suddenly there are hellhounds and shapeshifters and Braden is badass with his powers and things start happening. (Wow. Run-on sentence.) But you are stuck the first half of the book waiting for all the pieces to come together and even then the book ends with only half the conflicts resolved. Witch Eyes is written in first person, which means we know what Braden knows and that is it. There is history and facts we are only vaguely aware of by the end of the book and it leaves a few gaps.
Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey is the first published book with a LGBT main character I’ve ever read and I’m very impressed with how the gay character was portrayed. There is an intricate, twisting plot in this book that is slowly peeled back and leaves the reader guessing even at the end. The true villain is a huge surprise and kudos to Tracey for the complex labyrinth of secrets and lies. There are more than a few things left unfinished, including the gay relationship, and the second book in the series, Demon Eyes, is slated to be released October of this year. I look forward to it.
Posted on March 8, 2012, in book review, books, fiction, modern fantasy and tagged book, book review, books, dark fairy tale theme, fantasy, gay character, magic, witchy. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.