22 June 2016

Book Review: Demon Eyes (Witch Eyes, #2)

Click here for my review of Witch Eyes, #1

Title: Demon Eyes (Witch Eyes, #2)
Author: Scott Tracey
Year or publishing: 2012
Publisher: Flux
Source: library

Demons don't die without a fight...

After destroying the demon Lucien, Braden—son of Belle Dam’s most powerful warlock, Jason Thorpe—doesn’t need the power of his witch eyes to see that everything in his life is turning against him: friends, family, and even his visions. When disturbing nightmares of Lucien’s return haunt him, Braden discovers that the simmering feud between the city’s two witch dynasties is fast approaching its explosive boiling point.

While struggling to come to terms with his attraction to Trey, Catherine Lansing’s son who should be his mortal enemy, a diabolical plan starts to unveil before Braden’s eyes. Young women are disappearing from Belle Dam, and as he investigates, Braden is forced to explore the dangerous unknown power within himself. But when the truth about his family is revealed, Braden must pay a terrible price.

This is my review for Demon Eyes: the sequel that is better than its predecessor.

I read Witch Eyes in October 2015, and I've been wanting to return to this series ever since. I'm not going to lie: it took me some time and some brain power to remember all the stuff that happened in the first book, and to place all the characters in my mind. But once the catching up part was over, I could fully immerse myself in this fantastic and dark world, filled with magic, mysteries and great characters.

I'm so happy to have read this book. I love it.

Tracey takes everything that is good about his first book, and builds upon it, takes it further. Everything is better in the sequel - the story, the pacing, the characters and the language. Oh, boy, the language! The story is told from the first person perspective - Braden's - and he is a fantastic narrator. He's smart and sarcastic, but he's also deep and kind, and he has a way of expressing himself that is both mature and totally in line for someone his age.

I love the way his character is written. He's a young boy who becomes ostracized from society and is tormented by guilt as the result of something that he did in the first book, but he's still determined to find the missing girls and to get to the bottom of this infected family feud.

He's a strong protagonist, which is why I can't understand why he trails Trey like a love-sick puppy. Their on-and-off relationship is my least favourite part of this story. It's a dysfunctional, emotionally abusive, one way-street relationship that is exhausting just to read about. Luckily, romance is just one of the many subplots of Demon Eyes, and there are other relationships that are far more interesting and exciting that you can focus on.

The supporting characters are stronger and more interesting here than in the first book. In Witch Eyes, I felt like they served as catalysts to move the story forwards. Whereas in the sequel, they show more depth, and we get to know them better. Not everything in the story revolves around Braden, because we see that these characters have their own struggles, and their own shared history. The author teases about it, but just like Braden - who is still new in town - we have to try and figure out their relationships on our own.

As the second part of the trilogy, Demon Eyes follows the unwritten rule of second instalments: it's darker, it's more emotional, the stakes are higher and the ending is more open and a lot darker. But even though this book follows the formula, there is nothing about the story and the character's actions that feels forced. All the things that happen here are a natural progression of the events of the first book.

Another thing about Demon Eyes that is just praise-worthy is the pacing. It's the mystery that keeps the story going, that pushes the characters forward, makes them grow. And Tracey writes his mysteries masterfully. He keeps you guessing and asking questions until the very end. This story is the true definition of the word "puzzle". Nothing is being revealed prematurely, and yet the story doesn't drag.

Demon Eyes is a fantastic book, it's a great sequel, and I recommend it to everyone who enjoys a good mystery.

My rating: 5 stars.

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