A review of Demon Eyes (Witch Eyes #2) by Scott Tracey
Note:Demon Eyes is the sequel to Witch Eyes, so make sure you read it first (our full review is HERE).
By REBECCA, September 14, 2012
Braden: with great power comes great . . . migraines, and adventurous hijinks with a couple of difficult hotties
Trey: handsome and infuriating son of Braden’s enemy, he and Braden run hot and cold
Drew: shape-shifting potty-mouth, he’s always around when Braden needs to fight evil
Lucien: manipulative demon that Braden killed at the end of Witch Eyes
Riley: single-mindedly determined to solve the mystery surrounding Lucien’s death
Matthias: mysterious new demon with an unclear agenda
After he killed the demon Lucien at the end of Witch Eyes, everything kind of went to shit for Braden. He has moved into Thorpe estate to live with his father, Jason, but Jason is nearly never there and doesn’t seem to care about Braden much when he is there. Trey and Jade Lansing have decided they shouldn’t be seen together after all (that whole feuding families thing—you know how it goes), and Riley thinks it’s too dangerous to stay friends. So, what’s a guy to do when he loses his only two friends and the guy he’s falling for, especially when he’s having nightmares that maybe, just maybe Lucien isn’t quite as dead as he thought? Well, for starters, he can develop a deadly defense mechanism in reaction to the pain.
Whereas in Witch Eyes, Braden was trying his hardest to stay out of the feud, now he is undeniably right in the middle of things. Braden’s been having nightmares and visions about Lucien and girls are starting to go missing. On top of that, Trey’s pushing him away with one hand, and holding him close with the other; Jade ignores him at school but says they can still be friends out of it; and Uncle John, whom he came to Belle Dam to protect, is totally incommunicado. Poor Braden!—dude, your life totally blows right now. It’s no wonder, then, that Braden throws himself headlong into trying to solve a whole new set of mysteries.
Demon Eyes is a super fast-paced supernatural mystery, and Scott Tracey doesn’t skimp on any of the plot—and that’s what I find so enjoyable about Demon Eyes: unlike the other myriad young adult books with supernatural overtones, Tracey’s novel is really all about action. In this way, what it reminds me of most is a television show. And, indeed, I feel like the CW would be doing themselves a huge favor if they’d go for something like the Witch Eyes series (as long as they wouldn’t turn Braden straight). Each book has more than enough plot for a great season-length arc, against which we could enjoy Braden and Trey’s immense sexual tension. I could totally imagine the hilarious hijinks that fashionista Jade could get up to at school, the sub-plots involving whatever the heck it is that Drew gets up to in his spare time, the creepy shenanigans of Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe, and, of course, all the ways in which Braden is awkward and snarky. It could be like Supernatural meets Veronica Mars meets Buffy meets Gilmore Girls. Come on, CW!
what were this book’s expectations? did it live up to them?
This is a good sequel. I sometimes find myself annoyed at the middle books in trilogies because it can feel like a rebound book that does nothing but react to the first book and segue into the third. I think Tracey made a smart move by creating a mystery that isn’t hinted at in the first book (yeah, I know, I’m being vague, but the book isn’t out yet and I don’t want to give too much away). Much like the new season of a tv show, when the book begins some things have changed and character relationships have shifted, providing new drama. And if I keep talking about the book in televisual terms it’s because in its pacing it really reminded me of tv—especially the dialogue which is brief, funny, and snarky.
Additionally, we get to know Drew better (who popped up briefly in Witch Eyes, but whose motives were questionable)and he’s quite the amusing flirty bodyguard, providing a nice middle-book-of-the-series relief in the drama between Braden and Trey, whose relationship is as unstable as ever. Drew and Braden’s relationship is fun (especially since it pisses Trey off royally) and Drew is a great foil to Trey’s seriousness. It’s also nice to see a jokey, supportive, and fun male friendship in a book with a gay main character.
As I mentioned in my review of Witch Eyes (here), I really like Braden. I want to be stuck in study hall with him where we’d become friends through a series of cutting remarks aimed not at each other but at our mutual situation. He’s funny, smart, and a total head-case for excellent reasons. I particularly like that his impulsiveness often makes it so that he doesn’t quite think through the consequences of his actions, which feels realistic. He is conflicted about his loyalties, his relationships, and his responsibilities, but he never falls into the trap of so many infuriating characters—that is, acting for no apparent reason. Braden is conflicted, sure, but Tracey always makes damn sure Braden’s reasoning is clear in the moment, which makes me very sympathetic to him when things don’t go his way. He’s brave, but not invincible by any means (his powers exact a grave price from him), so his bravery is believable, and his vulnerability well-earned. Plus, did I mention he’s funny?
In short, I enjoyed the heck out of Demon Eyes. My one complaint is that I didn’t feel like I got very much character development in book two—while Braden certainly went through changes, I don’t feel like I know him better now than I did after the first book, and I could have used some more daily interactions that developed the main characters along with the great story. But there’s a third book, so I remain hopeful on that score.
Oh, and if you read Witch Eyes and want something to tide you over before Demon Eyes is released (October 8th), you can check out Homecoming (Witch Eyes 0.5), a short story prequel to Witch Eyes that’s set before Braden comes to Belle Dam. From Goodreads: “When it comes to making friends, witch-in-training Braden is no rock star. But he gets more than he bargained for when one little charisma spell goes disastrously wrong at the social event of the season.”
Curse Workers series by Holly Black (2010-2012). Cassel is from a family of curse-workers—people who have the (illegal) power to change emotion, memory, and luck by touch. But Cassel doesn’t have this power, so he tries to stay out of the kind of trouble in which his family members usually find themselves. When Cassel sleepwalks his way into a mysterious con, though, he can’t keep out of things any longer.
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer #1) by Lish McBride. While working a fast-food job, low-key Sam finds out that he’s—you guessed it—a necromancer. And there’s another creepy necromancer who wants something from him. Book two in the series, Necromancing the Stone, is out next week.
Procured from: receivedARC from NetGalley (thanks!) with no compensation on either side.
Demon Eyes will be released on October 8th