Book Forty of 2014: PHANTOM EYES by Scott Tracey

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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…

I LOVE this trilogy. Scott Tracey weaves a formulated story into his own mythos. Described as a Romeo and Juliet story, the WITCH EYES trilogy is set in a town in Washington state. The rain isn’t the only thing in this sleepy town. There are witches, demons, 100+ year old crazy ladies, and on top of that a feud that threatens the relationships of Braden’s friends amongst themselves and his own relationship with Trey.

We first meet Braden in Scott Tracey’s WITCH EYES and again in DEMON EYES. It is not until PHANTOM EYES that the epic story ends. And dare I say it, I feel more might be in the works because of one paragraph, but you have to read the book to see what I’m seeing.

Like I said before, PHANTOM EYES is the tour de force ending that Scott Tracey fans have been waiting for. Braden finally steps up to the plate and boy, does he bat home runs. The snark comes back with a vengence in this book. I love Braden’s snark and how everyone else has started to adopt a bit of his personality just as he’s adopting theirs. It shows that he is loved in the crazy world of Belle Dam.

What I really love about this book series is that Tracey follows the format of paranormal young adult fiction, dashes in a bit of Romeo and Juliet, and then shakes it into his own masterpiece. The main character is homosexual, which for a non-stereotyped book, is very hard to come by. I would say it’s LGBT, but the sexuality of Braden isn’t in the forefront of the book. Sure he’s worried about his relationship with Trey, but really, he’s more concerned about other things… like demons… or a creepy 100+ year old lady wanting to destroy.

The romance is there and you are rooting for his love life as well as the love life of Jade, Trey’s sister, but the romance takes the back burner. I like that about this book series. It shows readers that there is more to life than the boy of your dreams. And it shows realism in their love. I’m sorry, but if I had the issues Braden was having, I would be pushing aside love too.

On top of that, Braden changes so much in just this book alone. He’s angry and vindictive. For once in his life, he almost embraces the evil within him. The fact that he doesn’t let the power take control shows how much he’s changed and how much he’s still the same. I love how he stops the feud and watching his plan unfold was amazing. You find yourself at the edge of your seat by 75%, hoping that what you read 25% ago wasn’t what you’ve just read.

If you love action, paranormal fiction, young adult, or are looking for an LGBT that isn’t stereotyped: this is a series to look at. LOVE IT!

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