Book Three of the Witch Eyes trilogy
By Scott Tracey
Available now from Flux (Llewellyn)
Read my review of Moonset
It seems like witches are having a moment in YA, becoming the next hot new thing. But trends always start with a groundswell, which is why you should pick up Scott Tracey's Witch Eyes trilogy. The final book, PHANTOM EYES, is now out and brings everything to an insane fever pitch conclusion. You can get all sorts of witchy goodness and there's zero delayed gratification! (I cannot be the only one who hates waiting for the next book in a series to come out.)
Braden is in bad shape. The events of DEMON EYES left him powerless, grieving, and with a burning desire for revenge. There's an obvious solution, but it involves Braden becoming worse than the monsters already plaguing the town of Belle Dam. He's desperate to find a way to stop the town from getting crushed and keep his identity. It doesn't help that everyone else is trying to make their own plans. His dad is trying to keep him safe, his boyfriend is trying to keep him safe, and honestly, maybe Braden's plans would go better if he trusted other people more.
I liked that there was still room for character development among all the crazy plot, mastermind vs. mastermind vs. amateur mastermind. In PHANTOM EYES, Braden still needs to find peace with himself. But did I mention that the plot is cray-cray? Now, I felt that things might've gotten a little out of Tracey's control at the end of DEMON EYES. The climatic showdown was a confusing at times. But PHANTOM EYES manages to up the clarity while throwing all sorts of unexpected developments out, rapid fire. Unexpected allies, double crossing, triple crossings, relationship drama . . . it's all in there.
I highly recommend the Witch Eyes series. It's very silly in the very best way, and comes to a satisfying conclusion that ties up all of the major plot threads without being too neat. The characters might be in therapy for years to come, but they overcome their biggest hurdles. It's fast paced and fun, with lots of quippy characters. There's a nice dollop of angst, mostly having to do with a family feud that makes the Montagues and Capulets look tame. And almost everyone is a villain, depending on whose point of view you take. It's dark fun.
I'm happy that Tracey has already started a new witchy series, The Legend of Moonset, because he's good at conspiracies, family ties, and consistent magic systems. And I'm happy that witches are becoming popular, because they're so much fun.