Eyes to See – Joseph Nassise

About the book
Inan urban fantasy that charts daring new territory in the field, Jeremiah Hunthas been broken by a malevolent force that has taken his young daughter andeverything else of value in his life: his marriage, his career, his reputation.Desperate to reclaim what he has lost, Hunt finally turns to the supernaturalfor justice.
Abandoningall hope for a normal life, he enters the world of ghosts and even moredangerous entities from beyond the grave. Sacrificing his normal sight so thathe can see the souls of the dead and the powers that stalk his worstnightmares, Hunt embarks upon a strange new career—a pariah among the living; ascourge among the dead; doomed to walk between the light of day and the deepestdarkness beyond night.
Hislove for his departed daughter sustains him when all is most hopeless, but Huntis cursed by something more evil than he can possibly imagine. As he descendsinto the maelstrom of his terrifying quest, he discovers that even his deepestfears are but prelude to yet darker deeds by a powerful entity from beyond thegrave…that will not let him go until it has used him for its own nefariouspurposes.
304pages (hardcover)
Publishedon: Oct. 11, 2011
Publishedby: Tor
Thanks to the wonderful people at Tor for sending me a copy of this book to review.
I’mhaving an incredibly hard time writing this review, and I’m not exactly surewhy. First off, this book was described to me by some other reviewers as being a horror novel and maybeI just don’t read enough horror, or I don’t get scared enough or something, butI really don’t think this is horror. It’s more of a kind of creepy urbanfantasy – a darker, more cynical DresdenFiles. That’s not a bad thing, mind you. It’s just something I feel the need to point out.
Eyes to See starts with a compellingline, “I gave up my eyes in order to see more clearly.”  This line automatically draws in readers andmakes them want to learn more. The beginning of Eyes to See is incredibly emotionally compelling as readers aredrawn into the hard luck world of Jeremiah Hunt. This story is told mostly inthe first person and due to how interesting and emotionally drawing Hunt canbe, the first person perspective really works.
Partof the reason this book can draw readers in so easily is because of howsympathetic readers will feel for Hunt and his determination to give upeverything, including his sight, to find his missing daughter. The first partof the book sets this up nicely and also gives readers a bit of history with afew flashback chapters thrown in here and there. However, somewhere toward themiddle Eyes to See looses a bit ofit’s compelling and emotionally drawing nature as another character’s thirdperson perspective is thrown in. This really wouldn’t be a problem, but thischaracter is rather uninteresting and at this point the book stops primarilyfocusing on Hunt and his missing daughter and focuses more on a current-daymurder mystery. While the murders are rather creepy, what draws readers in is thestory of Hunt and his daughter, not creepy murders in Boston. The loss of thatstrong part of the story is keenly felt.
Thecast of Eyes to See has a bit ofeverything many urban fantasy fans will enjoy, only a bit darker and morecreepy – perfect for the Halloween season. Hunt’s (dis)ability is interestingenough to stand on its own, as he can only see ghosts and other specters. Healso has two ghostly companions who lend him their sight and strength whenneeded, adding a nice touch to things and a bit of mystery as Hunt tries tofigure out who they are and why they help him. Along with that is a powerfulwitch and the only Russian who runs an Irish bar in Boston. The companions worktogether to solve several murders that I can just picture being found in filmsomeday. On the flip side are a mysterious antagonist and a detective with anattitude problem.
Eyes to See is a pretty unique mystery, however, the reader will answer the big questions before thecharacters figure it out. This can be both frustrating and entertaining at thesame time. It can be rather frustrating to have the big mystery figured out ina book that hinges on its mysterious aspects. However, since the charactersdon’t know what the reader knows, how the ending will play out is anyone’sguess. That being said, the book never really recovers from the loss of theemotionally jarring first section and the ending is no exception as it has arather rushed feel, though there is some good closure found there and a nice setup for future installments to the series.
ThoughNassise is a great writer, this book, in some respects, missed its mark for me. While I loved thefirst portion, I found myself lamenting its loss quickly. I would have lovedthe whole of Eyes to See to follow inthe same footsteps as the first emotionally jarring section. However, it doesn’t,and basically readers are left with a novel that reads like it’s HarryDresden’s big brother. While I am confidant that this will appeal to a greatmany readers, it may leave others with a bitter taste in their mouth. Though Ido have my quibbles with the book as a whole, I do feel Nassise has set up astrong foundation to a potentially riveting series and despite its drawbacks, I really enjoyed my journey through Nassise’s world. His world is well built andpeppered with interesting characters and a well done magic/supernatural systemwhich is supported nicely with Nassise’s descriptive writing that really makesthings come alive. Eyes to See isworth checking out, just give the book time before you let an impression form.


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