EYES TO SEE (Jeremiah Hunt #1)
by Joseph Nassise
PUBLISHER: Tor Books
RELEASE DATE: 11th October 2011
FORMAT: Advance Reader Copy, 304 pages
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
Jeremiah Hunt has been broken by a malevolent force that has taken his young daughter and everything else of value in his life: his marriage, his career, his reputation. Desperate to reclaim what he has lost, Hunt finally turns to the supernatural for justice. (Goodreads)
EYES TO SEE is an exciting supernatural mystery, with twists around every corner that are sure to keep you reading until the very end. Joseph Nassise’s novel succeeds in setting up a mystery that you feel obliged to find the answers to, with almost as much vigour as the main character himself.
The novel kicks off with a ghostly exorcism, whereby the reader is introduced to Jeremiah Hunt, the protagonist of the novel, and also introduced to his unique supernatural gift – he can see the dead. Hunt made a Faustian bargain with the world of magick, whereby he traded his eyesight for the gift of seeing the dead. As a result, he can see perfectly in total darkness, but is blind in any kind of light.
Now you may be wondering about the reason for this Faustian bargain. His daughter has mysteriously disappeared from under his nose, seemingly without a trace. Hunt is obsessed with finding out what happened to her, and whether she is still alive. Five years later and he is still none the wiser, despite his understanding with Detective Stanton that allows him to see any leads on the case in return for consulting on certain crimes. However, there is a certain animosity between Stanton and Hunt, which is far from a healthy working relationship and could prove costly for both of them.
Jeremiah is an interesting character, with his love for his daughter being the driving force for everything he does. This leaves him isolated from everyone else, with his wife Anne having left him as a result of his obsession. He sees himself as a lone ranger, determined to discover the truth alone, with only his two ghostly companions, Scream and Whisper, for company. Whisper is the ghost of a young girl, providing Hunt with ‘ghostsight’ whenever he needs it, which allows him to see the world around him through the ghost’s eyes. Scream is a ghostly bulk of a man, who can provide Hunt with super strength whenever he needs it and put fear into any surrounding humans that are causing Hunt any problems.
However, these two ghosts are not Hunt’s only companions in his search, as he forms a trio with Russian bartender, Dmitri, and witch, Denise. Dmitri is the bartender at Hunt’s local, the kind of man who keeps out of Hunt’s business, and yet who knows the entire goings on of the city. Denise has prophetic dreams linking her to Hunt, causing her to seek him out to understand the meaning of her dreams. Both Dmitri and Denise are highly wrapped up in the supernatural world, and quick to aid Jeremiah in anything that he needs. However, it seems a little unlikely for Jeremiah to be so quick to trust them, as he has spent so long seeking answers alone, but just lets these two into all of his secrets without question.
There were certain aspects of the book I didn’t like too much, such as some of Nassise’s comparisons throughout the book. There were times where the comparisons felt natural, such as, ‘the vast majority of us go through life like sheep, thinking that it can’t happen to us’, which provides a realistic view of Hunt’s situation, and of real life. However, there were also times where the comparisons didn’t totally fit with the situation in which they were being used, which ruined my reading of the book in places, as I was focused on the bad description and not the plot.
Overall, this book was an enjoyable read, a good mystery to get into that provided lots of twists and turns, with several elements leading up to the final conclusion. There are surprises in store throughout the book, and I particularly liked the way that there are chapters strategically placed throughout the book that directly detail Hunt’s past. Where the series will progress after this first book is unclear, but there is certainly potential for further mysteries that can be solved using the dead as a witness.
Personally, I found EYES TO SEE to have an interesting mystery plot, and I liked the idea that ghosts could be used to help solve police cases. However, some of the twists weren’t as exciting as I would have liked, with the supernatural becoming too entwined with the plot, as if the writer has tried to include a multitude of different supernatural beings, forgetting that not everything about the plot has to be supernatural in order for it to be exciting.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
1. Eyes to See
2. King of the Dead
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