A review written by John.
John’s quick take: A very dark urban fantasy about a grieving father who gives up his natural eyesight in order to see things differently.
John’s description: Once upon a time, Jeremiah Hunt seemed to have everything – a well-respected job that he enjoyed, a beautiful wife with a high-powered career, a nice house and, above all, a daughter that he adored. Then one night his young daughter simply disappeared from his house and all attempts to find her come to nothing. Hunt becomes increasingly obsessed with the search and ceaselessly chases down every clue and piece of information, keeping up the search long after everyone else has given up hope. Eventually his obsession causes him to lose his job, his reputation and eventually his wife; but still Hunt is driven to keep looking.
Then one day he decides to undergo an arcane ritual, causing him to lose his normal sight in exchange for an ability to see “that which is unseen”. Now he can see all manner of ghost and spirits – and to his great shock the world is full of them. He is convinced that somehow his new gift will help him to find his daughter, but his life becomes ever more bizarre. He takes on odd jobs chasing away unwanted spirits that are haranguing the living, and also uses some of his skills to help out the police.
A series of brutal murders that he helps to investigate seem to be somehow linked to his daughter’s disappearance, and soon Hunt is sucked into a battle with an ancient and evil force. What can he find out about his daughter’s fate? Might she still be alive? With a mixture of blindness, special sight and obsession, he is lured towards a dreadful finale.
John’s thoughts: This was my second dive into the fantasy genre in the last few weeks – a genre that doesn’t normally attract me. While there is much in here that will appeal to fantasy fans, I must admit that my attention was wandering by the time I’d got halfway through the book. I guess I can only take so many ghosts and ghoulies and this story is full of them. Not to mention witches and magick.
It is clear from some other reviews that I saw that many readers do rate this book highly and I can see why. The plot was interesting, the writing was tight and fast-paced, the Hunt character is certainly intriguing and the story is hard boiled and dark in extremes. Throughout it all Hunt’s pain and anguish ooze from the pages. If those things all sound good to you and you like urban fantasy, then you should jump right in. It’s just not quite my cup of tea.
I’d still rate the book three stars, as it is well written and imaginative. (It’s also got a terrific cover).
Eyes to See (The Jeremiah Hunt Chronicle -Volume 1 of 3) by Joseph Nassise
Tor Books; October 2011; Hardcover; 320 pages.