Through Violet Eyes (Violet Series) by Stephen Woodworth
|Through Violet Eyes (Violet Series) by Stephen Woodworth|
|Category: Science Fiction|
|Reviewer: Loralei Haylock|
|Summary: A great premise, interesting characters, but a rather mediocre plot. However, it could be the launch pad for a really great series.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: July 2009|
To every generation, a few souls are born with violet-coloured eyes. These Violets can channel the dead. Viewed by the government as a commodity, they are taken into the care of the School from an early age and taught to use their abilities. While the School does teach them to control the souls constantly trying to invade their bodies from the black of death, it also trains them to serve the government – calling on the victims of murder and horrific accidents to ascertain exactly how they died or who killed them.
After a personal tragedy, FBI agent Dan Atwater is not keen to spend any time with a woman who can call up the ghosts of his past with a mere touch, but when Violets become the target of a serial killer, he is assigned to protect Natalie Lindstrom. Lindstrom, like all Violets, is haunted by the realm of the dead. Afraid of her own shadow, and desperate to prolong her life as much as possible, the thought of travelling round the country by plane – they may be the safest way to travel but if you'd talked to the dead pilot of a crashed plane, would you want to get on one? – is not a welcome one.
Together, Natalie and Dan have to try and track down the serial killer before he claims more Violet victims. Only that isn't so easy, as the killer has learned to mask himself from his victims, so the dead can't be called on to identify him…
People who can talk to the dead… It's always been a creepy set up, and used to great effect here. I loved the concept of the Violets and their constant struggle against the souls who desperately want back on Earth. The use of a mantra, like a prayer, or just the alphabet, to keep conscious against the invading souls is a pretty neat idea too.
Unfortunately, this was one of those books where the big twist at the end wasn't so much of a twist as a 'come on, I worked that out about eight chapters ago', but there is a nice sucker punch at the end I didn't see coming that softened the anti-climax somewhat.
The characters are all very interesting, but parts of the story seem under explored. There are several mentions of being stationed in Quantico driving Violets mad, and Natalie's own mother being institutionalised, as well as the eerie School itself, but these are left rather open ended. Which isn't necessarily a problem, as this is the first in a series, and there does need to be something left to explore in books two, three etc.
So, a bit of a mixed bag really – a great premise, interesting characters, but a rather mediocre plot. However, as a platform from which to launch a series, this is a great start. Interesting enough to keep you reading, Through Violet Eyes serves to introduce us to the world and characters. The next instalment, With Red Hands, has the potential to be excellent.
My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.
Check out Bookbag's Science Fiction Picks for some great further reading.
You can read more book reviews or buy Through Violet Eyes (Violet Series) by Stephen Woodworth at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Through Violet Eyes (Violet Series) by Stephen Woodworth at Amazon.com.
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