Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: Dark Eyes by William Richter

Dark Eyes
William Richter
Release date: March 15th, 2012
by Razorbill

Goodreads / Purchase
Wally was adopted from a Russian orphanage as a child and grew up in a wealthy New York City family. At 15, her obsessive need to rebel led her to life on the streets. Now the 16-year-old is beautiful and hardened, and she's just stumbled across the possibility of discovering who she really is. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" for teens, this debut thriller introduces a new heroine.

*A copy was provided by Penguin Canada for review purposes*

When I see a book being compared to another, especially a well loved one such as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I'm always skeptical on how it can actually live up to such a claim. Fast paced and filled with conspiratorial twists, Dark Eyes reminded me of Dragon Tattoo before I actually remembered that it said as much on the blurb.

A rebel roughing it on the street, Wally is trying to locate her biological mother after getting a mysterious envelope containing strange messages as well as an expensive gem. However, someone else, someone very dangerous, is following the same trail. The story immediately begins with a high action murder scene, fastening the book with an ominous vibe. Then we move on to meeting our unusual protagonist- Wally. With incredible confidence and excellent street smarts, Wally is a particularly bad-ass heroine. Her ability to handle herself becomes quite apparent during the many impressive fight scenes throughout the novel. She is not your average teenager and this is the main reason why I enjoyed this so much. At the very start I wasn't too sure how much I would like the story, but it didn't take long until I was truly captivated by the eccentricity of Wally's whole situation.

Russian mob bosses, hidden identities, stolen riches- Dark Eyes has a slew of exciting plot-lines that are sure to enthrall you, along with its never-ending twists and non stop action. True originality is not something commonly found in the YA genre nowadays, I was thus thrilled at how Dark Eyes stands out from anything else I've read with its authentic grittiness. Even though the first half left me wondering why Wally would chose a life on the streets in trade of her wealthy home life, by the end of the book I understood the reasoning behind her choices and behavior; showing us how deeply rooted this whole story really is.

Dark Eyes is abrasive, it's fearless, and it's clever. Would I recommend it to everybody? Probably not. I would recommend it for those who like things outside the box. A book in a prose depicting such great detail, you will see the story come alive in front of your eyes. But, also, a book written by an author who is not afraid to take risks and become just a little different.  

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