I accepted a review copy of S E Davis‘ They Had Eyes of Silver, as part of it’s blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. The book as also featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. So, you can pop over there for more information on the book and author.
A secret lineage. A family cursed. A forbidden love that can’t be denied.
Veterinarian Reina Kirke is exhausted. So, when her best friend suggests a European vacation, she doesn’t hesitate. A much-needed break and a chance to investigate her mysterious family tree sound perfect. Too bad she’s in no way prepared for what she finds. The fairytale town in Belgium hides family secrets grounded in the supernatural. Legends of werewolves and witches surround her, and a taboo love affair threatens to pull her into a danger she might not be able to handle.
What seems like a chance encounter with Blaise Woodward, a brooding hunk with his own secrets, sets up a sequence of events that could unravel both of their families as they realize their deep connection to each other is generations old. But only one thing is certain.
Their lives will never be the same…
I am trying to walk a very narrow line with this review. Because I have to acknowledge that a lot of readers like predictability. Certain tropes and plot types are used frequently because they are enjoyed, but also because they are comforting in their predictability. For a lot of readers it’s a feature, not a bug.
But I’m not one of those readers. And when the villain was introduced—the first page they appeared—I said, that’s the villain. I even had a fairly good guess at what their motivation would turn out to be. And almost every other aspect of this book is as transparent as the villain. There is absolutely nothing new or unpredictable about this book—not in the plot, not in the world, not way wolves shift (the legend of the wolf-strap with evil origins is from Germany and Poland), not the romance, not the mystery, not the heroine’s deus ex machina save at the end, not the conclusion, etc. Nothing. I read on in hope that there might be at least one red herring in there, but there isn’t. It’s all just as obvious as at first glance.
But, again, I’m not calling it a bad. Because a lot of people really do enjoy this in a book. It’s safe. And I would say the same for other aspects of the book, not just the predictability. The characters adhere to all the right mores and characterizations and the the undercurrent of kindness and care hits the right notes to appeal to those who enjoy over-arching sweetness and light in their stories. No one’s worldview is going to be challenged. Again, it’s safe…if that’s your thing.
The writing is fine. Names and endearments are used a little too often occasionally, creating an unneeded formality. But it’s mostly fine and the editing is without issue. So, whether you enjoy this book or not will come down to the question of whether you are a reader who enjoys knowing there will be no unpleasant surprises, or one who would rather go in blind and risk it.