Sunday, July 22, 2012

Book Spotlight: Eyes to See (Jeremiah Hunt Chronicles, Book 1) by Joseph Nassise

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Good Evening Beardies,

Many of you may remember my first ever Author Spotlight on my writing coach, Joseph Nassise.  As a prequel to a follow-up Spotlight--this time complete with an interview--I am doing my first ever Book Spotlight on Eyes to See, the first book in Nassise's Jeremiah Hunt Chronicles.





The Premise:
When Jeremiah Hunt's daughter, Elizabeth, is kidnapped without any tangible evidence, his world is shattered; the obsessive search for her whereabouts leaves everything else in his life--his marriage, his job, his friends--to come crashing down around him.  In his search for tangible clues, his desperation leads him to the intangible--an arcane spell that is supposed to help him see what he has overlooked.  Sacrificing his normal sight catapults him into a world of literal and figurative darkness--a world of spirits and entities that haunt him in his now-cursed life of endless night.  When called upon by the police for his "paranormal" abilities, a string of gruesome murders uncovers clues about his daughter's disappearance, a cast of unlikely friends, and unforeseen enemies.



Gems for Writers:
World Building.  You should have guessed I'd say it, but Joseph Nassise does a spectacular job of creating the obscure reality in which Jeremiah Hunt is doomed to walk.  The colorless world--because of Hunt's quasi-Faustian sacrifice--is populated with spirits, demons, and other entities of myth and legend that walk the streets of the novel's Boston setting, all undetected by the city's corporeal denizens, but all of whom can detect Hunt's ability and are drawn to it like a beacon.  Just as Stephen King creates written replicas of his (and my) native Maine with perfect prose and imagery, Nassise, too, does the same for his native Boston and its surroundings--all while adding an eerily believable layer of fantasy.

Historical Elements.  One of the things I loved about this book was its incorporation of historical elements (and in this case, specific to its region).  This, in itself, ties in with World Building--in fact, I've mentioned it before in the World Building Series.  Using the element of history as a writing device in urban fantasy is pure genius; it makes the world all the more believable, no matter how made-up the fantastical element is.  It even makes you question history.  The motives behind the witch trials that occurred in Salem may not have been what was originally believed, something this novel proposes.  Curious?  Read this book.

Point of View.  This element of writing is far-too-often overlooked.  Although there are some passages that are in some other POV (perhaps even slightly weaker in comparison), Nassise does a stellar job with Hunt's first-person narrative.  Even the flashbacks are easy to maneuver through because of the tightly-written prose.

Rating:

Conclusion:
I don't want to sound cheesy--or sycophantic--when I tell you that I had difficulty putting this book down.  I had started and completed this book within a span of 30 hours--including sleep and meals--excitedly turning each page... a total, perhaps, of 10-12 hours actual reading time.  If you are looking for an urban fantasy with a paranormal flavor that redefines the genre, look no further.


Stay tuned for my upcoming Author Spotlight featuring an interview with the author.


Keep Reading and Happy Scribing,








***Eyes to See (2011) by Joseph Nassise is published by and copyright Tor Books (Tom Doherty Associates, LLC).  It is available in stores, online, and from your local public library.
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