Wednesday, 23 July 2014

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Through Dead Eyes - Chris Priestley

Release Date: 14/03/14
Publisher:  Bloomsbury


Alex joins his father on a business trip to Amsterdam. During the day he hangs out with the daughter of a family friend. They visit the usual sights but also coffee shops and flea markets off the beaten track. At one of these markets Alex spots an ancient-looking mask. Before he knows what he's doing he buys it. Later, in his hotel room, he feels compelled to put the mask on. Alex is sucked into a parallel Amsterdam, one from centuries before which begins to reveal the dark past of both the building he is staying in and the little girl who once lived there ...edging stealthily towards the terrible twist.


I love a ghost story that brings in for me, the chance to travel to somewhere I’ve never been and whilst for some Holland (and in particular Amsterdam) isn’t exotic, it’s a place that I’ve heard about from people who have been and told me that it can be quite an eerie place to visit at times.

That really gets my imagination going, so when I have an author basing a story there, I love the chance to explore (if only in my imagination.) What Chris does well is bring the city to life and works the format around it pretty well. I loved the journey that the book took me on, I enjoyed the characters exploration but for all that, for me the characters felt a little flat against a bustling breathing environment.

All round it’s a solid enough story and the concept was ideal, however when the characters feel flat, that really takes me longer to get through a title as I don’t have that emotional attachment.

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