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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Review: Thief Eyes by Janni Lee Simner

Title: Thief Eyes
Author: Janni Lee Simner
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Pub. Date: 4/27/10
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Icelandic Sagas, Shapeshifter, Love, Family, Ancestry, Magic
Pages: 272
Plot (from GoodReads):
After her mother mysteriously disappears, sixteen-year-old Haley convinces her father to take her to Iceland, where her mother was last seen. There, amidst the ancient fissures and crevices of that volcanic island, Haley meets gorgeous Ari, a boy with a dangerous side who appoints himself her protector.

When Haley picks up a silver coin that entangles her in a spell cast by her ancestor Hallgerd, she discovers that Hallgerd's spell and her mother's disappearance are connected to a chain of events that could unleash terrifying powers and consume the world. Haley must find a way to contain the growing fires of the spell—and her growing attraction to Ari.

Though I've never read Janni Lee Simner's debut novel BONES OF FAERIE, I had heard wonderful things about it and jumped at the chance to read her second novel, THIEF EYES. Much to my dismay, I failed to fall in love with Haley's story and found it difficult to finish.

First off, I did enjoy parts of the novel, most notably Haley's attraction to Ari. Even a hint of romance can catch my attention, so this is no surprise. However, the novel is not particularly long, which caused their story to feel rushed and left much to be desired.

I've never read any Icelandic sagas, but I found certain aspects of the mythology to be interesting in the context of the novel's plot. Haley and Ari encounter Muninn*, a black crow and the keeper of memory. In an effort to coerce them into submission, Munin removes all traces of the pair from the collective memory of Iceland's inhabitants. This added an interesting twist to the story and was a clever way to incorporate Munin. Simner successfully incorporates Icelandic myth throughout the entire novel.

I think that my biggest issue with the novel was its glacial pace. I have no problem with novels in which intricate plots slowly unfold, but there was nothing intricate about the plot of THIEF EYES. It was, for the most part, clear how the story would develop, so I just wanted to move on to another novel.

Simply put, I was disappointed by this novel. I think the description and my expectations were far from accurate, leaving me disenchanted.

Grade: C-

Cover Comments:
Eh. I think its boring. Which, sadly, fits my attitude towards the novel.

*Munin may have been spelled differently in the novel, this is just the spelling I had on hand. 



  1. That is disappointing. I liked Bones of Faerie, but still thought that one was too short for the story it was telling. I'll have to think about Thief Eyes.

  2. oh thank goodness it isn't just me! I couldn't even finish it and I gave her first book 5 stars.

    Boring is the perfect adjective to describe it.


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