|Dark Eyes by William Richter
Release Date: March 15, 2012
Source: Digital Copy
Buy It: Amazon
|Wally was adopted from a Russian orphanage as a child and grew up in a wealthy New York City family. At fifteen, her obsessive need to rebel led her to life on the streets.Now the sixteen-year-old is beautiful and hardened, and she’s just stumbled across the possibility of discovering who she really is. She’ll stop at nothing to find her birth mother before Klesko – her darkeyed father – finds her. Because Klesko will stop at nothing to reclaim the fortune Wally’s mother stole from him long ago. Even if that means murdering his own blood. But Wally’s had her own killer training, and she’s hungry for justice.|
I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up this book. I feel like a broken record when I say this but I was interested in this novel because of its Eastern European roots. I just can’t help myself when Russia is involved! Enter Wally who is living on the streets in New York along with three of her friends. This was something new for me to read about. They squat in abandoned buildings and sell stolen goods to make cash. A little bit Lisbeth Salander but not quite – lacking the photographic memory and the overall intelligence factor – but that same general feeling is what Richter was going for, I think. The storyline was also similar to that of Lisbeth’s in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo as far as her father goes – he’s a very, very bad man and of course he wants to kill her.
The most difficult part to follow, for me, in the novel is the connections that everyone has to each other and one person in particular – although I won’t give away their name because they’re pretty important and I don’t want to tip anyone off. For the most part, though, all the threads fall into place fairly well and while you can understand them, you won’t be able to guess half of what’s going to happen – TRUST ME. I thought I had most of it figured out a quarter of the way in and nope, totally went a different way. Not only does she have her evil father out to kill her but she’s trying to find out who her mother is since she was adopted from Russia at such a young age. Plus she’s living on the street and she’s not some kind of awesome assassin or anything, she’s just a regular teenage girl.
In the end, while this is in the vein of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Dark Eyes is its own novel. It has its own demographic and plotline. It’s like saying that Divergent and Delirium are both dystopians and are both similar in that they’re fighting the establishment but they – ahem – diverge from there. Dark Eyes also has a sequel coming out called Tiger that’s going to focus on Wally’s long-lost brother, Tiger, that I’m really excited about. He was super mysterious in the book so this one might be even more interesting.