Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes

Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes
Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes by Ermisenda Alvarez

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I love the way this starts, drawn right into the mystery in the opening pages and drawn further in at the start of the first chapter. I would recommend reading this after Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Aniela Dawson" by Eliabeth Hawthorne the co-authors version of the story because of this mysterious opening, at least that’s what I thought after reading the first third of the novel, now after finishing it I think it’s less important which order you read them in.

But I definitely encourage you to get both because aside from a great story that stands well on it’s own it’s so very interesting to experience it from another character’s perspective. This has been done before “An Instance of the Fingerpost” by Iain Pears and Rashomon by Ry√Ľnosuke Akutagawa being two examples that spring to mind, but the interesting thing is those were written by one author, we see the story develop through different character’s eyes. “Blind Sight” is fresh because not only is the story told through differing characters but also completely different authors who each bring a unique perspective to the novel. Aside from being entertained isn’t that why we read fiction to learn about another person’s perspective on the world.

I don’t want to get into any spoilers so I just say I love the way Ermisenda paced this book, I was drawn into the mystery immediately and the story moved along nicely with time to mediate on some of the finer points of the mystery but never slowing down or becoming repetitive. I really liked the brother sister dynamic, compared to the large royal family the differences are striking.

I received ARC copies from both Ermisenda and Eliabeth and want to thank them both and let them know that I’m rooting for you both and eagerly await your next book. Whether it’s set in the magical island of Edaion or some other world they dream up I waiting to read it.

[bc:Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Aniela Dawson|13174273|Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Aniela Dawson (Blind Sight, #1 Aniela)|Eliabeth Hawthorne|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1323329166s/13174273.jpg|18353980]
[bc:Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes|13174193|Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes (Blind Sight, #1 Leocardo)|Ermisenda Alvarez|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1323328191s/13174193.jpg|18353889]



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Excerpt: Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes
Written by Ermisenda Alvarez


 

Prologue




Something was wrong. Leocardo’s blind, sixteen-year-old sister Odette was drawing. She stood next to the fridge and scribbled feverishly on a piece of paper.

“Odette?” he walked over, certain his eyes deceived him. He quickened his pace when she didn’t respond. “Odette what are you doing?”

Something was wrong with her eyes; her pupils were huge, and they engulfed her usual chestnut color.

“Odette, stop.”

He tried to pull her arm, but like a cat that didn’t want to be picked up, she seemed to become instantly heavier. The pen continued to run across the page as her silence persisted. He frowned, growing angry.

“Odette!” She did not flinch.

He glanced down at the paper and realized her scribbling were actually an image. Trees and mountains framed a large lake on the paper and Leocardo was frozen in confusion. How was she drawing? The pen fell onto the paper as Odette collapsed into Leocardo’s arms.

Twisting her around to face him, he demanded, “What were you doing? Answer me!”

Her limp body shook in his arms; her eyes closed and she was barely audible as if on the brink of passing out. “I don’t feel good,” she murmured weakly. Even though she was naturally petite and fragile, now she looked like she was about to shatter. “I want to sleep.”

The warm brown crept back into her unfocused eyes and her pupils normalized.

“Odette,” he started again, but her trembling became more violent so he stopped.

“Okay.” He scooped her up in his arms and carried her to her room. As soon as she hit the sheets, the trembling stopped and almost as quickly, snoring followed.

Leocardo wanted to wake her up so he could question her, but he was not sure if she would have any answers. He couldn’t help but wonder if this had happened to her before. He stormed back to the kitchen, picked up the paper, and examined the drawing. The sun’s rays tore through the clouds, and Odette had even added glimmer to the lake’s rippled surface. Odette had been blind since birth; so how could she have drawn this so perfectly? If he hadn’t seen her doing it, he never would have believed it.

Leocardo slouched into the leather couch, still holding the paper. He felt a throbbing pain behind his eyes. Staring at the drawing, he tried to glean some divine understanding of what it meant or how she had done it. His black labrador, Cielo, had abandoned him to sit outside Odette’s bedroom.

An hour passed; he was no more enlightened. He looked up to find Odette standing in the open doorway to her room. He kept silent, but his gaze followed her. She seemed better, no longer moving with the mechanical gestures she had used when she was drawing. Cielo’s nails clicked on the hardwood floor as she followed Odette’s every move.

With disbelief, he watched as Odette began to prepare some sandwiches. “Odette,” he called softly, not wanting to startle her.

“Yeah?”

Leocardo hesitated; why was she acting like nothing happened? “What happened to you before?”

She shrugged, “I guess I had low blood sugar. It was just a headache.”

“What do you remember?” he pried. How could she not remember?

“I had a headache. I went to the fridge. I got dizzy for a second. You caught me.” She paused. “How’d you get from the couch to the fridge that fast?” she asked, as though he was the one who did something strange.

“What?” Irate, he marched over. “Don’t you remember drawing this?” He flapped the page so she could hear it rustle. “What are you trying to pull? This isn’t a game.” He was losing his already short patience.

Her brow pressed together and her lips thinned as she let out a frustrated huff. She spoke slowly, as if concerned he was losing his mind. “Leo… you know I can’t draw, much less see whatever it is you might be holding.”

“I know you can’t,” he said a little defensively. Why was she questioning him when she should be providing answers? “You got up and went to the fridge before you started to draw this. I’m not making this up. I have the drawing right here in my hand!” He restrained himself, shaking the paper again, as if hearing the sound made his story more believable.

Odette’s calm expression indicated that she was not amused.

“How can you not remember?” he asked angrily.

He sighed and dropped the drawing onto the floor. His fingers ran through his hair as he tried to make sense of everything without flying off the handle.

“I’m sorry,” Odette murmured, “but I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“It’s okay… sorry,” The moment was awkward and disjointed; he was unsure what to do. Odette went back to making the sandwich, and Leocardo returned to the sofa. He snatched the remote and flipped between channels until he settled on the news.

Tragedies flashed on the screen as Leocardo watched, wanting to distract his mind. Spanish television bored him, but he didn’t know what else to do. The news featured new government policies in Spain that did not directly affect them amongst other random trivialities. The information changed, and the news channel now featured Alaska and their trading links with other countries.

“Edaion,” Leocardo repeated one of the countries listed. A sudden and overwhelming desire to visit this island nation overtook him.

Odette came over and sat next to him, her unfocused eyes in the direction of the screen. Leocardo leaned forward as if being pulled into the screen. He was mesmerized. Slowly he felt his eyelids droop.

“Edaion,” Odette whispered. A silence fell over them and a supernatural film began to wrap around them, invisible to all, it pressed down on him. Cocooned in this new state, he continued to stare in a trance at the screen. Unable to make sense of anything anymore, he had never wanted anything in his life as much as he wanted to travel to Edaion.

When he tried to stand, he felt an immense pressure upon his shoulders, face and chest. He reached out to Odette, feeling as though he was falling through the sofa itself. Cielo whined and nuzzled his knee. His grip around Odette’s hand tightened. Suddenly the pressure snapped and he felt the painful sensation of being rammed from all sides. The sensation of being hit by a train from every angle was overwhelming.

In a dreamlike state, he stumbled forward with Odette sandwiched between him and Cielo. He was somewhere else. The air was clean and chilly. A stranger’s arm brushed up against him as a group huddled together, all looking lost and confused. Half a dozen dogs circled and sniffed them. Trying to restore his equilibrium distracted him from the dogs until they wouldn’t leave Odette alone. They sniffed and licked her palms causing her to wipe them on his shirt. Someone asked him if he was okay, but he did not answer. The speaker herded the group onto a bus, and as soon as he was seated, Leocardo’s head fell against the windowsill. Blackness engulfed his vision.

The bus lurched and Leocardo was propelled into the seat in front of him. His eyes flew open; his throat felt dry and his nose was pink from the cold. Someone held a drawing before him and had colored it in. It was blurry, and as he reached out, his fingers hit glass. With his sleeve, he wiped the window to see the drawing become clear. Something was wrong.

Why was it behind glass? Where was he? Why was he on a bus? His gaze darted back to Odette who had Cielo nuzzling her affectionately. Her eyes were closed. He woke her up with a shake of the shoulders.

“What is this?” Leocardo demanded as if she would know.

“What’s what? You’re the one who can see, remember?” Her voice was soft and timid. He realized she was just as confused. He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close and then placed a soft kiss on her forehead.

His gaze returned to the window. It was still there. As the bus meandered through perilous mountains, he never lost sight of the lake. It was glistening, majestic and overwhelming in size, but it was not a drawing. This time he knew it was real. Something was terribly wrong.




PRIZES: Did you enjoy the review? You could win a gift card and I could win one too! Just leave a comment about the review below and you're entered in the drawing.

Learn more about Blind Sight: A blind girl drawing is abnormal even on the magical island of Edaion where leaves brush themselves into piles in the middle of the night. So when Odette Reyes, a girl blind from birth, begins to experience ominous side effects of the island's "gift," her brother Leocardo and best friend Aniela must figure out what the doctors cannot. As an immigrant, Leocardo is not biased by accepted rules of magic and determines that Odette's drawings are premonitions. Aniela grew up with magic and knows premonitions are impossible. She determines Odette is a medium channeling voiceless spirits.

Who is right? Whose eyes will you read through?

Both books are "volume one" you can read one without the other and still get a complete story, but you won't see how the characters interpret the same situation differently.

Buy the book! Both volumes are available as an e-book for Kindle (Aniela's vol. / Leocardo's vol.) and Nook (Aniela's vol. / Leocardo's vol.) Don't have an e-reader, pick up a PDF on Smashwords (Aniela's vol. / Leocardo's vol.)

The paperback special edition will be available in the fall (northern hemisphere).

The authors:

Eliabeth wrote her first mini-series in second grade when the teacher told her she was not old enough to write a chapter book. Regrettably, for fear of turning into a starving artist, Eliabeth played it safe in college and is now a recent William Jewell graduate with a BA in International Business and Japanese. She now returns to what she truly loves, creating worlds for people to escape to and characters for them to fall in love with. Ermisenda began writing Harry Potter fan-fiction at the age of twelve and started developing her own writing at fourteen when she joined play sites and completed her first crime novel at fifteen. Although her favorite genres were crime and fantasy, she reads a bit of everything. Driven by the desire to evoke the kaleidoscope of emotions her favorite authors are able to, she kept writing. Growing up bilingual amongst her Spanish family in Australia, she found a love and deep appreciation for language and the power it wielded. She is now a Psychology major at the University of Newcastle. Together, they write as Ermilia.

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