Dark Eyes by William Richter | Audiobook Review

Dark Eyes by William Richter - Narrated by January LaVoy
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Format: Audiobook (courtesy of Penguin Audio)
Genre: Contemporary, Action, Thriller, YA
Publication Date: 15 March, 2012
Get ready for the vigilante girl detective of the next generation.

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 shes 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 Wallys had her own killer training, and she's hungry for justice.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for teens, this debut thriller introduces our next big series heroine!

Having never read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. What I got, is a story where Russian mob culture clashes with American culture--and the result is a gritty, action-packed thriller, that doesn't let up. There are a lot of things that happen in this book; there are secrets, betrayals, and ultimately, real consequences to the actions of the characters.

Wally is a tough girl who thinks on her feet, and knows how to stay out of trouble. She has evaded the cops for years, and lives the life that she wants--on the streets. I like her, and her need to protect those she cares about. She creates a family while living on the streets, and she takes care of them. I found her to be a very fleshed-out character; one who is a bit lost, but who denies that she is anywhere but where she wants to be. She's a leader.

Unfortunately, the other characters are not as fleshed-out as Wally. Though important, the secondary characters are never explored enough to give us a better idea of their personalities, or their importance to Wally and the story. Even the love interest is flat, and his and Wally's interactions show very little clues for a possible relationship until it happens. Along with this, it was irritating to find that Wally could constantly leap to conclusions (from very little information) and follow random hunches, and always be right, no matter how big of a stretch these hunches had been. Always.

There are many events that contribute to this story, some happening off the page, and some happening within Wally's view: the cops and their search for answers, the gang members who want in on the action, Wally's Russian father, and his search for his fortune, and some people who were a complete surprise to me. Though the secondary characters are a bit lacking, the story is not. These people and events all come together to create a thrilling story, that entertains as much as it shocks.

Temp. Guide
January LaVoy does an excellent job in bringing Klesko, and other Russian characters, to life. Her Russian accent and actual speech is--to my untrained ears--perfect. She gives perfect inflection to the voices of cops, street kids, and other characters (including a great Aussie accent). Sadly, the one voice I did not like was the main character, Wally's--meaning it's the one I heard the most. When Wally spoke, there was often something that seemed off about her voice; she actually sounded bratty at times, like a child at other times, and sometimes even sounded like an older woman. Her voice did not seem to mesh with her character, and it threw me off while listening. Aside from that, the narration is fantastic.

Read this if:
...you like lots of action (especially action movies), and you don't mind the gritty details that come with all that action.

Content Warning
*This section may contain spoilers about content!*
Highlight between the brackets to reveal the text.
{Violence (shootouts, a character being beaten, etc.), multiple murders, talk of mature subjects like sex & rape (non-descriptive), drug use, and lots of swearing--including use of the 'F' word, and religious names.}

Purchase Dark Eyes:
William Richter:
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  1. That's disappointing that the secondary characters weren't as fleshed out as Wally...but I do love action-packed books. I might check this out at my library.

    Great review! :)

    1. By the way - I love your rating method/Fever meter. Very original!

    2. Thanks! I'm glad you like my fever meter; I'm pretty proud of it. :) I hope you read this one though, especially if you like action.

  2. I have to admit the minute I see that a book has some sort of crime solving mystery my eyes glaze over. I used to love mysteries. It was all I read. Guess I burned myself out or something. :(

    1. I hear you on that. I used to be obsessed with love triangles and forbidden love, until I burned myself out. Too much of a good thing, right?

  3. Great honest review. I like the thought of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for teens. I should try this one.

  4. I don't know how it compares since I have read GWTDT, but I'd love to know what you think about it if you read it. I'll keep an eye out to see if you review it. :)


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