Review: Dark Eyes by William Richter

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
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.

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

Dark Eyes is yet another one of those books I've been dying to read ever since I first heard about it. The fact that it was being marketed as the teen version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo caught my eye from the start, and I have to admit, the actual story sounded pretty darn amazing as well. As it turns, Dark Eyes was an enthralling and staggering read, and while I had a few tiny problems with it, it's definitely worth a read.

Dark Eyes begins the story of Wally, a girl who lives on the streets with her best friends, Ella, Tevin, and Jake, three other kids running from their pasts.Wally, however, doesn't fit the typical definition of a street kid. She comes from a wealthy family. Her mother adores her, and while her dad's always been distant, he's always seemed to care a little as well. However, due to the fact that Wally was adopted from Russia, she's constantly on the lookout for the feelings of belonging, something she thinks she will discover on the streets of New York City. Everything changes, though, when a piece of her past falls right into her lap, but is the piece she's been dying for, the one that will change everything for good this time, or something that will kill her as well as well her loved ones in due time? Only time and more pages can tell in this stellar start to the Dark Eyes series!

Wally was a character I had mixed feelings about from the start. I could understand why she was the way she was- distant, cold, and even a bit troubled- based on her past alone. However, I never could really find a common ground with her. She was an interesting character, though, one who was always there for her friends in good times and bad, and I feel that any adoptive child who's ever wondered about their parents will be able to relate to Wally's desire to find her birth mother, even though I doubt similar events would ever follow them. The characters I really enjoyed in this book, though, were the side characters, such as Wally's mother Claire, her friends, especially Tevin. They all managed to add a great little edge to the book. The bad characters in this one such as Klesko and his son also added some great fright to the read, and I also found it interesting to see just what they were looking for.

The plot in this was the high point of the novel though. It contained so many exciting twists and turns, one that I barley saw coming at times. I especially enjoyed how Dark Eyes featured POVs from various characters. It really gave me as the reader an insider look to everyone, which helped all the characters really grow in my eyes. The ending in this one was also KILLER. It wasn't what I was expecting, and while I found it to be bittersweet, it has be excited to see what's next for Wally and her friends.

In all, Dark Eyes by William Richter is an exciting addition to the YA thriller genre...a read I specifically suggest to fans of read that keep them on the edge of their seats!

Grade: B

Dark Eyes (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads) is now out!

Source: Publisher- thanks Penguin!  


  1. I agree about Wally. I never really felt that connected to her because, despite the fact that she didn't know who her mother was, she still grew up with a lot of privilege. I liked the action, though. I think this woudl make a great movie.

  2. This sounds different, thank you for sharing your thoughts on it! I've had Dark Eyes on my TBR for awhile now, but it never really captured my attention until now. Nice, honest review!


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