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Literary, etc

Literary, etc is an eclectic blog where we talk & review books, films, & whatever strikes our mood.

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Fateful Eyes: Volume 1: The Puzzle and the Journey

Fateful Eyes: Volume 1: The Puzzle and the Journey - Panos Nomikos Panos Nomikos’s Fateful Eyes is about self discovery. Peter is going about his normal business and out of the blue receives a mysterious message. Someone wants to meet with him and he has no idea why. Through a series of flashbacks between 2005 and 2001, we learn Peter is looking for a woman who claims to be his daughter. As he attempts to uncover her identity, Peter goes through his own personal journey to find his place in the world. He’s experienced success, but he’s also had a series of setbacks. When someone claims to be his daughter, questions are raised if it could be true or if it’s someone trying to blackmail him. Unfortunately, Peter doesn’t believe the young lady and by the time he comes to grip with his reality, she disappears. Will Peter be able to find her and unravel the mystery or will he find out it was all a ruse?I liked Nomiko’s Fateful Eyes. As far as characterization, we get to know Peter very well. After all, this is his story and it’s no surprise that Nomikos focuses primarily on Peter’s career as well as his life in Greece. Leila is the big mystery because I don’t feel like we know entirely who she is. Several characters question her motives and I feel that she’s a questionable character. Then there’s the mysterious daughter. Is she who she claims to be or is this a scheme to fleece Peter? Plot development is good; however, at times I felt the amount of back story given to Peter’s past and his career was overwhelming. By the time we got to the central part of the story and Peter’s journey, I lost interest, but it quickly picked up once again during Peter’s search. The suspense leading up to Peter questioning key characters as to who the mother of his daughter could be was well done. There are more questions than answers and even though Peter discounts 3 out of the 4 women, I kept wondering why he discounted Helen quickly and when he kept focusing on Marina I wanted to shake him. I keep insisting Helen is the answer to this mystery, but alas I could be wrong. The writing is good, but as I’ve stated I felt overwhelmed at times. I understand the reason why Nomikos gives us so much history, but at the same time I felt I could have done without a few scenes. Nomikos does a great job with rich descriptions. His account of 9/11 and a character’s narrow escape, made me feel as if I were there. Peter’s time in Greece was lovely to read and I could picture myself walking alongside Peter. Every time his heart would break because Sofia or Helen didn’t return his feelings, I could feel his heartache and his desperation. A reviewer brought up an interesting concept, Peter falling in the love with the idea of love and it makes sense. At no time does he give his relationships time to fully develop before he’s smitten. Look at how quickly he and Leila got together! I also feel that Peter isn’t 100% in love with Leila, but he’s at the point in his life that he’s dedicated so much time with her and she’s supported him, that he needs to be with her as a form of payment perhaps. Nomikos also weaves a bit of humor. I loved Peter’s reaction to Greece becoming “modernized” when he sees Greece accept the Euro. In one scene, he’s just arrived in Greece and he notices the queue for a taxi is like any other normal European city and he remarks “A civilized queue! Has this country been transformed so radically already?”I debated heavily with the rating between a three and four. Ultimately I decided on a four due to the rich descriptions and for keeping me on my toes regarding the identity of his daughter and who her mother is. It ends in a cliffhanger and there are a lot of questions to be answered. Why was Peter being questioned by the police and why were they asking him about Leila’s political leanings? Who is the woman in the picture? Ultimately, will Peter find out who his daughter really is? I look forward to reading the second portion of his series and see if my assumption is proven right or wrong.Review originally posted at Literary, etc.