The Seer

The Other Side of Red

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
243 Pages
Reviewed on 03/13/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

A.R. Curtis is the author of The Seer, bk 1 in The Other Side of Red series, and is currently working on book 2. You can find more information on her author site: https://arcurtis.com

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Seer: The Other Side of Red is a work of urban fantasy fiction written by author A.R. Curtis. Focusing on the darker side of the modern fantasy genre, our story follows heroine Emily Hunts as she is chosen to develop her powers of sorcery. Although this is an exciting opportunity, the motives behind her tutor’s actions are truly sinister, for he is a deep, dark, powerful creature who has been beguiled by Emily and fallen in love with her. As her powers rise, he will be forced to unveil his many secrets and bring her deeper into his world of magic and the darkness of the night.

The Seer is a stylistically beautiful work, full of colors, images, sounds and textures that really bring the creepy and romantic elements of the tale to life. Plot-wise it reminded me of The Phantom of the Opera, with the young promising apprentice and the dark master guiding her as his obsession with her slowly grows. However, this is a plot which was handled tactfully and didn’t rush into the insta-love of so many dark romances these days. A.R. Curtis crafts a lush narrative that weaves in a strong and convincing lore of magical powers, as well as a mythology of darkness and ‘the other side’ that was very exciting to read about. As the first in a series, I think this book could be the start of an epic magical adventure into darkness, and I’d highly recommend The Seer to dark fantasy fans everywhere.

Amy Raines

The Seer: The Other Side Of Red, Book 1 by A.R. Curtis tells the story a young girl named Emily Hunts, a six-month-old baby left to the care of Alice Hunts. The vampire, Raoul, has entrusted Alice with Emily’s safety and explicit instructions for Alice to teach and train Emily in the ways of her family’s witchcraft. However, Raoul is unaware that the family’s magic is cursed and can only be taught within the bloodline, which inhibits Alice from teaching the girl as instructed. This could prove to be very dangerous, considering the girl is being actively hunted. Emily grows up and learns that she can see things others cannot, the dead for example, and begins training with a secret mentor. Will the things Emily learns in secret be enough to protect her from the Devil himself or the dangers that are far worse than the Devil?

The Seer is a very magical and interesting trip through a wonderful world of fantasy that intertwines all the mystical and mythological beings such as fairies, vampires, witches, wizards and demons that any reader would enjoy. The plot is thick with magic and the unrelenting questions of the young witch as she tries to find herself in a world of endless secrets about her origins. I love the way Curtis relates the characters so that anyone can easily understand their place in the story and the reality they serve in The Seer. I recommend The Seer because Curtis has taken the ideas hiding in legend, myth and fantasy and laced them together in a story line that continuously unfolds to something new. From fairies to mermaids and talking trees, The Seer has it all. I will definitely be on the lookout for the following books in The Other Side Of Red series. I can’t wait to see what new ideas Curtis will spin for readers in the future.

Lit Amri

Emily Hunts is wanted by something worse than the Devil. Her vampire uncle gave Alice Hunts, her adopted Nan, the responsibility to raise and protect her since she was baby. Yet, the nearly 18-year-old Emily is getting restless and curious about her origins and everyone is getting antsy about her safety. What they don’t know is that a powerful being already found Emily when she was a child and has been mentoring her in using her skills as a sorceress and a seer.

In The Seer (The Other Side of Red, Book 1) by A.R. Curtis, the red veil separates the world of the living from the world of beings and creatures that many perceive as mythical or extinct, even by the witches themselves. The Hunts and their friends live peacefully in Kansas, but the other side of the red veil is vast and filled with vampires, ghosts, fairies, pixies, seraphims and many more. Combined with the history of the witches, their tradition, ranks, and their magic system, there’s a lot of detail to take in at times, but the world-building is undoubtedly creative and fascinating.

The plot is moderately paced and has good twists with a lot of secrets and truth to be discovered. There are a number of lead characters who are deftly handled and developed. Emily is easy to root for while Lucian is not easy to figure out. I have a soft spot for Jeb, the ‘normal’ who’s eager to learn and earn his place among the witches, mages, and wizards. Overall, The Seer might be slightly slow for readers who prefer a faster plot pace, but it’s an imaginative tale and a solid Book I from Curtis for the series.

K.J. Simmill

Alice had wanted more than anything to have a child. She and her husband had been trying for a while without joy, and so after much consideration, she resorted to the secrets hidden in her family grimoire. The spell didn't quite work as she expected, but she got a baby. A child she named Emily and swore to protect from darkness, but this child had more darkness after her than Alice could ever imagine. Seers were thought to be extinct, but as Emily grows up she realizes she is seeing more than everyone else; she sees through the red, the veil between the living and the other world. Her secret mentor is guiding her studies, helping her understand her gift. She thinks of him as an angel, but she has no idea how wrong she is or the plans he has for her. Emily is destined to be a great sorceress, the likes of which have not been seen since Elizabeth I, the kind those of darkness fear. However, this is assuming she can continue to escape those who would ensure she can never fully realize her powers or her heritage.

A.R. Curtis' The Seer is the first instalment in The Other Side of Red series. As an urban fantasy, it has a lot to offer. Those with magic use it, those without, the normals, doubt its existence. Just like those who can see through the red, Emily knows it's real, and yet anyone she had once tried to tell put it down to her imagination until she no longer spoke of it. Through the red is an array of mythical beings, spirits and shadows, creatures thought to exist only in legends and fears. The characters are well developed with their own personalities and traits, which make them special. Of all the characters, I thought Emily and Lucian were the strongest and they both have more than one surprise in store for the reader. As the first book in the series, it offers some good scene setting and special world building which helps the reader to understand the world of those with magic. Secrets, fear, truth, revelations, and magic weave an enchantment over the reader to keep them turning page after page, trying to unlock the truth of not only Emily's heritage but the danger she faces. There is a lot of promise for this series, and it will no doubt appeal to a wide audience.

Caitlin Lyle Farley

Alice Hunts, a witch descended from a long line of witches, is desperate for a baby. So far, nothing has worked so she turns to the grimoire of her family’s dark magic. Her spell fails, but that same day a vampire leaves a baby on her doorstep with some specific instructions and a warning that a powerful demon is after the child, whom Alice names Emily. As Emily grows up with her adopted family in Kansas, she becomes aware that she can see things even other witches can’t see, things like the pixies that guard the forest, the dead witch, Catherine, and the shadowy silhouette called Lucian who becomes her mentor. Alice never warns her about the dark forces hunting Emily and time is now running short as Emily draws closer to her eighteenth birthday, the day when her true identity will be revealed in The Seer: The Other Side of Red by A.R. Curtis.

Curtis uses the concept of the Red, a veil between the physical and spiritual planes, to bring a tense, almost frightening atmosphere to The Seer through the characters' inability to perceive everything happening around them. It is magnificent. The Harry Potter-esque air of magic use in everyday life is tempered somewhat by more traditional Wiccan elements such as goddess worship and observation of Samhain. Emily came across as being a little too naïve at times, but this works into the plot as doubts arise about who can be trusted and who is actually telling the truth. Other characters are likeable, if a little bland. The Seer: The Other Side of Red by A.R. Curtis is a tense YA Urban Fantasy with a convincing world mythology and an intriguing plot.