Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"The Near Witch" Review

"The Near Witch"
by Victoria Schwab

Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: Aug 2, 2011 
Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

My Review:

This is a truly unique book, and I enjoyed reading something so different, even though I didn't really love it.

I appreciate the author's writing style and her ability to create a world that seems to exist outside of any traditional time period or geographical region. She never tells you when or where the story is set, it's simply a mystical small village. There are really no references to structures, clothing, etc, or anything that would give the reader clues as to time and place. This almost dreamlike aspect of the story was probably my favorite part.

I also liked the small, fable-like lessons and observations sprinkled throughout the book. They added to old fashioned and folk tale like nature of the story.

I liked the romance between Lexi and Cole. They genuinely cared for each other, and they helped and protected each other even in the face of great danger. It was never one sided where Cole would swoop in and save the damsel in distress, they shared their battles.

Still, something about the actual plot didn't really grab me or pull me in. I never felt truly scared of the Near Witch.

Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 3/5 (almost too light, doesn't grab me)
Writing: 4/5

Bottom Line: The writing style and dreamy setting are truly fascinating, even when the plot itself becomes slow.

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