Monday, August 29, 2011
The Near Witch review
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 thoughts: The more books I review, the more timid I am about the books I get that (just about) everyone seems to love. Since I can be very weird at times, I sometimes go the opposite way of everyone else. So if everyone loves a book, I sometimes won’t even want to finish it.
And at first, that’s what seemed to be happening when I started reading The Near Witch. The village seemed dull, the stranger boring and the plot slow. But once the history behind the village and their “stories” were revealed, things got WAY more interesting. I can’t even believe how difficult it was to keep reading (until about the 8th chapter) because once I got into it, I couldn’t stop!
The plot itself was so suspenseful., because even though it was obvious that the main character had a time limit to finding the reason for the disappearances in town, and it was obvious who was doing it, there were still enough twist and turns to make me grip the book multiple times because I was so concerned Lexi couldn’t solve the “mystery” in time.
Speaking of Lexi, I love the way she narrated! Just about every section she spoke about pertaining to the Moor, her family (especially her dad), the stranger and the sister witches was “quotable” and eloquent. And those wonderful moments just showed how gorgeous the writing was in general.
And though Lexi was my favorite thing about this book, the Moor was my second. At times it was described in such a way that it seemed to become an actual character. It reminded me of the pagoda in Please Ignore Vera Dietz, even though the Moor never uttered any actual words.
With this mixture of a love story, mystery, fairy tale and gorgeous writing, The Near Witch made for an incredible debut from Victoria Schwab.