Tuesday, October 18, 2011



The Near Witch


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. 

 First off, I have to say I loved the language of this book. It was lovely. Victoria Schwab has created a very beautiful world. The pages drip with personality and feeling and I was captured by it from page one.

The only (small) things that I can complain about: perhaps a cliche phrase here and there (which, really, is out of character compared to the lyrical, fresh voice throughout), and a plot that, at times, seemed to go backward just when the conflict begins. But even that, I wonder if she did on purpose. There is an interweaving of earthy things throughout. Rocks, twigs, water, wind. These are all things that she uses as visual elements, which are very important to the fabric of the story. So, in a way, her writing mimics something like the wind or the current of the sea, ebbing and flowing. Coming forward and little and then going back a little. And though the story line wasn't the strongest --it wasn't quite there yet for me--I still loved it. I gave it four out of five stars on Goodreads.

I would love to read anything by Victoria Schwab. The only question left unanswered for me in this book would be, What is Cole's real name??? =) But, in all seriousness, a great Halloween read. How can you go wrong with a witch story?


A Backwards Story said...

I loved this book so much. It's so visual and descriptive. I'm so glad that you liked it too. I can't wait for THE ARCHIVED!!

Amanda J. said...

I actually just got my copy in yesterday and am trying to finish my current read before jumping in. I'm glad you enjoyed it an that there wasn't anything that you thought was really negative in it. Thanks for the honest review! :)

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

Thanks, you guys! Yes, this is a very good read, clean and beautifully written.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I've heard good thinks about this. I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the review.