Monday, 22 August 2011

Review: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Published: August 2nd 2011
Publisher: Hyperion books

Goodreads description:

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 thoughts:

I love love love Victoria's writing style!! It was so beautiful, haunting and gripping. The present tense point of view really worked for this book, especially when things got a bit tense. I think it definitely added to the fact that Lexi felt a bit isolated in her own village, being one of the only ones to believe the stranger wasn't responsible for what was happening. The characters were all well written; I especially adored Cole and Wren was very very cute. I love how Lexi's mother developed in this book as well and the sisters who lived on the outskirts were fantastic. 

The story itself was so original, part folklore part myth part paranoia and even part truth. I adored it, I adored the story of the near witch and of the interactions between all the villagers.  I loved the level of mob mentality that existed as a result of the children going missing, it was really interesting to see how they all reacted as one group (well, nearly all of them) and the extent they would go to to get the children back. 

The only negative I have for this book was that it felt a bit too long and slightly repetitive. The ending dragged for me, and I felt myself wishing it would just hurry up. I think Lexi went out to do the same thing three times, and I was just a bit frustrated by the repetition there. Despite that though The Near Witch is a fantastic and thrilling read and I give it 4/5


  1. I think every review I've read has commented on Victoria's beautiful writing style. I think I want to read the book just for that alone! But it sounds really good and I love the fairy tale type vibe people have mentioned. Fantastic review, I need to bump this one up on my wishlist!

  2. I love the sound of the story - definitely sounds original! I like the mixture of folklore, myth, truth etc - combined with the beautiful writing style, this book looks amazing. Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. I have yet to see a negative review of this one, and even though I wasn't sure if it would be my kind of thing, I think I'll have to check it out now! :)

  4. This novel sounds quite original. I love the myth and folklore combined in a story.

  5. I do love the idea of this book and it's getting such good reviews - I will have to check it out!

  6. Great review! I've been wanting to check this one out and I'm glad it was so enjoyable for you!

  7. I really LOVED this one, glad you enjoyed it as well. The ending was a bit slow but alright.

  8. I have read so many reviews singing this books praises that I'm going to have to read it soon. A great story together with beautiful writing? Yes please!

  9. Loooooooooooooved this book! I don't know if it's possible to NOT comment on how gorgeous Victoria's writing is. The way she weaves her words... *happy sigh* Great review! :)

  10. I have read so many great reviews of this book!!

    This is one that I will definitely be buying at some point :D

  11. I haven't read anything from Schwab. I think I need to though. Totally slacking on that end. Great review. I also wanted to stop by and thank you for letting me know about the nomination. I really really appreciate it.

    XOX - PJ

  12. Schwab's writing is enchanting and the story itself is reminiscent of childhood fairytales and stories told over the campfire.


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