Hi friends! I’m not usually posting reviews on Sundays, but… I’m a little late with all my reviews and, well… why am I justifying myself, really, can’t I do whatever I want?! Anyway, so here goes! Today I’m going to be talking about The Near Witch, written by none other than an author whose works I have adored, Victoria Schwab.
There are no spoilers in this review.
The Near Witch, Victoria Schwab
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.
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.
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.
I ENJOYED... ❤️
- If there is something Schwab is good at, before with her debut book or with her latest releases, it’s how she creates settings. The Near Witch may be the author’s debut, yet I could feel here the roots of the incredible writer that created A Darker Shade of Magic (which is, for me, one of the best world-buildings I’ve ever read about). The Near Witch is set in a small town surrounded by moors and trees and whispering winds, and legends of old witches and honestly, it was chilling and such a delight to read, too. SO, very atmospheric, I loved it.
- In this great setting, Schwab sets up a mystery with a stranger appearing around town, children disappearing from their beds and the author instantly managed to pull me into this mystery with her, wondering what was right or wrong and wanting to know what happens, too.
- Lexi was a good main character, too, I loved her determination into solving the mystery, protecting who she thinks is innoncent and her fierce, fierce love and protective instinct towards her sister just warmed my heart and made it turn into jelly because SIBLINGS.
- There was an interesting cast of characters surrounding Lexi: I liked her complex relationship with her mother and how she supported her as the story went on, I… well, frowned at her relationship with Otto and I downright hated Tyler, but that made for a varied cast and different interesting interactions for sure.
- COLE! Was a great character to follow for sure, the stranger with an intriguing backstory that you slowly get to know, the one you’re not sure whether or not to trust, at first, and so on. I really liked every interaction with him SO much.
About The Ash-Born Boy.
- The Ash-Born Boy is an additional short story set in the Near Witch universe that was present in my edition of the Near Witch (by Titan Books). telling Cole’s story and I have to say, I think I appreciated his story even more than the rest of it all, somehow. It wasn’t an easy story to read, that’s for sure (trigger warning for self-harm mostly), but I appreciated seeing where Cole came from, how his own story started, his universe and so on, this was SO compelling to read, I really enjoyed it a lot!
I HAD A HARD TIME WITH…💔
- I wasn’t entirely sold on the romance in the story: for me, it felt a little bit (a lot) rushed and unecessary, based on some chemistry or feelings I did not see coming or building up and… it frustrated me a little bit? I know I’m a marshmallow, but to be honest, in this book, I feel like the romance could either have been absent or a little more developed.
With The Near Witch, you can see where Victoria Schwab started and, already, see that she will be an author to look out for, years later. If I wasn’t as in love with this story as I was with her next works, particularily the ADSOM series, I found that The Near Witch, with its great setting and intriguing mystery, managed to captivate me still. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a good, quick and atmospherical kind of read and/or if you’re curious to see where Schwab started. It was certainly obvious, for me, that with a debut like that, she had a long, beautiful road waiting for her.
Final rating: 3 drops!
A million thanks to Titan Books for sending me review copy of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.
Trigger warnings: blood, bullet-wound, physical violence, self-harm (descriptive, only in the additional short story, The Ash-Born Boy).
Did you read The Near Witch? Do you want to?
Did you ever read a book by Victoria Schwab? If yes, which one’s your favorite? (If no, YOU SHOULD!) Let me know in comments!