Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: The Near Witch

Author: Victoria Schwab
Publish date: 2011
Source: Library
"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.

I don't remember hearing too much about this novel when it debuted in August, but I've seen it around the internet a bit lately and thought it sounded pretty interesting. The blurb on Goodreads makes it sound really compelling and mysterious, but I have to admit, the book did not live up to my expectations.

I definitely thought the best thing about The Near Witch was the writing. Ms. Schwab has quite a way with words and her writing was simply beautiful. It reminded me a little of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus in that it was really descriptive and I felt like I was there, living in Near. Everything was poetic and just flowed.

What I didn't enjoy about The Near Witch is that the story just seemed slow and somewhat repetitive. It seemed like every few scenes were the same thing and I sometimes felt like I was reading the same paragraphs over and over. The plot started picking up in the last 50 or so pages, but it ended in what I thought was an anticlimactic way that left me disappointed.

I know some people really loved this novel, but it just wasn't for me. If you've read it, what did you think?

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