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.
a brief description: In the town of Near, the old ways are being forgotten and old prejudices are embraced. When a mysterious stranger shows up, the very same night the children of Near start disappearing, fear runs rampant; young hunter Lexi must find the children before the boy she is in love with is destroyed.
a few thoughts: The Near Witch is haunting and beautifully crafted. Ms. Schwab has a poetic way with words that pulls the reader in. Her cast of characters is rich, if not slightly one-dimensional.
Lexi is a strong female protagonist who is fighting against her over-bearing uncle and a town filled with shortsighted, prejudice characters. Her love for her sister, Wren, is endearing. Her sorrow over the loss of her father is heartbreaking. And yet, her relationship with her mother falls short. I wish this would have been explored and resolved more fully. Also, the secondary character Tyler was almost too much of a cliche. All his man handling seemed forced and too much of a plot tool, or maybe it was just that he is a tool? (har har har *knee slap*)
Cole, the mysterious stranger, is dark and you guessed it mysterious. The relationship between him and Lexi developed a little to quickly for my liking, but it was still romantically swoon-worthy. Also, I wish there had been a tad bit more time spent on his back history and personal growth. One moment he was an emo mess and the next he was seemingly all better.
The setting of Near is both creepy and stunning, bringing to mind books like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Chime. The paranormal aspect of this novel is organically magical. I always enjoy elemental magic. The plot was predictable but not un-enjoyable.
in summation: The Near Witch is delightfully eerie. If you are a fan of witchy romances set in old timey places then this is the book for you.