Friday, September 30, 2011

The Near Witch - Victoria Schwab

Synopsis: 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. 



The Near Witch is one of those books that just completely puts a spell over you. Lexi and her town seem to be straight out of an old German fairy tale or possibly even a tale that is told with flashlights around a campfire in the middle of the woods. Basically, Victoria Schwab is an exquisite storyteller and the story she's told here doesn't seem to be based off of a timeless fairytale, it seems to actually be a timeless fairytale. 


Lexi is an incredible character and I love the way she speaks to tolerance, even if in this case it's tolerance for the supernatural. Really, she serves as a connector between people and the things that they don't understand. She also speaks to belief in things that are hard to believe in and how to deal with loss. There's an awesome parallel between keeping the spirit of her dead father alive and trying to banish the spirit of the dead witch of Near. 


So, through the book when all these stories are told and children are disappearing, you get the sense that people are scared. Still, there's nothing physical to be afraid of. They're all afraid of ideas - of things that could exist. Then when there's actually something real showing up, holy wow. Between the spooky setting and the magic and all the stories, it's a frightening experience.


And Cole, the nameless boy, is just wonderful. He's careful and strong. He has secrets. Add in the fact that he's hanging close to the two living witches of Near, he's downright mysterious. 


This book wasn't what I expected. I don't really know what I expected, actually, but a chapter in, I was surprised. By the time I finished, I knew that there was no way I could have expected anything better than it was. This is such a wonderfully told, incredibly written story. 

1 comment:

  1. I really want this book.I have heard nothing but great things. Love your review too, it makes me want to read it even more.

    ReplyDelete

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Near Witch - Victoria Schwab

Synopsis: 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. 



The Near Witch is one of those books that just completely puts a spell over you. Lexi and her town seem to be straight out of an old German fairy tale or possibly even a tale that is told with flashlights around a campfire in the middle of the woods. Basically, Victoria Schwab is an exquisite storyteller and the story she's told here doesn't seem to be based off of a timeless fairytale, it seems to actually be a timeless fairytale. 


Lexi is an incredible character and I love the way she speaks to tolerance, even if in this case it's tolerance for the supernatural. Really, she serves as a connector between people and the things that they don't understand. She also speaks to belief in things that are hard to believe in and how to deal with loss. There's an awesome parallel between keeping the spirit of her dead father alive and trying to banish the spirit of the dead witch of Near. 


So, through the book when all these stories are told and children are disappearing, you get the sense that people are scared. Still, there's nothing physical to be afraid of. They're all afraid of ideas - of things that could exist. Then when there's actually something real showing up, holy wow. Between the spooky setting and the magic and all the stories, it's a frightening experience.


And Cole, the nameless boy, is just wonderful. He's careful and strong. He has secrets. Add in the fact that he's hanging close to the two living witches of Near, he's downright mysterious. 


This book wasn't what I expected. I don't really know what I expected, actually, but a chapter in, I was surprised. By the time I finished, I knew that there was no way I could have expected anything better than it was. This is such a wonderfully told, incredibly written story. 

1 comment:

  1. I really want this book.I have heard nothing but great things. Love your review too, it makes me want to read it even more.

    ReplyDelete