"The Near Witch" Review

"The Near Witch"
by Victoria Schwab

Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: Aug 2, 2011 
Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

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 Review:

This is a truly unique book, and I enjoyed reading something so different, even though I didn't really love it.

I appreciate the author's writing style and her ability to create a world that seems to exist outside of any traditional time period or geographical region. She never tells you when or where the story is set, it's simply a mystical small village. There are really no references to structures, clothing, etc, or anything that would give the reader clues as to time and place. This almost dreamlike aspect of the story was probably my favorite part.

I also liked the small, fable-like lessons and observations sprinkled throughout the book. They added to old fashioned and folk tale like nature of the story.

I liked the romance between Lexi and Cole. They genuinely cared for each other, and they helped and protected each other even in the face of great danger. It was never one sided where Cole would swoop in and save the damsel in distress, they shared their battles.

Still, something about the actual plot didn't really grab me or pull me in. I never felt truly scared of the Near Witch.

Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 3/5 (almost too light, doesn't grab me)
Writing: 4/5

Bottom Line: The writing style and dreamy setting are truly fascinating, even when the plot itself becomes slow.


  1. For some reason I am not drawn to this book. Is it the spooky stuff? Who knows. Still you do make it sound good

  2. Thanks for the great review. I haven't been drawn to this book even though its been getting some really good reviews. The storyline doesn't quite grab me.

  3. A lot of people loved this one but it's never really grabbed my attention. At least the romance isn't annoying but yeah - a witch should be scary.

  4. What a disappointment that the witch wasn't too scary! I don't get a spooky feeling from the cover either. At least it sounds like the setting was well done.

  5. I've been seeing this one around a lot but haven't been that tempted to read it - I like the concept though, and glad you enjoyed the romance. It's shame you weren't truly scared by the Near Witch, still, I think I probably will read this eventually. And I actually like the cover! :)

  6. I have this one for review. Glad you liked it. That's interesting about not giving us a sense of time and place. I usually think that's a very important part of fiction, but since the story is dreamlike it sounds intriguing. I agree with you on the cover!

  7. I didn't love Cole so I didn't love their relationship, but I like what you said about it. You're right, it was refreshing that they worked together and shared their battles.

  8. I felt the same way. I loved the writing and the story was interesting, but nothing ever pulled me into the story.

  9. This one seems to have had a lot of hype. Sorry to hear it wasn't as great as you had hoped.


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!