The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Pages - 284
Source - Bought
Blurb from Goodreads
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.
I think this is my first time reading this author although I have heard the name many times in book groups and sure I have a few others on my tbrm. This is a standalone, punted as a half fairy tale half love story, I am not sure I would use any of them to describe it to be honest. Lexi is really close to her little sister, her mother hasn't been right since her dad died and uncle Otto is taking the lead of man in the house. Lexi is very much like her dad was and into tracking and getting in and about the thick of everything whereas at sixteen in the village it should be more ladylike and focused on wedding, absolutely not what Lexi has in mind. When a stranger is spotted in the village and then a little child goes missing from their bedroom, a hunt for the stranger begins. When another goes missing the townsfolk are after blood rather than answers. Lexi wants to know who the stranger is and she knows exactly where to go to find out.
I don't know for me there was so many seemingly separate threads that didn't exactly gel or come together or in some cases what was the point. The old witch tale that was used to scare the kids, I liked and thought it was well done. The kids disappearing was almost pied piper vibes, there was no harm or force they just seemed to have disappeared with no trace.
The sisters that Lexi goes to I would have loved to have heard more about them, mysterious, elderly witches, the only two left in the village. I think they would have made for great reading and maybe the author will revisit and do a story on them. I just think for a book about witches (ok The Near Witch implies just one) we wold have had more witches.
I didn't get the mob mentality of wanting to hunt down the stranger, surely you would want to capture them and get some answers, most importantly where are the kids. There were things I liked, things I didn't and some missed opportunities I felt but overall it was fine, 3/5 for me.
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