The Near Witch-Victoria Schwab
Publication date: August 2, 2011
Of note: Debut Author Challenge Book #11
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.
When reading The Near Witch, I couldn't help but imagine the wind whipping past me, and if I'd been reading an actual book instead of an e-galley, the pages would have fluttered spectacularly. This is an elemental novel if ever there was one. I felt the wind, pushed through the fog on the moors and truly felt like I was standing in the town of Near.
The tension is taut, and I kept telling myself I'd read only a few pages before I flipped to the next book I was reading, but I just couldn't stop reading, I had to know what happened next. I kind of hate books that make me anxious to know what's happening next. Okay, obviously I don't really, because that means the author has done their job well.
I loved Lexi, she's strong but has a fragility about her that I found endearing. I enjoyed watching her and Cole's relationship evolve from his being 'the stranger' to something more substantial.
If you're looking for a book that is impossible to put down, The Near Witch is it!