The Near Witch
Publisher: Hyperion Books CH
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Ratings: 5 Stars
Wow. The Near Witch is such a lyrical, beautiful debut. I cannot even describe the awe I was in while reading this book.
The first thing about this book that will capture your attention and hold you captivated is the writing. The writing is impeccable. From the first line, the writing captivates your senses: “It starts with a crack, a sputter and a spark.” I found myself in awe of the beauty of the writing. Victoria Schwab is able to write such beautiful descriptions, I literally could picture everything There are so many beautifully written passages. I felt wrapped up in the story because of the writing. Victoria’s writing captivates the senses, literally making you think you can hear the wind and feel the breeze on the moors. It’s amazing the effect her writing has. There are just such beautiful passages and phrases. One of my favorite lines from the entire book is “The wind is lonely.” I think that is such a beautiful sentiment and makes complete sense. Wind is an extremely important element in this book and Victoria is able to capture the many different aspects of wind spot on. While the writing is so beautiful, it does not seem forced. Victoria’s writing seems so effortless, a fact a bet was not true, but it just flows so seamlessly and effortless, a skill some writers can never attain in their writing.
While I could continue on and on about how the writing left me in awe and literally gave shivers because it was so good, I will continue on to the other aspects of the book. I loved the character of Lexi. She is such a strong heroine. In a town were women are supposed to stay at home and take care of the children, Lexi is not afraid to defy authority or her family to fight for what is right. I loved that even though Lexi’s uncle would expressly tell Lexi to stay home and even force her to stay home, she would still manage to escape and try to figure out the mystery of the disappearances. Lexi always had the best intentions in mind, keeping those she loved safe, and would not be influenced by the towns irrational fear of outsiders. When Lexi knows something is wrong, she is willing to stand up a fight, no matter what the consequence. I really loved Lexi’s relationship with her younger sister Wren. You could really feel how much Lexi loves and looks out for her younger sister. Wren is what motivates Lexi to fight for the truth; she is willing to do anything to keep her younger sister safe. That type of love is hard to fake and their relationship immediately jumps off the page and is extremely relatable to any person who has a sibling, or loves some enough to do anything to protect them.
Then there is Cole. Cole is this mysterious enigma. Lexi knows little about him and so do the readers. He is a strange in the town of Near, an outsider, and instant scapegoat. He is a mystery. I loved how his role was unraveled and slowly the mystery behind Cole was peeled away. Cole was definitely a mystery that I liked unraveling. He was so secretive and very sad and I wanted to know why. I also sympathized with him because the people of Near automatically jumped on Cole as the culprit of the disappearance even as he was helping Lexi try a solve the problems. The length that Cole ends up going to help Lexi is extraordinary. You really end up sympathizing with him and hating the men of Near for what they do to him because they think that because he is a strange and arrived right as the disappearance occurred that he must be responsible and he is the only thing that could be responsible.
Once I started this book, I found it nearly impossible to put it down. I was engrossed in the story. The mystery of the disappearance was intriguing and had me turning pages until Lexi figured it out. I really enjoyed the sections of the plot that dealt with Lexi deifying what naturally expected of her and the conflict between herself and her Uncle Otto. Those scenes were some of my favorites. Towards the end of the book, the action really picked up and the last couple of chapters flew by until the book was over. I really liked how Victoria Schwab was able to wrap up everything in the end and I was satisfied with how she chose to end everything.
This book is a must read. It’s stunningly beautiful. I will definitely be picking up a finished copy to have one my bookshelf because it is just so beautifully written and captivating. It left me in awe and I felt I would never be able to explain how this book made me felt.