The Near Witch by V.E Schwab
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication: March 12, 2019
My Rating: 3.5/5
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.
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.
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.
This book was sent to me by Titan Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
The Near Witch is the story of a young girl who is trying to figure out the mystery behind the disappearance of children in the village while investigating a stranger — in the town of Near there are no strangers.
Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is very different in style than her other works. You can feel her trying to get her own writing style. Schwab is a queen in concise description — the perfect short and sweet visuals. In The Near Witch, her descriptions are very wordy and it almost felt like she was trying too hard. However, I went into this novel 100% aware that this is her first novel and people grow and improve — which she has.
Lexi is an outcast, but that doesn’t let her stop her. Her uncle and the village want her to sit still and do the things women do, but Lexi doesn’t want any of that. She is strong to herself and takes the matter into her hands in order to prevent her younger sister from being taken.
Much like Schwab’s other novels, The Near Witch was a bit slow at the beginning but once you hit the 80-page mark it begins to get intense and action pack. You will be immediately captivated into the world of Near and never want to leave.
Lexi’s character felt rich and real. However, other the characters felt that they were just there and not very significant to the story. Her mom was just sorta there. Lexi’s best friend was made to seem important at the start of the novel only to become irrelevant, forgotten and just there. There was also a random instant love in less than 24 hours which caught me very off guard but I am willing to forgive that.
The Near Witch was an interesting read, I am happy it was brought back into circulation because it can be a good introduction into young adult urban fantasy literature.