|The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab|
* Book will be released on August 2, 2011
This beautifully written book gets a glorious 5 gnomes out of 5 gnomes for its strong characters, lyrical writing quality and having a story that just draws you in so you'll be eagerly awaiting what happens next. I loved this book. The setting was mysterious yet creepy at the same time and the tension throughout was palpable.
Lexi is a marvelous main character and heroine in general. She is strong and capable in a town that doesn't really reward this kind of behavior in women. I wanted to cheer when she punched someone in the face who really deserved it. She learned a lot about the world from her father about tracking, hunting and witches too.
Her family hasn't been the same since her father's death. She's much more restricted by her uncle Otto then she ever was by her father. Lexi's mother is a shell of her former self but at times you can still see the love she has for her daughters.
As the story opens Lexi is telling her sister Wren the story of the Near witch. Witches in this world are real but are also feared and misunderstood. Lexi knows about witches because her father respected their ways and what they stood for. The witches in Near are the Thorne sisters, Magda and Dreska. They look out for the town but people still don't trust them.
The moor itself definitely feels like its own character and is integral to the story. It sets the atmosphere very well and really adds to the spookiness. The wind too has a major impact in the story, I know I'll never look at a windy day the same way again.
At night Lexi sees a stranger out on the moor but as she's watching he just seems to disappear into thin air. The next day the town finds out that a child has gone missing. Of course this leads people to blame the stranger for the missing child. Then kids continue to go missing.
With children missing the tension in the village rises because they need someone to blame. So then the for lack of a better term, witch hunt really begins.
There's quite the mystery to solve about who the stranger is and who exactly is taking the children. There's romance among the mystery but it takes a tragic turn at times so the reader is not sure if there will be a happy ending. The bad guy in this book is one scary son of a gun and the final resolution is an awesome read.
Overall this was a wonderfully written gem of a story. I cannot wait to see what Victoria Schwab writes next.