Bro, I love it when books are creepy on multiple levels and atmospheric and leave me with SOME questions but then also have some kissing. Yes, I totally just described The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab. Because it is ALL OF THOSE THINGS.
Lexi lives in the town of Near. There are zero strangers in Near. Everyone knows everyone. Two good witches named Magda and Dreska live on the edge of town. One night a smokin’ stranger shows up in Near. Lexi is intrigued AND OH BY THE WAY the stranger’s arrival coincides with the disappearance of a local child. Naturally the town is out for blood.
What I enjoyed most about The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab was the atmospheric writing. I could feel the claustrophobia of the moor. I could hear the wind singing. Of course, I also had a picture of the village from that movie THE VILLAGE in mind. Still I enjoyed the details Victoria Schwab put into world building. Although okay my questions – how did they have rifles when they mentioned that no one ever comes into Near? Do they have a rifle factory? Also, what time period is this? I mean, because of the rifles and all. I have no idea.
And yo, the goosebumps came. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab is spooky. There are layers of spook. Sure, the witch is scary with her anger and magic, but I found the neighbors to be more perturbing. Mainly because the residents of Near want to scapegoat the disappearances on Cole without proof. Yeah, total YIKES moment right there.
Okay, so Cole is the stranger in the night. And like all night strangers, not that I have much experience with night strangers, he is mysterious and lonely and has a sad past. And Lexi, the main character is totally into him. Expect kissing, yo. Unless you are 7, I don’t think that is a spoiler.
The Near Witch is Victoria Schwab’s debut and hell, I enjoyed it. I believe authors improve over time, so um, friends, when is her sophomore book out? BECAUSE I WANT IT BADLY! Look, I like witches and creepy crawly feelings and kissing and atmospheric reads, so of course I am excited for wherever Schwab’s career may take her.
Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley BUT THEN IT EXPIRED so I borrowed this from my library. Not sure how the FTC interprets that, ha ha.