Author: Victoria Schwab

The Near Witch [Review]

Posted October 30, 2016 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

The Near Witch [Review]The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Published by Hyperion Books CH on August 2nd 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 282
Goodreads
four-stars
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

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.

My Thoughts

V.E. Schwab is a brilliant author. After reading A Darker Shade of Magic, I knew I needed to read anything and everything she wrote. So, I started at the beginning. The Near Witch is an unique and eerie tale, and it’s hard to believe that this was Schwab’s first published novel.

First, the writing is beautiful. I could clearly picture the town of Near and its surrounding woods. The descriptions were amazing, and I relished over every line. There’s definitely been growth in Schwab’s writing with every new novel, but, let’s be honest, it was phenomenal from the beginning.

Then there’s the characters. I genuinely loved Lexi and, even though she makes mistakes, I admired her curiosity and desire to find the true answers to problems instead of leaping on the easy solution at first glance. Everyone in the town had their own story and motivations, and I found myself wanting to know more about each of them, in particular the elders of the town. Lastly, the mysterious boy Lexi sees wound up being my favorite character, and his backstory was the most heart-wrenching of all.

That being said, there were some brief points in the story that fell a little short for me. Pieces of the plot were predictable; however, the paths taken to reach those points were often unanticipated. Really, it’s those twists and turns that kept my eyes hooked on every page. Even though I desperately wanted to know the ending, I didn’t want to miss how the story evolved.

Overall, The Near Witch was an excellent, entertaining, spooky, quick read. So far, V.E. Schwab can do nothing wrong in my book, and, given my thoughts on her most recent novels, that won’t change anytime soon.

 

four-stars
Emily
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Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Posted October 13, 2016 by Lizzie in Review / 1 Comment

Review: This Savage Song by Victoria SchwabThis Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on July 5th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 464
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

My Thoughts

I am always in complete awe of Victoria Schwab. The first of her books that I read was A Darker Shade of Magic, and I should have known how amazing all of her work would keep being! As always, with books I love, this review will be short – AND I will do my best to limit my gushing and use 0f all caps….

To begin, the premise of this book was so interesting. There are three different kinds of monsters that are explained easily through a song that the characters reference multiple times throughout the book. The world they live in is basically ours with a few easy twists to understand, and it builds itself. Literally – Schwab hardly hard to do any heavy lifting – both of the main characters build the world for you instantly. It’s amazing, and terrifying.

I loved the two main characters, Kate and August. They were both so different, with believable quirks and easy chemistry. I think one of my favorite aspects of this book was that Scwab did not feel the need to make the two characters have romantic interest in each other simply because they were a boy and girl in close proximity to one another. Their relationship was complicated, and gut wrenching, and intimate in it’s own right. This allowed for so much more deep individual character exploration and action to take place around the central plot, as opposed to a few different unrelated subplots to keep the romance aspect going. (This also kept the dreaded insta-love no where to be found!)

Overall, the writing is fantastic. Schwab is AMAZING at setting the tone for an story. Her writing is so musical, and her characters immediately come to life from the first few chapters. I really enjoyed how she doesn’t over do the “quirk” factor, as well as keeps them human (if you’ve read this book please give me props for that pun :D) I listened to the audiobook for this one, and I literally sat in my car while parked in my drive way for three hours just because I wanted to keep listening to it. As usual, Schwab kills you at practically every page, and you can’t even be mad because it’s just so damn good. Go read this!! Or listen, because the narrator did a fantastic job giving Kate and August their own voices – literally :D.

 

four-half-stars
Lizzie
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