Title: The Near Witch
Author: V.E Schwab
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 38
(see below for breakdown)
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.
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.
This was a really interesting insight into how V.E Schwab has developed as a writer. Coming to this as some one that has read most of her more recent work you can tell that this is her debut work. It just lacked a little of the punch in her character development and world building that we get from her work.
What I did like was the real fairy tale vibe this book gave off. It has the balance of light and dark, a hint of romance and mystery. It has more of an old world fairy tale than the classic Schwab style but you can see the hints of her style coming through. There is a great creepy undertone that really carries the plot.
My edition include the prequel short story The Ash-Born Boy and it really did elevate this back up to what we know of schwab. We got so much more detail in the world and the character that adds so much more to the story of The Near witch. I have to admit I enjoyed this short story more and I am glad I read this edition which included it.