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The Near Witch Hardcover – August 2, 2011

115 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Victoria Schwab (www.victoriaschwab.com) is the 24-year-old product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a Southern upbringing. She currently lives in Brooklyn, where she is working on her second novel.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH; First Edition edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423137876
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423137870
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #812,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Victoria "V.E." Schwab is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say "tom-ah-toes", "like", and "y'all". She currently lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and when she is not wandering in search of buried treasure, fairy tales, and good tea, she's tucked in a cafe, dreaming up monsters.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mithrendiel on October 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This should be 3.5 stars really.

I wish I could say I loved this book - I certainly wanted to love it, but there was something essential lacking for me. It's a bit hard to put my finger down on because the story was beautifully crafted in so many ways - but the plot moved a bit slowly, and the characters seemed lackluster.

Victoria Schwab is a word smith of the highest caliber. Her words flow gracefully across the page as if dancing. Every scene is painted with painstaking perfection in our minds - we can practically feel the moor grasses beneath our toes, and the wind pushing at our hair.

Her story reads like a dark fairy tale, the kind you imagine your mother reading you just before bedtime, as the darkness creeps over the sky and sinister shadows play across the walls. I loved the content - it's whimsical, a bit creepy, and deliciously dark - but it's a slow and sleepy sort of story. It doesn't pick up the pace, and become a page turner until near the very end of the book, so I found myself a bit yawny throughout much of it. I think I'm just spoiled by the latest generation of fast paced action oriented urban fantasy books.

Sadly the characters felt a bit lack luster to me. Alas poor Lexi - I did not feel I knew you well! Lexi is strong, determined, loyal, protective, and skilled. Her hunter father taught her to track and defend herself. She stands up for her family with great courage, and faces untold dangers for their sake throughout the story, so you LIKE her, but you don't know her. I never really had a sense of Lexi, or the mysterious Cole. Perhaps it's because the narrative of the story focuses more on the world around Lexi instead of what's going on in her head.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sophie Riggsby on August 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Review posted on Page Turners Blog on 8/27/2011

I really believe that a well-loved folk or fairy tale has to have a certain level of darkness in it to be good. And The Near Witch starts with just that -- a story which scares you with its possibilities, a story that reminds you when you hear an unexpected knock, knock, knock that it just may be true.

Also, Victoria Schwab is THAT writer. You know the one that will keep you guessing, wondering and all the while you will be hypnotized by her gorgeous choice of phrasing. Here's an example with her protagonist, Lexi, and the mysterious boy, Cole, who shows up just as the disappearances start (from page 86):

I pause a moment, leaning against a rock. The world tips dreamily.
"You're tired," he says.
I shrug, but linger another moment.
"I'm fine," I say, straightening. "Tell me a story." I yawn as we continue walking along the narrow dirt lane, the wind-blown path always to our left. "It'll help keep me awake."
I didn't want just any story, I want his. I want to know the world beyond the Near and the way they speak and the stories they tell and why he is here, in his singed gray cloak, and why he is keeping his words close.
"I don't know any," he says. His eyes wander over the field to the grove in the distance, sitting like a knot of shadows.
"Make one up," I say, glancing back now at the blue-black world that falls away behind us. Cole looks back, too, frowning as if he sees something different, more troublesome or alive than the simple landscape, but he says nothing, seems to grow thinner before my eyes.
"All right," I say at last. "I'll start, then. Any requests?"
The silence is so long that I think he hasn't heard me. The wind around us hums.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tiny Thomsen on August 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Near Witch reminds me of a ghost story people tell over a camp fire. The writing is exquisite and oh, just plain beautiful. It's clear from the beginning that the author put a lot of thought into her story, and it shows.

From the very beginning, the story captures your attention and doesn't lets it go. I loved that Lexi is the non-girly type of daughter who knows how to wield an ax and wears boots. It didn't matter to her what her uncle or even the townspeople of Near said or thought. To her, girls could do anything, be anything. If she has a suspicion about anything, especially the new guy in town, she doesn't just sit around and wait for the men of the town to take care of it. She goes hunting for answers. Who doesn't love a protagonist who goes against what society believes she should be or do?

Then, there's Cole. Oh, Cole and your mysterious ways. What's in a name? I really adored his relationship with Lexi. It was nice how they were curious about each other and how their relationship grew from there. I get so tired of all the insta-love books, that are just way too intense and quite frankly, unbelievable and unrelatable. This was really a nice, refreshing and sweet touch.

If you're looking for an enchanting, original fairy tale, with a hint of creepy, I would recommend checking out The Near Witch. It's the perfect summer read, especially if you're planning on going on a camping trip! Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if The Near Witch is the "it" book of the summer, and really, do you want to be left out of the "know"?
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