I, er, appear not to have updated since June! Oops. It was completely unintentional, so I’m going to be doing my best to remedy this in the coming weeks. For now, I’m here to recommend a book that I read recently and loved: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab.
I’d been looking forward to this book for well over two years, having followed Victoria’s blog since before she sold The Near Witch. It seemed strange to finally hold a copy in my hands! The story is like a modern fairy tale: There are no strangers in the town of Near, until a stranger appears like mist and children begin disappearing.
The writing is soft, yet fluid, as mesmerising as your favourite fairy tale. The novel flows incredibly well, though this makes it difficult to put down (I took the easy way out, and started this on a day off so I could read as much of it in one sitting as possible). Yet it’s is not just a fairy tale, painting a picture of a town so secluded that it takes little for the seeds of distrust to flower into potential terror.
Lexi is a brilliant character, reminding me of Tamora Pierce’s and Kristin Cashore’s narrators: courageous even while fearing what’s happened to the children and what could happen to the stranger; a dreamer yet also a practical girl who’s grown up in the moors. Her father taught her to track and read the moor’s signs, and she desperately longs for a life different than the one expected of her. Everything changes when she sees the stranger, blurry at the edges like mist, at her window.
What makes this different to a lot of YA novels out there is that the moor and the wind themselves are practically characters in themselves. This book made me long for autumn storms and to hear the wind howling around my house, making the trees sway and the leaves rustle. It made me wish for overcast days and rain and fallen leaves. I found myself thinking about The Near Witch long after I’d finished. I can’t wait for Victoria Schwab’s next book–it’s going to be great.
There are very few authors that I will drop everything to read something new by them. Normally, I can contain myself enough that I’ll finish the book I’m currently reading. Sarah Rees Brennan is one of those authors. I dug my copy of The Demon’s Surrender out of the just-delivered boxes because I wanted it NOW.
It lived up to my expectations and then some! Sin’s POV is different to Nick’s and Mae’s, presenting an alternate view on characters and events that have already happened, yet similar enough in atmosphere and tone that it fits into the trilogy. I fell for Sin, her voice and how she viewed the world, and the secrets that were revealed about her and the Goblin Market.
(I’m one of those people who loves that the trilogy is narrated by three different people. We get all these alternate views on characters and situations! People are revealed to not be what they think or seem! It’s quite frankly awesome.)
The Demon’s Surrender is a fitting conclusion to Sarah Rees Brennan’s trilogy, tying up plot threads woven throughout the three books and concluding ones developed in Surrender itself. In classic SRB style, of course, there were some twists that I didn’t see coming, one which had me shouting “NO!” at the top of my lungs. When I finished it and closed the book, I realised I was sad that the trilogy was now finished and there would be no more books about Nick, Alan, Mae, Jamie and Sin, and their world of magicians, demons, and the Goblin Market. I can’t wait for Sarah Rees Brennan’s next book!
To celebrate the release of The Demon’s Surrender, I’m giving away a copy of the UK edition! To enter, leave a comment in this post with your name, your email, and something about the trilogy that you enjoy (a favourite character, a favourite scene, whatever you want). The deadline is Friday, 24th June at 9pm EST, and then I’ll pick a winner with the help of a random generator. The giveaway is open internationally.
Since it’s Tuesday and I actually remembered for once: here be Teaser Tuesday. A tiny excerpt from the werewolves where I was experimenting on character and making a stab at humour. May not make the final revised version, and not completely polished yet, but it was fun to write. This will be taken down shortly.
Teaser taken down! Thanks for the comments. 🙂