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The Near Witch [Paperback]

Victoria Schwab
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Books; Reprint edition (15 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142314242X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423142423
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 13.8 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 814,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

The Near Witch Sixteen-year-old Lexi, who lives on an enchanted moor at the edge of the village of Near, must solve the mystery when, the day after a mysterious boy appears in town, children start disappearing. Full description

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bewitching fairytale 14 Aug 2011
By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
I suspect like most people, I started following Victoria Schwab before her book was even published. I read a snippet of her writing, decided that it was beautiful and that I needed to keep an eye out for her so to speak. I didn't think I would get an ARC as living in the UK often has its disadvantages where US authors are concerned but I met a lovely lady from Disney Hyperion at BEA who promised me she would send me a copy, and I believe it came on my birthday which was great timing *grin*. I expected to read another paranormal book about witches but what I got was a major flashback to my childhood love of fairytales. The Near Witch is a fairytale through and through. Set in a little village called Near which is surrounded by moors, it may as well be called Anywhere. Near is along the same vein as "Wall" in Neil Gaiman's Stardust which in fact is extremely clever as it could be of this earth and it could be in some fantasy land, it doesn't really matter. Although, the very mention of "moors" has me thinking of England and I can't help that so I chose to set the book there in my head. The main protagonist is Lexi, a teenage girl with a fierce loyalty to her family and much love for her little sister Wren. Her late father used to tell them tales of The Near Witch and she regales in repeating it to Wren who often requests the story before bed. A mysterious stranger arrives in town the same night children start disappearing from their beds and you can guess where fingers are pointing. But Lexi suspects there is more to this stranger than meets the eye and with the help of the two sisters (i.e. the two old witches left in the village) she works to unravel the mystery of the missing children and find out what the stranger has to do with it. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but Could Have Been Expanded 23 May 2014
By Ginny
Format:Hardcover
This is a sweet and fairly simple book, beautifully written, and has clearly had a lot of love put into it. I really enjoyed the creepy atmosphere of the moor and the tiny village where everyone knows each other, the idea of witches who can control the wind and are a part of the moor itself, and the main character, Lexi.
However, I feel that the mystery of who is taking the children is fairly obvious from the name of the book, which sadly takes away from the first half where tensions are rising as the village folk hear rumours of their first stranger in many years. I was also a little unsure of Cole - I felt that he was a little shady to be honest. We never even learn his true name, Lexi simple begins to call him Cole for lack of any other name and he never corrects her. This may be part of his mysterious nature, but I didn't completely buy it.
I also felt that some of the other characters could have been developed more, as we saw the beginnings of some great character - including Lexi's uncle Otto, the witch sisters Magda and Dreska, and her grieving mother - but there wasn't enough focus on them. I felt that there was a lot of potential with Otto. He starts as the stereotypic sexist older male who not only doesn't understand Lexi but seems not willing to try, but we get these glimpses of his humanity: his struggle to protect and control a teenage girl who refuses to even consider his point of view, and trying to fill his deceased brother's shoes and care for a grieving family whilst dealing with his own grief. Also, what the hell was with Tyler? He was first introduced as a friend of Lexi's but quickly becomes a creep who seems almost abusive of her at points, and doesn't understand what 'no' means. His scenes were the most unsettling part of this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars good but disappointing 17 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback
I won last year and I am only just getting around to reading it. After reading so many reviews that raved about the book I had really high hopes. Sadly, even though overall it is a good book I was very disappointed.

The Near Witch is one those story that goes at a very slow pace. It didn't pick up until half way through. I just found the first have so boring and dull that I just skimmed read quite a bit cause there was just too much description. I am one of those reader who doesn't alot of description as along as their is the right balance between that and conversations between the characters. However, The Near Witch doesn't have that balance for me. The characters I couldn't connect with at all. I really didn't like Lexi. She irriated me to so much I just want to slap her. However, I did quite like Cole. I would have loved it if the book was in his POV. He was a very interesting character that draws you in and leave you captivated with his story.

Now, as I said this was a very slow paced story. It doesn't really get going until about halfway through the book. And I did enjoy the last half. It was quite haunting and honestly, it gave me goosebumps reading. I always read in the dark with a small light and I honestly kept thinking something was watching me while I was reading it.

Overall, I did find this a good book and there is so many people out there who love this story. So, if you like a haunting fairy tale and witches then I suggest you give this one ago
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Format:Hardcover
The writing of The Near Witch is lyrical and beautiful. It reads just like you expect a traditional fairytale to, which means that the occasional "okay" and other contemporary dialogue really sticks out. It actually breaks the flow of the story.

The Near Witch is a gentle read; Victoria Schwab takes her time building the story as well as the relationships between Lexi and Cole. I loved the way the story unraveled and the description of Near and the witches.

Lexi is a good protagonist, she's independent and strong-willed. I was a bit surprised by the fact that I didn't love her from the start but as almost everything about The Near Witch the more I read the better she became.

This was Victoria Schwab's debut and it is really impressive. There is mystery, interesting characters and beautiful writing that pulls you in.
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