Sunday, January 2, 2011

Review of The Near Witch

The Near Witch
by Victoria Schwab
Young adult fantasy
Pub date 8/2/11

Ever since I finished Chime by Franny Billingsley, I've been looking for another atmospheric fantasy with a good romance. The Near Witch really fits the bill. It's about a girl named Lexi who lives with her mother and five-year-old sister Wren. The town of Near rarely sees strangers, so when an unfamiliar boy appears late one night and children start disappearing from their beds, the town starts a hunt for the stranger.

Lexi, whose father trained her to hunt and track, finds him first. Together Lexi and the stranger must uncover the kidnapper before the town finds them.

A common problem in atmospheric fantasy (like Patricia McKillip's books or Deerskin) is that the main character is a little too cryptic to be accessible. Lexi isn't--she's smart, headstrong, and ready to grow up. This is a great book for kids who are ready to graduate from middle-grade to Young Adult fantasy--and older readers, too, of course.

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