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Wither. L'Oscura Congrega. (Wendy Ward #1)

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  582 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
La cittadina universitaria di Windale, Massachusetts, è orgogliosa delle proprie tradizioni coloniali - ivi compresa la leggenda di un'oscura congrega di streghe che risale a trecento anni prima. Nessuno a Windale crede davvero alle streghe, o pensa lontanamente che la storia raggelante dell'epoca di Salem possa ripetersi. Ma tre persone, che non si conoscono tra loro, sta ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 2005 by Gargoyle Books (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sarah
8/6 - 3.5 stars. A pretty good supernatural thriller, not horror although I think it was trying to be. I don't know if it's my low terrifibility or that this just wasn't as terrifying as Passarella (a pseudonym for John Passarella and Joseph Gangemi) wanted it to be, but I didn't find the plot particularly scary. The only memorably scary moment was when there was an unknown entity (who turned out to be one of the three evil witches from the town's witch trial days) making its way across Abby's r ...more
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
As the story goes, while browsing online I saw news of an upcoming novel from the author (who has now penned "Wither," "Wither's Rain," and "Wither's Legacy"). In several groups I visit, mention of this novel were made. At this point, I hadn't really heard of the series and of course hadn't read it. After digging in a little further, I found out that this was a trilogy and this the first one.

Thinking this book sounded up my alley, I checked off a mental note in my head to scope out the original
...more
Kimberly
Jan 23, 2015 Kimberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a YA book. Its the first book in a trilogy and let me say, you couldn't put this book down if it was on FIRE!!! This book rocks big time. Its spooky, ghosty, great for a Halloweeen read. Book 3 is very hard to get, Ive had it on my wishlist over at Paper back swap for a long time. This trilogy is awesome, a must read for people who enjoy ghosts and the spook factor. There is not much blood and gore to contend with.
Morgan
Wendy, Wendy, Wendy. What can I say about this book? To be honest, not a lot since I read it my senior year of high school when it came out. I only offered it to one other person to read and she enjoyed it. (She also still remembers it.)

I think that the biggest thing that sticks out to me is that it read like a movie. I think I remember reading at the time that he was a screenwriter (this was his first novel), and it made total sense.

My favorite little quirk about the main character was that she
...more
Amanda
Aug 22, 2010 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Intellectually, I disapprove of everything men stand for."
"Which would be?"
"Aggression. Warfare. Organized sports."
p. 21

"As she gave herself over to grief, it ceased to be an infinite thing, ceased to be the vast and life-smothering blackness she'd feared, and became instead something finite, already lightening at its borders. Something that could be endured. Something that could be survived." - p. 183

"Just look at this guy, he's a total indie cliché, with his Salvation Army bowling shirt and h
...more
Eva John
Sep 03, 2016 Eva John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved Passarella's style in this book. He roped me into the story from the beginning with Abbey's dreams and the house coming alive. Witch Wither was truly creepy, and parts of the story actually gave me chills. My only contention was his choosing Salem because of it's history of witches and their persecution, but depicting the characters as oblivious to the signs that another supernatural event was about to take place on Halloween. Using a little girl as one of the chosen was a bit ...more
Jeff
Jan 09, 2012 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
This was a beginning of sorts you might say, a change from just strictly horror for me, to a somewhat beginning of urban fantasy in a way. I think Passarella had a great idea and great characters to make a fun read like this. He could have been a forerunner to the present day urban fantasy. He created a unique female character, that used magic and a great antagonist to bring his heroine to fruition. And like the heroines of today, created two follow up novels as well. I just wished he would have ...more
Kristal
Within a sleepy little college town, a young woman, a pregnant professor and a young girl are caught up in a web of horror that is generations older than themselves.

Wendy Ward is a student at the local college where her father is the President. But Wendy is far for the proverbial typical college kid. She is a practicing witch but only white magic. So when she decides to perform a cleansing ritual, she doesn't see any harm in it. However, there are other forces in the town who are waiting to rev
...more
Marti
Jun 08, 2009 Marti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a first effort at writing a novel, this is really good. There is a fair amount of scary stuff, a little history of witches in New England, and some of a love interest. The characters, other than the scary witches, are sympathetic and this would probably not be the book to be reading if you are by yourself in a big, gloomy type house, in a snowstorm or thunderstorm, especially if you have a lot of imagination because you might scare yourself silly.
Vivienne
Sep 23, 2007 Vivienne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
It certainly had some good bits but suffered a little from the writer's cramming in scary monsters with the witchcraft. It was a first novel though so perhaps they have improved with later books.

I did like Wendy Ward, the apprentice witch, quite a lot.
Lisa Kessler
Jul 19, 2012 Lisa Kessler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great supernatural read! Scary witches and curses and a heroine you can really root for! :) Worth reading!
Francesca Ghiribelli
Partendo dal presupposto, che non sono un’appassionata di libri di questo genere,devo dire che mi ha colpito come l’autore si destreggia egregiamente fra le storie di diversi e complicati personaggi, unendoli attraverso un denominatore comune,la stregoneria.
Questo romanzo ha vinto il ‘Bram Stoker Award’, ma non ha niente a che vedere con le immortali storie gotiche o romanzi neri riguardanti vampiri o altre figure oscure.
Esso riprende la storia di questa piccola cittadina, Windale, in Massachuss
...more
Roberta
Jun 17, 2015 Roberta rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008, horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laurie
Dec 22, 2014 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Windale, MA, is a quiet little college town in New England- most of the time. Three hundred years before, three witches had been hung. That, Danfield College, and the annual King Frost parade on Halloween night, are its claims to fame. Then odd things start happening; college freshman and white witch Wendy finds one night that the spells she casts have real and sudden results, and she begins having horrific nightmares. Entering the third trimester of what has been a routine pregnancy, college pr ...more
Kiwi
Oct 13, 2009 Kiwi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I literally picked this up off the street with my friend's boyfriend. It was a hardcover book without its slip. The black cover peeked up at me through a pile of old kids books and toys ready to hit the landfill. I scooped it up, read the quote page and saw the pentacles. Smiled. Brought it home.

Quick read. I liked a lot of the characterisation and how many points of view were used. I loved that there wasn't a fear to use the POV of someone about to die. I liked that we knew all along it would b
...more
Michael T Bradley
The writing in this book is very done, and very well-crafted for the most part, but I just could not get past how ... wooden & ridiculous the characters seemed. They very much felt like actors portraying parts (badly) as opposed to people I could imagine reacting to things in a realistic way. I'm not sure if that's because the slightly overwritten style used throughout the book did not carry on well onto the characters, or if I'm just turning into a curmudgeon who only sees OTT fantasy/SF he ...more
Peter
May 08, 2014 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The college town of Windale, Massachusetts has a legend about three condemned witches. The legend dates back over three hundred years. Three women, Wither, Rebecca and Sarah were accused of witch craft and were found guilty of this charge. They were to be hung from the gallows until dead. None of the towns people believes in witches and goblins. The residents are getting ready for their Halloween celebration that is centered around the condemned witches. Three women are experiencing horrific nig ...more
Nancy Bandusky
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin
Kinda struggling with this one. Nothing is happening. All talk about this town being a major tourist attraction for the witch trails back in the late 1600s but no storyline yet. I'm hoping it gets better. I think the book has a lot more potential. We shall see......




I really tried to get into this book. It had so much potential but to me it just never made it. I gave it 2 stars because there were some very scary and good parts. I liked the story of the little girl but I was confused with some of
...more
Lissa
Oct 13, 2008 Lissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Warning - this is a RANT.
This book was a quick read, and although enjoyable at parts, it just didn't do it for me. At some points I laughed out loud at how ridiculous things could be (I'm not going to go into specifics because I don't want to ruin the book for anyone who hasn't read it and might actually enjoy it). It also bugged me that the author loved to abbreviate things in a "hip" way. Like having the characters say "prof" instead of "professor." Who really says that?
Also, the sex scenes!
...more
L.D.
May 12, 2010 L.D. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's so easy to get caught up in hipe! The Authors are there to meet, the books are abundent to pick up, scan the back, have the all wanted autograph. I have been in my favorite Genre and I'm looking for a change. Something to lore me to the edge of my seat and not let me leave there till finished. So I start out and 50 pages in ok. By the middle of the book I'm thinking ok... Now I've finished and saying, " What was so great about that?"

I have greatly enjoyed John Saul and Saul has left Passa
...more
Woowott
Jun 29, 2013 Woowott rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Let me be honest. It's a horror novel I didn't finish. That never happens. I came close, but I got distracted. And then I ceased to care. I found the characters dull and trite. The friend who is a women's studies major is a caricature of women's studies majors. I found the main female professor to be needlessly stupid. I found the main character to be trite. I found the historical moments to be trite and forced. And I think maybe the author needs to know some actual pagans.

There was no incentiv
...more
Shannon
Oct 25, 2011 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This witchy novel was published on my birthday and what a great gift to myself it was! John Passarella received a Brom Stoker Award for this novel, and for a reason. From the first page I was hooked, or... a spell was cast, I can never be quite sure. It is the 1st book in the series and I would recommend all three of them.

He has also written some other goodies, such as Kindred Spirit, and some for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Have a look at his work and you be the judge for yourself. His work has
...more
Marie
Jun 13, 2011 Marie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's competently written, I guess - as in no glaring plot-holes or punctuation mistakes, but it never really grabs you. My gut reaction is this is because the characters are presented entirely as surface. We see what they do, what their hobbies are, but no conflicts or contradictions of internal life, nothing messy and human. The only character that really came alive to me was the football player who has one big scene before getting eaten by the monster.

He was a dick. That's character.

Overall:
...more
Jamie Henderson
I am frankly appalled that so many people recommend this book so highly. It's not that it's bad; it's just not very good. The writing is mediocre and lacks anything to distinguish it. The story has a lot of potential and is, frankly, pretty cool, but it's executed in a completely boring fashion. Passarella draws the story out so long that you just don't care what happens in the end. This is genre fiction at its most ubiquitous: formulaic, boring, and over-rated.
Tricia Price
I picked this up by accident (was supposed to read the same title by a different author for book club), and even though horror is absolutely NOT my thing, I had a hard time putting this down, so I guess that says something good about it. It sure scared the heck out of me--and I guess that's the purpose of horror, right? Definitely an adult book--there was some graphic sexual content involving "tantric energies" used for magic.
Jason
Sep 05, 2015 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was first introduced to Wendy Ward through a short story collection and immediately wanted to know her backstory. Wither is pretty much a supernatural YA+ novel set in the backdrop of a fictitious Massachusetts town 300 years after the Salem witch trials. A really great read with a steady build up throughout the story to a satisfying denouement; however, my one criticism is that the story ended all too quickly after that point. Can't wait to read the next book in the series!
Mary
Jan 12, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes horror
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
This novel revolves around the college town of Windale, Massachusetts and the effect that a dark witches' coven has on the town. Now, three people who don't know each other are having the same nightmare of a dark demonic creature intent on breaking into the real world. I really liked this book and give it an A! It's fast-paced and scary.
Jessica Wirth
I really, *really* wanted to like this and I'll probably give it another chance but I couldn't get through it. After 3 days I'm still only to page 53... every time I pick it up I fall asleep. I liked the characters, it was well written, the story seemed intriguing - but it couldn't hold my attention. Maybe my copy was enchanted.
louisa
Nov 10, 2008 louisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What Gangemi co-wrote under a pseudonym before Inamorata. In ways I like it better. The Sarducci test/best: the protagonist has a US map taped on the wall in front of her stationary bike and everyday marks where her odometer reading has gotten her to (at the beginning, the outskirts of Jacksonville, FL).
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"J.G. Passarella" is a pseudonym for the two authors who coauthored Wither. One of these authors, John Passarella, continued the Wendy Ward series, and has written other books, under his own name. The second co-author's name is Joseph Gangemi
More about J.G. Passarella...

Other Books in the Series

Wendy Ward (3 books)
  • Wither's Rain (Wendy Ward, #2)
  • Wither's Legacy (Wendy Ward, #3)

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