This was an amazing sequel. It was what I hoped it would be--complete with the awesomeness that is the Jay and Violet love story. It was filled with n...moreThis was an amazing sequel. It was what I hoped it would be--complete with the awesomeness that is the Jay and Violet love story. It was filled with new characters, new scenarios, new drama, new challenges. If you liked TBF then you will not be disappointed! (less)
Things that make me happy: A good song. A fantastic story. Dreams. Romance. Beautiful words. Things that require the suspension of disbelief. Magic. G...moreThings that make me happy: A good song. A fantastic story. Dreams. Romance. Beautiful words. Things that require the suspension of disbelief. Magic. Getting lost in a world that isn't my own. Hope, passion and the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the extraordinary can happen to the most ordinary people.
There are very few places in life these things all come together. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab is one of them.
I've read a lot of books. A lot of books. I also love a lot of books. If you read my reviews regularly or have a conversation with me then you know that. But I say to you now that The Near Witch is one that will forever stand out to me as an wonderful novel. Why? Well, it has all those things I listed above, for one. For another, I wrote a freaking rap song about it. I wouldn't do that if I wasn't devoted. Thirdly, I love it. It's a flawless re-telling of a story you've heard before but never knew and something you'll never hear again. (I kinda stole that from the book flap---but it's so completely true.)
On the surface, the town of Near is a place like any other. It's a community nestled in the moors, on the edge of the forest, where no strangers dare to tread. The town is safe, quiet, and protected. The only things to fear are the old tales of the Near Witch, which spread through the town like echoes of an old song. But beneath the surface of these tales lie more secrets than anyone knows. When children start disappearing from their beds at night and a strange boy appears in the town, the truths that have been buried for centuries begin to surface. The town condemns the boy--except for our heroine, Lexi--who is determined to save the children of Near, protect the stranger named Cole, and discover the truths the town has kept as quiet as a whisper.
I talk a lot about writing in my reviews, about this ability that some authors to have to completely floor you and create a line that's so powerful it etches itself into your soul. Victoria Schwab does this extremely well. Her lines all so elegant, powerful and read with a grace that I could only dream of possessing. Every beautiful description is flawless and so vivid I felt as if I was there every second of the book, racing through the trees and listening to wind with Lexi. I could die just thinking about the world she so beautifully created. There's a good balance here between what we are told, what we see and what we get to make up ourselves that demands praise and attention.
The characters in The Near Witch are so incredible. They each have their own story, own actions and purpose. I love that they are all flexible. What does that mean? Schwab paints them all very distinctly, yet lets the reader create their own picture of what the character looks like. It's like Van Gogh or Picasso where it's unmistakably one thing, but it has the possibility to be something else. Every character in the story is like this--and they all jump off the page and into the heart. It lets them take on a life that's a little bit of what they were created to be, and a little bit your own.
Since I'm talking about characters, I need to mention my love for the sisters, Magda and Dreska, as they are two of my favorite characters in any book. I love their descriptions, their voice and role in Lexi's story, the mystery they bring with them and the wisdom that these two characters seem to carry. It's almost like Schwab pulled them out of the deep recesses of real life and placed in Near to offer guidance, snarky remarks and a sense that when all is hopeless, everything will be alright.
Another wonderful thing about The Near Witch is the romance between Cole and Lexie. I don't want to spoil anything, but it's a good romance. The best part about it is that it takes nothing away from the overall plot of the story, but it adds to it completely. The two of them together are a fantastic team and with everything happening around them, you can only root for this girl who wears muddy boots and this boy with a burnt robe. Their story will be one you want more of and when it's all over, you know they lived happily ever after because there's no way they didn't.
As much as The Near Witch is a book of passionate words, of love and of truth, it's also got it's share of creepy. I'd me amiss to not mention that. It's done in such an lyrical way that the effect is greater than anything else you'll ever read. This is a wonderful fairy tale, with love, enchantment and creepy queens who poison apples. (Ok...Not really. There are NO poisoned apples or queens! But there is plenty of edge-of-your-seat creepiness.)
This is a book you'll be reading to your children. It's going to survive the times and become a story that everyone knows. It's that kind of book. It has that kind of power. You won't want it to end, you won't want to stop reading it, and you won't be disappointed. The words will haunt your sleep (in a good way) and you will love it. The wind has a song to tell...and you should listen.
I mean, this is the stuff of legends. And songs have already been written about it. If you don't then you will miss this mesmorizing book that's not only a stunning debut, but a surefire classic. (less)
Perfection. Funny one-liners. Great character interaction that I missed so desperately. Funny mention of South Carolina that made me laugh hystericall...morePerfection. Funny one-liners. Great character interaction that I missed so desperately. Funny mention of South Carolina that made me laugh hysterically. Action packed. New characters. Twists. Turns. WHAT AN ENDING! More soon....but wow. It did NOT disappoint. (less)
I liked it. Will and Jem were awesome. :) I love Jem. I liked the things we learned and the new characters. Everyone and everything felt stronger to m...moreI liked it. Will and Jem were awesome. :) I love Jem. I liked the things we learned and the new characters. Everyone and everything felt stronger to me.(less)
I was distraught at the end of Spirit Bound because nothing was working out for Rose. I loved Dimitri, and admittedly Adrian, and every...moreSPOILER FREE!!!
I was distraught at the end of Spirit Bound because nothing was working out for Rose. I loved Dimitri, and admittedly Adrian, and everything was one mess and struggle after another. Rose deserved a good ending, which she didn’t get. Of course, with one more book how could she get that? That girl was a hard-working heroine. So, for months we wait and wait and wonder, “What will happen at the end?”
That excitement and the wondering was so worth it. I couldn’t have been any more pleased with this book. Wow.
Last Sacrifice is nearly 600 pages—it’s wonderfully massive and hard to hold. Every page is filled with action, anticipation and lots of “what just happened?” At least for me. The book opens with Rose in jail for the murder of Queen Tatiana. Abe is there and tells her two things. One, her trial will be moved up to happen in two weeks. Two, he promised her in the courtroom that she will not be executed—or even go to trial. He plans to stick to that promise.
I don’t want to give anything away because this is an epic title and a great conclusion to the series. Let’s just say that after the visit with Abe things get interesting—and stay interesting—for the next 590 pages. If you’ve been waiting for this title, you’ll be thrilled to read it.
All of our questions are answered. The truth of the illegitimate Dragomir is explored. Victor Dashkov returns. Snarky lines are exchanged. The question of Moroi being trained to fight is resolved. The queen’s murderer is revealed. Some people are saved. Some people die. A lot of asses are kicked. A new queen is selected. A last sacrifice is made.
And of course, the burning question gets answered: Rose and…Dimitri or Adrian?
Oh man, oh man. It’s so good. And do not fear, the spin-off series will be in our hands sooner or later. Crap. There goes that theory about a series ending…*adds new one to tentative calendar.*
This was definitely my favorite of the series! You will not be disappointed by this series finale! *eep * Let me know when you read it!(less)