The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.
And there are no strangers in the town of Near.
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.
This is one of those stories that take a hold of you and don't quite want to let go. I really enjoyed my ride into Near, a small town on the moors that do not care for things that cause fear. Long ago there was a witch accused of a heinous crime and was punished. Now the town is under a revengeful spell that coincides with an appearance of a stranger who is, well... quite strange. When the children of Near start to disappear and no trace can be found, frustrated town folk and their leaders turn their eyes to the stranger and decide he is to blame. So, this story is also one about fear and blame and whether you allow it to determine if that is more important than bringing the children home safe.
Lexi is not like your normal town girls. She is her father's daughter. He taught her things like tracking and house hold chores normally done by males because he didn't want his daughter put in a box and reliant on others because she was "just" a female. She decides she can help track the children and find out what happened to them. And because of her father, she is not rulled by fear and more by curiosity as she meets and gets to know the stranger. Now, all she has to do is solve the mystery, put things to right and convince a village to accept those that cause fear in others. No problem.
Hm... does she do it? Did she trust the right person? Is the village doomed to their fear? Is Lexi alone or does anyone else in the town trust her? Well... *evil laugh* (that one was for you, Nic!) I'm not going to tell you! I will tell you that I give this book 4 stars. I recommend this one for the YA crowd. It isn't risqué for the younger YA kidlets but does have some scary parts for those that are real young.
I received this book from NetGalley and Hyperion Books for review and no compensation was given.