ARC Review: Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton

Witch FinderHow did I get it? Netgalley (thanks @ Hodder Children’s Books)

Genre: YA, Fantasy/Paranormal

Synopsis: London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.

My Thoughts

I fell in love with Witch Finder from the cover alone. I mean, it’s freaking GORGEOUS. And also I love reading witch stories, so I was really excited to get approved for this one.

It actually turned out even better than I thought it would. Ruth Warburton has a lovely way with words and Luke and Rosa just gave me a lot of feelings. I loved Luke’s conflict over what he’s sworn to do; it was written perfectly and he did some things that I was rather surprised by. He’s not immediately torn with grief over his task of killing this upper-class witch, nor is Rosa a glowing beacon of virtue winning him over with the sheer purity and goodness of her heart. They both have faults and weaknesses and they had splendid chemistry together. The romance between them felt so sweet and genuine and I had to allow myself a few fangirling moments while reading.

There are some heavier issues in this book that I did not expect, such as abuse and financial problems, which really enhanced the story to me. The “villain” role, while a bit shallow in this book, has clear potential as a deeper character who has a legitimate reason for what he’s doing, and I was especially pleased by this because I hate typecasted antagonists who are bad just for the sake of being bad. It’s such a cop-out and it drives me nuts when authors do that.

I also really love the fact that Rosa does not just lie down and take everything that’s thrown at her—she’s a brilliant, strong character who, although having moments where she is powerless and defeated, really comes into her own by the end of the book. Luke, of course, made me want to throw myself off a cliff and paint rainbows everywhere simultaneously. He’s not fearless but he’s not a pushover either; I loved his protective side and the way he interacts with Rosa and the conflict he feels.

Overall, I loved this book. It was sweet, brilliantly written, and the ending came far too soon.


Five Stars

Recommend it?


Pre-order it:

Amazon | Book Depository

Other books by the author:

A Witch in Winter            A Witch in Love             A Witch Alone

ARC Review: The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank

How did I get it? Netgalley

Genre: NA, fantasy/paranormal

Synopsis: The wall between our world and that of vengeful spirits has protected humanity for more than 400 years. It’s about to come crashing down.
Ellie Lancaster has lived her whole life by the site of the mysterious Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Virginia settlement that vanished without a trace around 1590. Only the descendants of the two men who banished the spirits of an enemy tribe from the material realm know what really happened to the colony. Ellie is one of those descendants—a Curse Keeper. Her father took pains to teach her what he knew of the curse and the responsibilities of its guardians. He taught her that if the two Curse Keepers ever meet, the curse will be lifted, the gate will open, and the raging Native American spirits will be unleashed to seek their revenge.

Despite her father’s seriousness, Ellie has always taken the legend for a harmless fairy tale. Until she meets the darkly handsome, but downright infuriating, Collin Dailey and realizes everything she was told is true. For when they meet, it’s like the air is sucked from the room. Collin’s presence is electrifying… and it’s not just attraction Ellie feels, but the inexorable pull toward her destiny. The prophecy is real, and now Ellie and Collin must battle supernatural forces and their loathing—and passion—for each other to set things right.

The Curse Keepers are all that stand between the world and its destruction.

Review: I’ll admit, this isn’t my typical read, and I was a teensy bit wary of The Curse Keepers because of it. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but once I did, this novel had me hooked. I love the Native American lore that drives this story, along with the protagonist, Ellie, who is just badass. Once she gets rolling, she is a force to be reckoned with, which was a huge relief for me because I was worried this novel would slip into the typical “omg this guy is so hot screw self-respect I can’t resist his sexual allure”. But instead, while the romantic chemistry starts out as a bit of an eye-roller, I was fully on board with the way Ellie took charge and held her own. I was rooting for her the entire way, and I adored the way she approached life and difficult situations.

As for the plot, there was a very nice build-up to the end, which is mainly due to the seven-day countdown they were working under. The author had great pacing, other than the ridiculous amount of sex going on at one point. I mean, yeah, sex is great, go orgasms, but THERE’S AN AWESOME PLOT THAT I’D KIND OF LIKE TO GET BACK TO NOW BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING OUTSIDE OF COLLIN’S PANTS PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

But really, I enjoyed the way it was crafted, and Ellie was simply fantastic and hilarious to read; she’s snarky and bitchy and she puts Collin in his place in like 2.5 seconds, which was awesome. The chemistry was, for the most part, amazing, and I loved Collin’s and Ellie’s interactions with each other.

My only real issue with The Curse Keepers is the ending. It pisses me off. I’ve yet to find out if there will be a sequel, but if there isn’t, I will throw things. VIOLENTLY.

While I swear and rage at the heavens, go check out The Curse Keepers. It comes out tomorrow!

Rating: Four Stars

Recommend it? Abso-frickin-lutely.

Other books by the author:

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