Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton | Book Review

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton | Book ReviewWitch Finder Published by Hodder Children's Books on January 2nd 2014
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 374
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher

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 this night 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.

What I thought NEW Stories about witches have always interested me. I mean, its witches! Witchcraft! Magic! There is just something about getting lost in a story filled with magic that makes my heart soar. While the premises of Witch Finder are pretty great,  and while this was an okay read, I think this just wasn’t the book for me.

It started with the plot, which wasn’t they most creative of plots. It wasn’t really hard to figure out that, despite some obstacles, who where going to end up together. While other parts of the plot where more to my liking, this one just jumped out and was a bit disappointing.

Then, the world portrayed didn’t always make sense to me. Witch Finder is set in the year 1880, and there is magic in the world. Where does the magic origin from? How did it came to be? I would’ve liked to have some more back-ground info, some more details. Besides knowing that there is magic in the world, there actually aren’t much scenes that include magic… Here and then some spells are uttered, but those are the only appearances, and they are few.

Also, there are a few political references. A political body is actually mentioned, but that’s where it stops. It’s just all a bit vague. I enjoy some politics in my books, but while it is mentioned, that’s about it. That’s so much missed potential right there!

Then for the main character Rosa. She was just such a sweet and good-natured character, but unfortunately I just didn’t really understand her. I know that society was very pressing and hard for women and I can understand some of the choices she makes, but some things just go way too far. View Spoiler »

This all sounds so horribly negative. Truly, I hate sounding negative. So I’m going to tell you what kept me reading. What really kept me reading was the romance between Luke and Rosa. This was a Slow-Burner! The process of how they fell in love was beautiful to me. How Luke struggled with his fears. Fears of becoming a killer, but also his growing feelings for Rosa. His struggle was perhaps the part of the story that touched me most.

All and all, I think it was a pretty okay read. Most aspects of the story I didn’t like, but somehow the story did manage to capture my interest throughout the entire book. The romance and Luke’s inner struggle are what captured my attention. When it did, I just had to keep reading, to see how the story would progress. While, obviously, this wasn’t my favourite book. You’ll never hear me say that it was a bad read. In the end, it just wasn’t for me.

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  1. Aww…I’m sorry this wasn’t your cup of tea Iris! I definitely see where you’re coming from though…the lack of world-building, underdeveloped main character and the unoriginal plot definitely sounds worry-some, but I’m glad that the romance was slow-burning and kept your interest! I think this is going to be a miss for me…I have a feeling it wouldn’t be for me either – the issues you’ve stated sound like they’d definitely have the potential to get on my nerves.

    As always, hurray for another of your brilliant and honest reviews! Thanks for sharing Iris!

    • Iris
      27/01/2014 / 11:53

      I wouldn’t blame you for not reading this one… Don’t get me wrong, the romance was definitely good and I liked Luke’s character, but in the end the cons just outweigh the pros.

      It’s pretty well known that I love some good word-building and strong and well developed main-characters. It just was a bummer, because I do really love stories about magic!

      haha, you always make me happy when you stop by and leave a comment on my blog Zoe! You’re the best!

  2. 27/01/2014 / 02:20

    I think I’ll avoid this one…I don’t mind witchy tales, but they have to be GOOD. Otherwise, I feel like it can be kind of tacky. I HATE it when books miss potential! Gaaah, that’s so frustrating.

    • Iris
      27/01/2014 / 11:58

      Yeah I feel you, witchy tales have to be good! While the romance kept my interest, it lacked on everything else that would make it a very good read.

      There where lots of frustrations going on while reading and while writing this review. I always try to find positive things and I really don’t want to be mean… but this was the best I could do, because in the end I pride myself on being honest!

  3. 27/01/2014 / 22:58

    This story sounds so interesting, but I hate it when stories with good synopsis’s are slow burners. At least the romance kept it alive! :)

    • Iris
      28/01/2014 / 20:14

      I’m happy that the romance was there to keep my interest! Sadly enough, I really wouldn’t have continued reading otherwise…

      All I can say is try reading it and make up your own opinion, maybe you’ll really like it (since you say that it sounds interesting) :)

  4. 27/01/2014 / 23:31

    I agree with you, I would have loved to see more politics! Hopefully that will be explored more in later books.

    • Iris
      28/01/2014 / 20:15

      Yeah! I really hope so as well. I am going to read the sequel, because I want to see if its any better, but if it’s not, I am afraid I’m going to give up on it…

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. 28/01/2014 / 00:09

    I think I may have to stop reading books about witch mythology. I’ve just recently read one that I really didn’t like either! They’re never any good and there’s always a lack of research – apparent through the lack of descriptions and explanations on the magic. Sad you didn’t like this one, but great review, Iris! :) it’s best to be honest!

    • Iris
      02/02/2014 / 00:31

      It is best to be honest… but it never fails to make me sad (and frankly, it always makes me feel bad) that I have to be negative. I can’t help but think about all the time the author put into writing a book!

      I’ve read some good books about witch mythology! Let me look up some of the titles and I’ll get back to you! They’ll rock your world (I hope! haha)

  6. 28/01/2014 / 14:33

    Books about witches always intrigue me too, but it’s too bad you didn’t enjoy this one. I think I’m going to skip this one as I need good world building and this doesn’t seem like good world building to me. I really don’t like being confused while reading. And also, how disappointing that there is not so much magic in it! Magic would be a reason for me to pick Witch Finder up, but I’m glad you mention that it’s not really focused on magic a lot. Saves me being disappointed as I don’t think I’m reading this now.

    • Iris
      02/02/2014 / 13:33

      Good World building is important! Its why I didn’t really like this one either… and then the magic. I mean, its why I wanted to read it in the first place and then there isn’t much magic in it! very disappointing…

  7. 29/01/2014 / 02:43

    I love when a romance is well developed! I also like magic in books, but that’s not great when the world building and plot isn’t good. This has also gotten really low ratings on goodreads, so I’ll probably skip this book. Thanks for the review!

    • Iris
      02/02/2014 / 15:16

      No kidding about the low ratings on Goodreads! It didn’t really surprise me, but most of the time there’s also some good ones in between but those too seemed kinda non-existent…


      Thanks for stopping by Stephanie! :)

  8. I started and stopped this one multiple times. I just haven’t been able to sit down and really try and finish it, obviously it hasn’t hooked me! The description and cover really had me intrigued – I love stories with witchcraft- but it hasn’t won me over yet. Have you read Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood? I loved that one! Beautiful imagery in it :) Thanks for your honest review!

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