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 Published by Hodder Children's Books on January 2nd 2014
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.
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 » I don’t underestimate just how pressing society was, but to get engaged to a guy you’re actually scared to death of? She pretty much confesses that she is, but still she agrees to marry him! Then, after she gets engaged, she hides in the stables because she is positively freaked out. Luke (the guy that saved her from dying before) consoles her and then she kisses him, Sebastian (the fiancé) catches them and beats her up! Yes, beats her up and threatens to kill her! The guy has scary as hell mood swings and is considered a freaking psychopath in my opinion, and they still don’t break up?! Sorry people, it might be my inner feminist, and maybe I am seeing this wrong, but I just don’t understand it… I understand the importance of marriage in the 16th and 17th centuries, hell I spent 80 hours researching this subject, but what good is marriage when you’re dead? « Hide 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.