Monday 25 November 2013

Book Review - Witch Finder

Witch Finder
Author: Ruth Warburton
Series: Witch Finder #1
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 2nd January 2014
Publishers: Hodder Childrens
No. Pages: 374
Source: Review Copy:
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficarum, 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.

Once again, I fell into the 'oh what a beautiful cover' trap with Witch Finder and, once again, it most definitely didn't live up to my expectations whatsoever. It was slow. It was unadventurous and lacking any entertainment value. The characters had no personality and were so unnatural most of the way through. I know it looks as though I'm seriously slating this book, but I've had a fair few let down books in the last few months, and I'm reaching my tether and maximum patience level. I had heard quite a few things, good things, about Ruth Warburton's other witchy series and had decided that if this book was that good, I would give the series a shot, however, I doubt I'll be touching any other of Ruth's books if the writing is the exact same style as was in this.

The premise of the book really had me hooked. I was excited to see the whole 'forbidden romance' aspect within an execution scenario and was intrigued at how Warburton would cover the emotions the characters were bound to feel throughout, yet for me, she just couldn't grasp that enough. Our leading lady was too naive and emotional for my liking, while our leading laddie was too stroppy and unprofessional. These two personalities mixed and smacked into one another just ended in me being very unimpressed and abandoning the book on more than one occasion, to the point of  actually starting too other books in the time period it took to read Witch Finder. I found myself entirely bored throughout, reaching a respectable amount of words per night and giving in. When it came to the plotting to kill said witch, I had expected great things; a strong, determined young adult who wanted revenge on his parents death and was willing to do whatever it took to complete the task at hand move on to doing what he felt he was meant to do, however, I was given a moody, rude and quite temperamental teenager who quite frankly, couldn't help but get on my wick. However Rosa, who was still a very annoying and wimpy character at first, actually had the best character development I've seen in a while. She learnt tough lessons, understood the world better as her story progressed, and she found faith and strength in herself, which I always like in characters. In fact, other than the last big scene at the end of the book and the aspects covered throughout, Rosa's character development was the only other thing I actually enjoyed.

Aspects you say? Whats aspects? Isn't it just a guy trying to kill a witch? Oh no, you'd be wrong my friend, it covers aspects such as family abuse, abusive families, control over society and poverty. The poverty aspect is quite obvious, due to the time period and the social class differences throughout, but the abuse I felt was covered brilliantly. Abusive partners and relationships is pretty big in the news lately, and it showed that even the strongest of people can be affected and pushed into something they don't believe in. Alongside the abuse, forced marriages are also still rife in today's society, and I thought Warburton did well to cover and include all these features throughout the story, and make them all as important as the rest.

Overall, the story was a big let down. I wanted and expected a lot more from this book, but I didn't get it. It felt much more watered down that it had to be, and I won't be reading any other books from what is bound to be another trilogy, and possibly, anymore of Ruth Warburtons work.

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