Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker [ARC REVIEW]

TITLE: The Witch Hunter
(The Witch Hunter #1)

AUTHOR: Virginia Boecker
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown Books for
Young Readers

PUB DATE: Jun 2 2015
The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth's witch hunting past--if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.

- Source: Goodreads


"Nicholas says that magic isn't inherently good or bad, it's what people do with it that makes it that way. It took me a long time to understand that. Once I did, I realized it isn't magic that separates us from them, or you from me. It's misunderstanding."

There are books that you've read only once and remember for the rest of your life. Funny, I can't seem to recall what I liked about this book. I was probably in a good mood, and it was fun enough for me to give it a 3 star rating. Indulge me as I attempt to recall my experience with the Witch Hunter.

Characters. I suppose they were a passable bunch. I don't find Elizabeth as an incredibly amazing protagonist. She's okay I guess but otherwise not as memorable as expected for a lead role. Her love interest wasn't as exciting either. Sorry but John was rather 'blah' to me. While it was set that they'd be a pair, I don't find their romance invigorating. I don't see myself fangirling and shipping these two, which should be if I totally dig the romance. But with these two? I just settled with it and didn't care.

Back/side stories. See I don't mind when authors plunge you into a certain character's past, and I like that because hey, more information for me. I like getting glimpses of what the characters have done before all the drama began. But I felt this was one strong issue with regards to our protagonist here. Readers are thrown into the scene of the moment where we find Elizabeth being caught and accused of being a witch at the beginning. Pardon this mini-spoiler but the reason she was caught was because she purchased herbs due to the fact that the king has taken a liking to her, if you know what I mean. And while it won't take anyone a while to figure out that she's in deep and hiding something that was a probable cause leading her to that moment, I felt it shouldn't have been a side story. It should have been one of the vital parts of this book. What made it worse was that it was less of a side story, like it wasn't a big deal. Maybe I didn't need a thorough breakdown but it shouldn't be a note that seems to be brushed off after a quick mention.

Plot. There is one, I swear. It is questionable at the first part, to be honest, but it will make sense about halfway through the book. Although I have to admit it is rather raw at the moment.There's still so much to go on that I only got a glimpse of it with this book. That's acceptable since this is part of a series. I find the timeline confusing though. I can't tell how far each event spaced out. They have journeys they set out that took longer than the other when I felt they are traveling the same distance. Maybe the conversations where a tad longer than necessary? I'm not exactly sure.

Setting. If this wasn't listed on Goodreads and Netgalley that this was a historical fiction, I wouldn't have thought of it so. Yes, there are narratives here and there to make that clear but quite minimal.

Climax and Ending. I was about to say that there wasn't an action scene worth mentioning but the last bits by the ending was an invigorating scene. Those parts at least made this a series I'd consider to read the incoming books.

Verdict. I've always been an optimistic reader. While I didn't find this to be super spectacular and gushingly awesome, I feel that it has potential. I may say that to most books that I find to be an okay read, but oftentimes the stories grow with each book, so I'm thinking the same thing for The Witch Hunter.

*Thank you, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, and NetGalley for granting my request to view The Witch Hunter.

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