Monday, 9 December 2013

EARC-Review: Witch Finder

Witch Finder

Publication Date: January 2nd 2014        
~A huge thank you to Hodder Children's Books, and Netgalley, who provided a copy in exchange for an honest review.~  


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.


I am very indecisive about Witch Finder. I would love to say I loved it. But I can't. I didn't. I would love to say I hated it. But I can't. I didn't. Though there are some aspects of both that I did love and did hate. Of which I'll discuss later on in detail, but one of the main thing Witch Finder has going for it is the fact it is very well done and authentic. Written in third person, and split into two perspectives you have two stories to contend with, that has to be seamlessly in sync with one another, which, for the most part, were. Needless to say, Witch Finder wasn't exactly what I was expecting. With historicals, it's all about the execution. Though it was executed well, there was something that didn't sit well.

One of the main snags for me, in fact were the characters. Most of the central characters were downright  sociopathic, self-righteous, self-titled and arrogant. This applies to seedy Sebastian, Alexis and the character I most wanted to slap, Rosa's mother. Besides the ugh, go away comments and actions from both Sebastian and Alexis, which in those times, was expected. What I couldn't get over was the one character that you'd think Rosa would be on equal footing with her, what I call,  mother.
She angered me to no end, Sebastian and Alexis are their own kinds of evil,  but the more I think about it, morally, Rosa's mother was worse than both what Alexis and Sebastian done, because it is her Mother. The person that's supposed to love you, look out for you, would want the best for you. Not sell you  for wealth and money, no matter what Rosa wanted for herself, or her happiness. As long as she was taken care of, she couldn't five a crap about her own daughter.
And what, you're relying on your daughter to get you out of your own mess, never mind the cost to her, just so you can be rich and live like you accustomed to,  and shop all the money you can away? How about you get off your lazy ass-  Don't even get me started, there would be a lot of swearing and that would not be ladylike.
But, I did like Rosa for most of it, because she's not stupid, or blind to Sebastian. She's not a whiny character, she's not all self, like the others. She's really kind, she's sees a lot more than her own upturned nose.

It took me longer to warm up to Luke, and though I get why he wanted to do what he was going to do in the beginning, it's not one size fits all.
Now, the other major snag for me was the animal cruelty,  and though it's not central to the storyline it is essential to certain characters, so I get why it was in there, but it is a little graphic, and I'm not okay about it. So, if you're the same as me, or sensitive to that kind of thing, you've been forewarned.

I really liked the whole storyline, it's the something I was looking for in Witchstruck, on the witch hunt side of things, that I didn't find. That being said,  besides the basics, there wasn't much to found on. Luke's on his mission, to get into the secret brother hood, a brother hood that you don't know much have the basics, but that's where that story starts and ends. I would've liked more to root that side of the story.
There are some aspects of Witch Finder that I loved, the authenticity, and the feel of it, and some aspects I really didn't like at all.  I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it, I'm in-between.
Actual Rating: 2.5