“I understand the need for deception. I should; I live a life of it. Distasteful, perhaps. But necessary.”

18190208What is this book about?

Elizabeth is a witch hunter. She lives in a world where magic is illegal and where anyone practicing it will be burned at the stake. But when needs magic to save her life, her fellow witch hunters turn against her and she becomes the one being hunted. Being taken in by actual wizards and witches, she learns that not all of them are awful, but that some are even worse than she imagined.

Why is it boring?

This book is nothing new. It’s a very typical YA fantasy story involving witches and some dark trauma’s. But nothing too dark, because that might make it stand out too much. Also, the Goodreads summary about this book involving witches, ghosts and pirates isn’t wrong, but it’s definitely misleading. There are ghosts and pirates, but their roles are tiny compared to the love story between Elizabeth and her handsome healer John.

Who would you recommend it to?

If you devour all fantasy YA novels, then I don’t see why you shouldn’t read it. The medieval setting is done well though, so if that is something you especially like, you might want to bump it a bit on your tbr list.

Why should I read it if it’s boring?!

This book left me pretty cold. Unlike many other reviewers who hate Elizabeth, there wasn’t really anything about this book that I seriously disliked. However, there was also nothing in it that I did like, which makes this book fall into the category of ‘couldn’t care less’. The opening chapter, establishing the world and the atmosphere, is done well. I immediately got a feel for the story and the characters and that actual danger in this world was possible. Elizabeth is our bad ass -but underneath all of it – cute girl, who is secretly in love with her best friend and fellow witch hunter Caleb. But from there on out the book starts to sag, whisking Elizabeth away to a bunch of witches and wizards who – lo and behold – turn out to be just like every other person. So here Elizabeth learns the lesson that not all witches are bad and that not all witch hunters are good either. Somewhere in the middle there are a bunch of pretty dresses and a party scene that was very reminiscent of City of Bones.

The storytelling for this book was sub par. I think I’ve read the phrase ‘and then he/she told him/her/them everything’ about eight times. It’s great that everyone gets informed on the story, but to me it felt like hanging out with someone who constantly tells the same anecdote over and over until you can’t help but puncture your eardrums so you will never have to hear it again. And don’t get me started on the ending. Of course this book is going to be part of a series and of course at the end, not really anything gets resolved. The bad guy is still at large and you just know that nothing is going to happen to him until the final book, where there is a big finale and eventually good wins out over evil. The end. See, I can stop reading books now.

Rating: 2/5

Review Copy attained through Netgalley with special thanks to the publisher Hachette Children’s Books.

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Author

Esmée de Heer is head honcho over at the Bored to Death book club website, writing the daily content and making sure the site stays up and running. She's one of the founding sisters of the book club and enjoys reading and giving unsolicited love advice.

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