Search This Blog

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Book Round-Up: Witchy Edition

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell: A witch, a priest, and an atheist meet up at a bar.  It's not a joke, it's the set-up of a novella where the three women team up to defeat the demonic forces (personified by a British version of Walmart) threatening their town and the world.  I loved it -- a fun, spooky story that handled everyone's beliefs, and resulting crises of faith, respectfully.  The only real flaw was that it was so short.

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman: A lovely, lush novel I return to every few years.  Gillian and Sally, descendants of a long line of witchy women, do their best to lead normal, unmagical lives, but of course magic won't leave them alone.  Twin themes of sisterhood and passionate love dominate the story.

Babayaga by Toby Barlow: The last two survivors of an ancient coven of Russian witches try to survive in post-war Paris, alongside American ex-pats who may or may not be CIA agents, a nefarious scientist, and Frenchmen being French.  It was an entertaining book with some interesting concepts, but there was an underlying cynicism about human nature (especially feminine nature) that marred it for me.

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab: The plot -- someone or something is snatching the children of a small village -- was an intriguing riff on the Pied Piper of Hamlin, but the story suffered from a surfeit of YA tropes: the impulsive, tomboy heroine; the male relative who tries to make her more ladylike (an odd thing to insist on in a peasant village where day-to-day living requires physical labor from everyone); adults who are either weak or evil; angsty teenagers; secret-keeping; and misunderstandings galore.  The ending, too, was unearned.  Too bad, because there was the making of a genuinely spooky story here.

No comments:

Post a Comment