On the eve of her resignation, Sheriff Sterling Marsh prepares for a bleak winter in Drybell, Connecticut, after a string of bad decisions leaves her life in shambles. Two weeks before Christmas and expecting a long night of paperwork and quiet celebration with the friends she’s grown to know and love, she’s surprised when an unnerving stranger appears in the form of a witch.
A silent, menacing figure, the witch appears to be ripped straight out of a fairy tale, complete with a tall, pointed hat, and black clothing. But when strange things begin happening all over town, Sterling begins to suspect that there may be more to the witch than meets the eye.
As she works to maintain order as the world crumbles around her, the witch’s mysterious presence throws her world into a frenzy, threatening to send the sleepy town spiralling face-first into the darkest night it’s ever seen.
Witch 13 is a book which would be perfect for reading on a Winter’s Night with a chill in the air. The creepy atmosphere of the writing is perfectly balanced by the eerie drawings by Ross Nischler. These black and white illustrations are dotted throughout the book and really helped your imagination soar. These were also well-formatted for my Kindle which made for a nice change!
Witch 13 really reminded me of some of the older Stephen King novels – it is set in a small and remote town, full of characters with their own dramas all pulled into a supernatural event. There’s plenty of switching of perspectives and gory details which makes for a fun read as you can never be sure who is ‘safe’. The book also balances building suspense with a lot of action sequences.
My main problem with the book was the fact that suddenly a new plot and backstory is introduced at around 85% of the way through. I didn’t really understand why this was done so late in the game and it ruined the enjoyment a bit for me as all of a sudden we are trying to follow a completely new storyline. I think a much simpler ending would have suited the story better and kept it from feeling like the entire book had just been a prologue for something bigger that wasn’t properly paid off. There was also quite a lot of backstory and flashbacks built into the plot which weren’t really needed, I felt that if these were edited out we could have introduced the ‘ending’ at 50%, more thoroughly explained it, worked on the plot-holes and wrapped it up properly instead.
Overall Witch 13 starts well but really falls apart in its conclusion as it tries to jumps to a whole different plot without reason. Thank you to NetGalley & Oblivion Publishing for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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