Book Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

Posted June 22, 2015 by Stormy in Books / 8 Comments

The Witch Hunter

by Virginia Boecker

The Witch Hunter

Original Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Obtained Via: I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for review consideration. This in no way affected my final opinion of the work.
#1 in The Witch Hunter
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thestory

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.

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Here’s my review of The Witch Hunter in a nutshell: I had fun reading it, and I hardly remember everything about it. That’s exactly the kind of book it is. I didn’t want to put this book down, but I never got TRULY invested in the plot or the characters. Boecker excels at pacing, but the rest of the book didn’t keep me super entertained.

There’s good stuff in this book, really! The addition of magic and witches is fun, and there’s a quest to break a curse. Now, I’m not always a HUGE fan of quest plots. . . but I think it really worked here because there was always something for the characters to work towards. The plot of “magic isn’t allowed for reasons” isn’t exactly new in fantasy, but it didn’t bother me.

However, where The Witch Hunter mainly suffered for me was the characters. . . or rather, Elizabeth, the main character. There’s this odd thing that happens in fantasy books sometimes where authors spend so much time and detail crafting out the secondary characters and their histories and personalities that they become much more vibrant than the main character, which is what I feel happened here. Three days after finishing this book, I can tell you very little about Elizabeth’s personality. I couldn’t tell you a WHOLE lot about any of the secondary characters, but I could tell you a lot more about them than I could about Elizabeth. They carried the weight of the book the plot couldn’t.

I also had a lot of trouble with the setting in general. I KNOW this is historical fantasy. . . but other than a general vibe, I didn’t feel the world was really built to feel that way. On a smaller level, I had so much trouble picturing everything that was happening. And I’m not the most visual of readers! I don’t things spelled out for me because I can fill in the blanks in my head. I rarely mention setting in a review unless I think it’s stellar or lackluster, and The Witch Hunter definitely falls on the lackluster side. Also, there’s some sexual coercion mentioned at the beginning of the book(not shown) that’s used as a plot device, which I’ve made quite clear in the past how I feel about that. It really didn’t feel necessary and I think there were other ways to go about starting the plot.

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 I was entertained while reading The Witch Hunter, but I found it forgettable and flaw. It’s really more of a 2.5 from me, though I did enjoy it enough that I may consider picking up the sequel depending on reviews. 3/5 cupcakes.

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3 Stars

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8 responses to “Book Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

  1. The plot sounds intriguing to me, so I wanted to pick this up, but after this review it sounds more like a library read than a wishlist read…

    • Stormy

      It’s a pretty fun read while actually reading, so I think a library read is a good idea. It’s definitely not bad, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend purchasing it full price.

  2. I feel similarly about this book. I read it less than two weeks ago and can hardly remember anything. It took some serious thinking to even remember the sexual coercion part, but YES, totally a plot device. It served literally no purpose in the book. I guess I’ll probably end up reading the sequel, though, since there are only two books.

    • Stormy

      I don’t know what it is about this book, but it’s so forgettable! I (mostly) enjoyed it while reading, but by the end I was definitely ready to move on to the next read. And the sexual coercion bothered me for sure. I think the last time a book irritated me like that was Ember back in April, and while I still totally stand by that, at least in that book it was viewed as this horrifying thing. Normal, but horrifying. The Witch Hunter just kinda glossed over that all together.

      • Right. No one ever told Elizabeth, “I’m so sorry this happened to you. You didn’t deserve it and it wasn’t your fault.” I was just shrugged off as if it didn’t matter at all.

    • Stormy

      Ah, yeah, I’d say you’re not missing much. It’s not bad by any means but there are better books on the shelves!

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