18190208

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

The Witch Hunter, #1
published on June 2nd 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
young adult | fantasy | paranormal | historical | romance

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Your greatest enemy isn’t what you fight, but what you fear.

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.

*I received a digital review copy for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
Thank you to Hachette UK for providing me with an advanced copy for review.

Review

You know you’re bored out of your mind reading a particular book if a) you fall asleep in the middle of a chapter, or b) you stop after every five minutes to get a new snack. Unfortunately, both of these were things I ended up doing while reading The Witch Hunter.

I was really surprised by my own reaction to this book. The synopsis promised intrigue, action and a swoon-worthy romance–basically everything I look for in a good fantasy book. Sadly, this book fell short on all accounts.

Most likely, the issue lies with our incredibly flat, boring and annoying main character Elizabeth. This girl has such a weak and barely-there personality. She doesn’t fight for anything and basically just lets people push her around and tell her what to do. Her beliefs (if you can even call them that) aren’t strong and have no reason behind them.

Her constant pining for Asshole Love Interest and Boring Love Interest (yep–there are two! Whoop-dee-doo) took up almost the whole book. To put it simply, Elizabeth has been in love with Asshole ever since they were kids. You’re never really sure about this love interest until at least halfway through the book. And then when a certain something happens to Asshole, Boring comes along to sweep her off her feet. Not me though. I ain’t falling for that cheap trick!

Other than Elizabeth, all the other characters were just stereotypical and equally as flat as she was. We have the funny guy (who was, quite frankly, getting on my nerves), the mean-girl-that-is-not-actually-a-bitch, the sweet but lifeless love interest, etc. No one really stood out for me. I honestly can’t even remember their names.

The writing was also just okay. It felt a little more modern rather than historical which disappointed me a little. The sentences were choppy, if you’re into that kind of thing.

This book has a plot. It does! It’s a plot that could makes sense and it’s a plot that could be amazing if it was explored fully. Which is why I was terribly disappointed when I finished the book and realized that nothing in this book was talked about to its fullest extent. Nothing was explained. There was more telling than showing. Also, rape was used as a plot device and then was brushed over as if it was nothing.

And twists… What are twists?! This book didn’t have them, at least for me. I felt like everything that was supposed to be a twist could’ve been seen from miles away if you were paying any attention to the book at all. Nothing really surprised me enough for me to deem it a “twist.”

Overall, I’m not really sure if The Witch Hunter is a book I’d recommend. I think if you’re okay with fantasies that aren’t really unique and follow the standard plot formula, then you’ll probably find yourself enjoying this more than I did.

Skulls 1.5

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book edition: eARC

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About Aimee
Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.

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54 thoughts on “Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

  1. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you! I thought this would be exciting (was going to pick up a copy later this week from my local bookstore), but if the characters are flat then no thanks. Characters are what make up the book for me!

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  2. Oh gee. And here I was, with such high hopes for this. I mean, the concept looks EPIC, but I suppose when the characters fall short then it might let the plot down. In saying that I devour anything and everything that’s fantasy — so I’m still going to give this one a shot. Hope it works better for me. xD

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    1. It does look epic, doesn’t it? And the cover = yes. If you’ve loved most of the fantasy books you’ve read, then you just might like this more than I did. Good luck! ;)

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  3. Aw, sorry this one was such a disappointment for you Aimee! I loved this one but it’s always fun to read a differing opinion. I do agree with you on the rape issue – I wish that had been further explored because it sort of made my jaw drop and then we were suddenly moving on. Maybe it will come more into play in future books though?

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  4. Hahaha! Lately I fall asleep during almost every book, because I’m just so tired. Maybe I should take tips from Jess and Jessi who nap a lot lol. Anyway, I’m sorry you didn’t love it :( I’ve come to realize that I don’t mind a good love triangle anymore (wut???????? I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THIS HAPPENED DON’T JUDGE haha) so I’m sorry that this one in particular failed to impress you! Heh, maybe you’re too good of a Sherlock to not figure those twists out beforehand ;) Thanks for your honest thoughts, my little pumpkin! <3

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    1. LOL. That will be when school starts up next week. >.< Naps are my best friend also. ;)
      Love triangles are *okay* with me if they don't take over the whole story, lol. And I should become a detective in the future. ;)

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  5. Yikes! I’ve seen reviews for this that fall all over the place. The getting up to get a new snack thing really is telling though XD Characters can really make or break a book for me, so to hear that ALL of the characters were so disappointing makes me want to avoid this book like the plague! I hope your next read is loads better!

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    1. Right? If a book’s good, you don’t even need snacks. ;) Characters play a huge part in my enjoyment as well, and I was so sad they ended up being so flat in this one. :( Thanks, Lina!

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  6. I’d had high hopes for this one, but then, the reviews started coming in O.O So far, I’ve only come across medium-to-mediocre reactions to this one, and well, from what you’ve said in your lovely review here^^ I honestly don’t think that this book would work for me. Like, at all. No twists, boring/frustrating romance, AND a lackluster heroine. Nope! I’m sorry that you had to suffer through this one Aimee :( Hopefully your next read is/was much better :) xx

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    1. A lot of my Goodreads friends gave it 3-5 stars, so you’re definitely not alone! It was, wasn’t it? Shame, since I’m a huge fan of historical writing.

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  7. This indeed sounded promising. Too bad it didn’t turn out good for you. I’m not sure whether I should read it or not – too many negative reviews from people I trust (you’re one of those, Aimee, don’t worry). Lovely review, though.

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  8. This book had so much potential :( I’m sorry you didn’t really like it! And I was so excited for it when I heard about all the hype :'( It’s sad to hear that the characters were flat and lacked development. *hands you chocolate* Hope this makes you feel better.

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  9. First of all Aimee, LOVE the phone case. (The one at the end of the post) and yess so this is the second review I’ve read about this book. The other was the same, that this book was unsatisfying and lacked character depth, etc. It really is a shame because like you said, the synopsis sounded FABTASTICAL. Sigh. Too bad it just didn’t work for you. It probably wouldn’t work for me either. :(

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  10. Awwww! I thought this book is great because of the hype. I got declined on Netgalley upon requesting it but now I’m happy I don’t have a copy so the responsibility would not be a guilty pleasure (?) LOL Anyway, great review Aimee! Well, I just hate annoying characters. Elizabeth is not for me. Pity for that gorgeous book cover tho.

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    1. This book definitely has a decent amount of fans right now! And ha–I kind of wish I didn’t request it either. But that cover just called to me!

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  11. Promising ideas that fall flat sadden me ;_; How was the magic system though? Was witchcraft just wishy washy and barely explained or did it have something unique about it

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  12. Aw! Sorry to hear this book didn’t work with you. I first heard of this book from Paula and it seems that she likes it. I might still try this book when it comes out since I like Witch stories :)

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  13. Haha, too bad boring love interest and asshole love interest didn’t work out for you! I hate a main character that feels like a nothing. And other characters that feel the same? Ick. I’m pretty sure I had more fun reading your review than you had reading the book.

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  14. This was one of the eARCs I saw on Netgalley that I started felling bad that I hadn’t requested after great reviews started rolling out. Thanks for this review because it sounds like somthing I would have hated. Asshole and Boring; PRICELESS!

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  15. oh dear, I was really looking forward to this book when I heard about it because I’m really intrigued with witches. But to hear that it’s filled with pining with an unremarkable main character and some boring love interests? How disappointing! Thanks for your honest thoughts Aimee <3

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  16. Really? I am so bummed. The synopsis does sound good, but the characters…. Too bad, really. I have been on a streak of shizzy reads and am ready for something that will rock my world.
    Thank you for your honest and concise review.

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  17. So I am reading this now, and the very first thought I had was “this feels WAY too modern” and I see that you had the same exact issue. I am just seeing it as straight up fantasy at this point (I’m at 23%) as opposed to historical because it doesn’t feel historical at all.

    And true story- I stopped for a snack while reading, and I NEVER do that. Ever! So I must have been extra bored. This does not bode well for the rest of my reading… the only good (?) news is that it seems pretty quick. I hope. Sorry this one didn’t work for you!

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    1. I agree. It got the fantasy vibe right, but it did not sound historical at all, which is such a shame. :(
      I always snack while reading, but usually just one bag of chips. Not sure how many times I got a snack here….

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  18. I’m with you on this book, this novel was a disaster for me. I gave it two stars, the premise sounded so amazing when I first read it plus the cover is gorgeous – the stupid love triangle was annoying and the heroine just bothered me with her hypocritical ways. I can relate that the characters fell flat for me as well. I did like the ending, although it wasn’t that special either. Review is spot on, thank you for sharing :)

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  19. It’s a shame this one didn’t work out for you at all. I have this as a book to review and well, I am not sure how i feel towards it anymore. Most people either love it or hate it, and there is no in between DD: Maybe I will hold out on this one for a bit more. It’s a shame it was so boring for you.

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