My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a beautifull written and enthralling book. I seriously could not get enough of it. I could recommend this book on the writing and scenery descriptions alone.
The beginning moves a little slowly and actually it takes a few chapters before the beauty of the writing really hits you and sucks you in. You’re introduced to Lexi Harris, a girl whose father is recently deseased and a girl who is stubborn and brave and in need of a mission to save someone because she couldn’t save her father. So when a stranger comes to town and kids start to go missing, Lexi ignores her uncles demands she leave the search to him and his men, and conducts her own investigation.
The story takes place in a town called Near on a moor. The moor itself is a huge part of the story – a character in itself. The descriptions of the town and the land are breath-taking and lyrical. I’m not sure how much the story would have succeeded without the backdrop of the moor.
The characters are perfect. Perfect in the sense that they are developed well and each have flaws and strengths. For example, while Lexi is brave, and talented and determined, she is also selfish and unappreciative of her friends and family. Her best friend’s little brother goes missing and the only reason Lexi goes to visit her is to try and find clues, not to see how her best friend is doing. Lexi also takes advantage of her mother and while you know as a reader that she loves her mother, she doesn’t show it. She barely gives her grieving mother a second thought. She treats Tyler badly, knowing he has feelings for her, and only visits the two sisters because she wants answers. Lexi, while resourceful, is extremely selfish. I could go on, but I won’t.
The plot isn’t the best plot I’ve ever read, but this is masked by such great writing and characters who are so alive, I could read about them watching paint dry and by thoroughly intrigued and impressed. Schwab must be applauded for the beauty in her writing, in her setting, and in her character development.
A few plot holes became apparent as I read and were not explained. For example, her uncle was forever discussing private matters in Lexi’s house, giving her the opportunity to eavesdrop, when he has his own house next door. I can understand this happening once or twice, but not every time. This was never given a realistic explanation and was very convenient.
There were some very memorable and enthralling scenes throughout this book. The two that spring to mind involve Cole and the Near Witch. While creepy and haunting, they way they are written is just so gorgeous. I only wish this book went on for longer.
The romance in this story was quickly developed, but lovely to read about. It was sweet, yet full of tension and chemistry.
Overall, I have to give this 5 stars. I could not put it down. And when I wasn’t reading about it, I was thinking about it. I recommend to everyone.