Saturday, January 4, 2014

Review of Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton

Title/Author: Witch Finder (Witch Finder #1) by Ruth Warburton
Publisher/Date published: Hodder Children's Books, January 2nd 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.

Look at that cover. Isn't it gorgeous?? I was expecting some epic witchy goodness from this book and I'm sad to say that the book itself didn't quite live up to that pretty cover.

I came SO close to DNF-ing this. I really can't deal with animals dying or animal cruelty in books/movies/real life and this book had some brutal stuff in it. It put me off my chocolate, which pretty much NOTHING can do. But seriously, if I could unread some of the parts in this book, I would, cause I think those images in my head scarred me for life. And I hate it when this kind of stuff is used to get my feelings going, cause it will, but in a really bad way.

So the concept of the Malleus Maleficorum is pretty interesting, other than that we basically get no details on it whatsoever and the only thing that's clear is that they're a bunch of guys who REALLY don't like witches and want all of them dead. I could get why Luke would join, because his parents were killed by a witch, but why would you join something you yourself don't really know much about? But it did make for some high stakes with the whole thing that he had to kill the witch he pointed in the book in a month or he'd be killed himself.

I couldn't really bring myself to care for either Luke or Rosa, they were both a little dull. Luke is confused and doesn't know whether to kiss or kill Rosa, but then he goes and tries to kill her anyway and STUPID BOY HURTS AN ANIMAL! UGH! That lost him all sympathy I could have mustered for him.
Rosa just wasn't a consistent character. She's supposed to be a really powerful witch, but she doesn't have much of a spine and doesn't stand up for herself or use her magic when she's being beaten. I mean, seriously? She also mirrored my reaction when she sees someone beating a puppy to death and then she goes around and thinks he may not be so bad, WTF?? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?? There's a special place in hell for people who do stuff like that! And then she goes off on a hunt, I mean, HELLO, foxes are animals too you know? I was just not digging it and it didn't make any sense.

Also, I couldn't get behind the romance. I mean, there was just an "I love you" out of the blue and I was just staring at it to see if it would go away because it felt so wrong! There was no real build up or anything and BOOM there it was. And I didn't believe it.

For all that it is about witches and people wanting to kill witches, there wasn't all that much magic in Witch Finder. I would have loved for there to be a bit more, because the parts that I did see seemed pretty interesting.

I guess that what I'm trying to say is that Witch Finder had some really awful parts and other parts that were just meh. I'd been so looking forward to reading this book and was pretty disappointed.

My rating: 1,5 stars


  1. So disappointed to read this review, I have this book to review and I haven't started it yet. Oh well, at least my expectations are set low. :) Thanks for the honest review! ~Pam

  2. How disappointing! That cover is absolutely gorgeous! I guess it's true what they say--you can't judge a book by it's cover. The synopsis sounds so good, too. I hate when a book sounds so good and it turns out to be a dud. Oh well, better luck next time!

  3. Yeah, I've heard mixed reviews on this one.....

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  4. I'm sorry this one was a bummer, ;( the cover is so pretty too.
    But I hope your next read is a lot better :D

  5. This one has earned very interesting reviews. I'm curious about it, admittedly, but based on your review, I think I'd just find it utterly frustrating to read.

  6. Haha yep! Didn't care for the characters nor the romance.. and while I don't mind animal cruelty in books, this just didn't serve any purpose to me and it made me cringe. Sebastian.. Ugh, I hated him!