Merry Wanderer of the Night + YA

Review: Witch Song by Amber Argyle

Witch Song by Amber Argyle is a book that I was really excited to read. Like, really excited for. I noticed the cover on Goodreads and thought it looked gorgeous and then (as I've mentioned a time or 12 before) I met Amber at a book signing in Utah, pretty much on accident. And she was awesome in person. Like, a lot awesome. So, when I got a review copy of this in the mail, I did a little happy dance.

And, while I did like the book, it wasn't really what I'd hoped it would be. It was good, but I wanted more from it. There were a few times that the characters, mostly Bressena, made these huge thought jumps that I didn't understand. At all. Kind of like going from zero to sixty with nothing in between. And this confused me, made me wonder if something had accidentally been left out. I'm actually really hoping that these are things that will be smoothed out in the finished copy.

About the story itself, there were things I loved, things I liked, and things that I... well, not so much.

I loved the idea of this story. I loved the songs themselves and the way the songs gave the witches an ability to manipulate and control nature. Like using corn stalks to trap the bad nasties trying to kill her. Umm, hello Yes! I love watching the seemingly innocent and harmless characters turn around and lay the smack down. I also really liked that Amber made the songs simple poems instead of super complex and weird. Really, I loved the magic in this story. The spells and potions were just awesome (although there is a seed fight that I just couldn't feel as... dramatic as it should have, because they were, well... throwing seeds...) (I also really liked that the police officer types in this book were actually the good guys! Yay for positive representation of law enforcement!: P)

Also, this book is another perfect example of why parents who 'keep super important, life threatening information from their children because it 'protects' them are stupid. It always backfires! Ignorance is more deadly that knowledge in these situations. And, when you have this in a novel, a parent who keeps the important info hidden, it often leads to a major info dump later on, as a 'sneaky' way to give the reader all the information at once, since, hey, the character is getting it now too. (But really, it's not that sneaky) But, although it gets precariously close a time or two, I was very pleased that Witch Song never actually felt like it was info dumping on me. So, yay for that.

I did also have a hard time with Bresenna's character at some points. She was very insecure, very unsure of herself and constantly believing that no one could ever like her. And, I get that the people in the village were cruel and unwelcoming, and her mom did lie to her about very important things. But her mother also loved her, and raised her in a very loving environment. Which, in my opinion, should have counted for more. It should have made it easier for Bresenna to accept that not everyone was as closed minded as her village and that people (like Joshen) really were interested in helping her. I kind of felt like her insecurities were so strong to add a little more tension to the lovey stuff. Which got a little old. I do love me some Joshen though.:)

The climax of the story, well, the first climax was... interesting. I am not a fan of the dues ex machina and I was more than a little disappointed that Amber chose to take the story there. But she kind of made up for it during the second climax scene, because I loved the power that came through in that section, and at certain parts, I was definitely feeling it.

So, although I did have some issues with this book, overall, I did enjoy it. If Amber chose to write a sequel, I would read it. And I'd be excited if/when I get me a copy. But it's not one that I can throw my whole recommending self behind either, which makes me sad. It's by no means a bad book, but it could use a bit more smoothing out. I am incredibly excited to see how Amber grows as a writer though!

Have you read this one yet? Let me know what you think!

*Disclaimer — I received a copy of this from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Review: Witch Song by Amber Argyle + YA