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Waking the Witch de Rachel Burge
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Waking the Witch (edição: 2023)

de Rachel Burge (Autor)

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363692,134 (3.13)Nenhum(a)
A darkly spellbinding tale of female empowerment steeped in Welsh mythology and Arthurian legend. "I tried to keep you safe, but I see now that I can't. They won't stop until they have you . . ." When Ivy's search for her mother draws her to a remote Welsh isle, she uncovers a dark secret about her past. An ancient and corrupt power is stalking Ivy, and her only chance of survival is to look deep within herself. For not every story in legend is true, and some evils are not what they seem. An unputdownable novel steeped in Welsh mythology and Arthurian legend.… (mais)
Membro:mer0169
Título:Waking the Witch
Autores:Rachel Burge (Autor)
Informação:Hot Key Books (2023), 304 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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Waking the Witch de Rachel Burge

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Exibindo 3 de 3
A fantasy novel which I realised only a little way in must be aimed at the YA market and I'm sure would be loved by that readership. I liked it overall but had some reservations.

The beginning was set in a butterfly zoo where Ivy, a girl who has been brought up in care and foster homes since being abandoned as a baby, loves working, apart from her totally creepy boss. Ivy is having a crisis because she has been trying to track down her birth mother, and receives a call at work from her mother, telling her she is in danger and to run but to stay away from Bardsey island where her mother lives.

Soon afterwards, a customer acts peculiar, assaults her and she uses her karate skills to render him harmless, but the boss takes the customer's side and sacks her. His nephew, Tom, a laidback person, walks out with her in solidarity and agrees to drive her to the place on the Welsh coast where she can get a boat. But on the way, more weird things start to happen and tension really racks up when they manage to reach the island.

I liked the description of the witches who reminded me of those in Philip Pullman's Dark Materials series, Morgan in particular, and the vivid and grubby way they are described, logical given their shape-shifting and the form they take on. The demonic forces that pursue Ivy and Tom are creepy. There are some good descriptive passages and the island is evoked quite atmospherically. But there were a number of aspects I wasn't so keen on.

The initial setting in the butterfly zoo is made much of and is then dropped. Given that one of the strange things that happen before Ivy is assaulted is the circling over her head of Deaths Head Moths, it seemed that butterflies, moths and caterpillars would be central to the unfolding mystery but they do not feature at all, producing a disconnect between the earlier part of the book and later events. It might have made more sense to have her work in a bird house in view of what transpires.

Her boss at the zoo is abusive/a sexual predator, but the character is subsequently dropped. The theme is developed in more depth with another character later, but this makes the first man's behaviour seem even more unnecessary. Only if he'd come after Ivy and Tom would it have made sense to make him an abuser - he could just be a pompous, unpleasant man who sacks her. His dual role would only really be justified by linking him to the abusive character she encounters on the island who, after all, has sent hostile forces after her. As it is, Ivy had enough issues from her upbringing to make this seem overkill.

I didn't think the romance which develops was necessary. It would have been nice for a change to have two characters who remain good friends. That wouldn't preclude them taking risks for each other.

Another plot element is made much of but is soon dropped. Tom was supposedly desperate to get back to somewhere on the mainland to pursue funding for a computer game he was developing. He was worried about leaving his stuff in his car (the boat that they take is only small). He ends up stranded - and it's not clear how he's going to get back at the end given what occurred with the boatman. Yet this element just disappears and he seems to forget it completely.

I wasn't sure about the mix-up Ivy's mother makes with the witches. I won't say any more on that to avoid spoilers but I think there was enough of a real threat to avoid muddying the water.

I found it difficult to relate to Ivy because she is such an emotionally bottled up character though I realise from the plot development it is an essential element of the story. But it made her rather a pain at times.

The Arthurian aspect is spurious. It could be any wizard who goes over to the dark side and the witches don't have to be headed up by a main character from Arthurian legend either, because they don't particularly connect to those characters. Similarly, the island could be any made-up island. The chants used are either Latin or made up, rather than in Welsh, which was a lost opportunity because, as it stands, the story lacks an authentic sense of Wales and Welsh culture.

There are a few references to the man who wrote to Ivy telling her where her mum was, enabling her to write to her in the first place. But the identity of this man is never revealed, or Ivy's father for that matter. It just adds to the impression of loose ends that are never resolved. I'm also not a great fan of books that end on cliff-hangers but it became obvious in the last few pages that the story wasn't going to be wrapped up. And I found the present tense first person narrative rather odd.

I quite enjoyed the book despite all this but wouldn't rate it higher than a 3 star rating. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
The cover of this book promises something frightening and the book delivers in spades.
Opening in a butterfly centre the action starts right from the off. Ivy is a sympathetic heroine, with a sad background, who likes people and works hard.
The writing style is fast paced and there is something happening all the time which makes it a real page turner.
We gradually learn more about Ivy, her friend Tom, and eventually where the witches come into the tale.
The latter part of the book delves into Ivy's mindset and draws out interesting interpretations of her behaviour which are both believable and explain why she has so much difficulty "waking the witch".
The narrative is vivid and engaging, making the story so easy to see in my mind's eye. My sympathy for Ivy grew at each turn and although the minor characters are only sketched in, in terms of character, Ivy, Tom and the witches had bags of personality and guts. ( )
  Chomo | Aug 24, 2022 |
Ivy was abandoned as a baby and has lived in care or foster homes. She wants to find her real mom and when the opportunity arises she goes to a remote Welsh island to find her mom and her past.

I requested and won this book through Readers First and was drawn to it by its premise. When a book has a witchy theme and set in Wales which has plenty of folklore what more could you ask.

I read the book quite quickly but didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to. Firstly the book is aimed at the YA audience although of course anybody can read it. I think if I had been about 14 again I would have loved the book.

I really enjoyed the first part of the story following Ivy on her quest for her mom and her past. I also enjoyed the superstitions, folklore and the witchy elements to the story. What lost me was the second half of the book. The story is fantasy based and even light in this case I struggle. Fantasy is not for me even though you can give me a good horror any day.

Another element to the story is based on Merlin from the King Arthur stories. This book I felt though is not a King Arthur retelling just the characters are used in this story. To be honest it didn't have to be Merlin just a wizard and the story would have been the same.

Fantasy is not for me so that is why I haven't enjoyed the book as much as I would have liked.

Thank you to the publisher via Readers First for the book. ( )
  tina1969 | Aug 12, 2022 |
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A darkly spellbinding tale of female empowerment steeped in Welsh mythology and Arthurian legend. "I tried to keep you safe, but I see now that I can't. They won't stop until they have you . . ." When Ivy's search for her mother draws her to a remote Welsh isle, she uncovers a dark secret about her past. An ancient and corrupt power is stalking Ivy, and her only chance of survival is to look deep within herself. For not every story in legend is true, and some evils are not what they seem. An unputdownable novel steeped in Welsh mythology and Arthurian legend.

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