I wanted to post last week, but was too busy so this is a combination of last week’s and this week’s topics.
First, let’s start with last week’s topic:
As a lover of fantasy, I, of course, enjoy reading about witches. Human wielders of magic greatly attract me to the genre and though witches are usually portrayed as ugly, evil, vile creatures, they are my favorites to read about. Actually, I’d love to receive more book recommendations that center on witches, which is the main reason why I am excited to see this topic. Well, here are the books that came to mind:
Wytches, Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder, illus. by Jock
In this first volume of the Wytches comic book series, Sailor has moved to a new town with her mom and dad after a horrific experience at her old school. Though she tries to fit in, the experience still haunts her. This was a pretty interesting story. I enjoyed it and loved the father-daughter relationship in it. The wytches in this are quite horrific, but I like how they are portrayed because they are different from what I’m used to and because of how unsettling their presence is. So if you’re in the mood to read a comic book for Halloween that has scary-looking witches, pick up this one.
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
I actually haven’t read this as yet, but I have watched and loved the movie. It’s about sisters living in a Massachusetts town whose family has always been accused of being witches. In the movie, they are witches and my favorite characters are the aunts. They are the sort of witches I like: the amiable ones with “home” remedies and ready with a word of advice. I’m not sure if the movie mirrors the book, but either way, I can’t wait to read it.
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
The third Discworld book but the first in the Witches series. I enjoyed reading this one. It’s my first Discworld book and is about the first female wizard of Discworld. In it we meet Granny Weatherwax, the local witch for a village called Bad Ass. Granny Weatherwax grew on me. She’s in tune with nature, no nonsense, and quite powerful though she doesn’t seem so at first. She would like to fit her role and have a hooked nose and warty face, but unfortunately, she has the bad luck of looking quite pleasant (lol).
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
The first novel of a young-adult (to me it’s at the lower end of young-adult, like almost middle-grade) series set in Nigeria about an albino girl who learns she has magical abilities. The story is steeped in African identity and I love it. The magic is called “juju” in the story and those who can use it are called Leopard People. I enjoyed reading this one and plan to get the second book, Akata Warrior, which was recently published. Many folks have called this the “Nigerian Harry Potter,” which I find annoying, but it is correct in saying that it is similar to books like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, so I’d recommend it to readers who enjoy such books.
The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol
This middle-grade novel was published earlier this year by a debut author. It’s about a girl who failed her witch’s exam and must redo her apprenticeship in a backwards town. This was a joy to read and is the sort of fantasy/witchy book I’ve been searching high and low for. Not much is told about the magic system, but the protagonist is given a handbook that provides her with advice and text from the handbook is included throughout the novel. Some elements of common witchlore is included, like riding a broomstick and such, but so far the witch is more like those that provide home remedies and help to sort out local concerns.
This week’s topic:
Favorite creepy settings
I wouldn’t say that I consider any of these settings favorites, but they creeped me out the most, especially the first:
The Shining by Stephen King
The Overlook Hotel is probably the creepiest place I’ve ever read about. No one would want to experience what the Torrance family endured there. And since I sometimes wonder if my own house is haunted, this book was even more unsettling to me when the hotel started to “wake up.” I’ve seen old hotels and bed & breakfasts and wondered about them. Nope. If a place feels unsettling when I check in, best believe my ass will check out straight away.
Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez
Several stories in Enriquez’s book of short stories creeped me out but “Adela’s House” really got to me because of the abandoned house in it and what happened to the kids who went inside. That scared me some.
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
This YA fantasy romance novel was beautifully written. It was haunting and if not for the heavy romance in the second bit of it, I’d love the story. It’s not a scary book, but the Goblin King’s underground kingdom was friggin creepy, yo! You could be in your room thinking you’re alone and next thing you turn around and what do you see? An ugly-ass goblin most likely leering at you. Nope, nope! I need privacy, thanks.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
So the Raven Boys series isn’t intended to be scary, but it certainly has creepy moments, most of which takes place in or under Cabeswater or other places along the ley line. I mean, Cabeswater is certainly appealing and I would like to visit it, but the place is weird as fuck. Ley lines are creepy things, man!
The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey
Speaking of ley lines, I believe the town Crow Hollow in Billy Coffey’s paranormal novel is located on one because lots of weird shit happen there that creeped me out as I read. Luckily the story was so good, I couldn’t stop reading despite being a teensy bit scared.
Well, that’s it!
If you’ve read any good books featuring witches, let me know below. 🙂