Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan

Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date - July 9, 2019
Publisher Website - Scholastic
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  288 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
It's the summer before her sixteenth birthday, and Sabrina Spellman knows her world is about to change. She's always studied magic and spells with her aunts, Hilda and Zelda. But she's also lived a normal mortal life -- attending Baxter High, hanging out with her friends Susie and Roz, and going to the movies with her boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle.

Now time is running out on her every day, normal world, and leaving behind Roz and Susie and Harvey is a lot harder than she thought it would be. Especially because Sabrina isn't sure how Harvey feels about her. Her cousin Ambrose suggests performing a spell to discover Harvey's true feelings. But when a mysterious wood spirit interferes, the spell backfires... in a big way.

Sabrina has always been attracted to the power of being a witch. But now she can't help wondering if that power is leading her down the wrong path. Will she choose to forsake the path of light and follow the path of night?

Our exclusive prequel novel will reveal a side of Sabrina not seen on the new NETFLIX show. What choice will Sabrina make... and will it be the right one?
As a fan of the Netflix series I was immediately intrigued when I saw there would be a prequel novel. I was hoping it would have the same tone and that the characters would feel like the same characters. Thankfully, Sarah Rees Brennan captures exactly what fans love about the show and delivers it within these pages.

The characters voices instantly felt familiar. She captures each of them so vividly. Sabrina is the same confident, head strong, inquisitive young woman. Ambrose is still the same sarcastic, caged time bomb we know and love. Harvey is still the sweet, dependable, caring young man. Those who have watched the show will immediately feel connected to these characters because we already know them. The use of alternating chapters to 'spotlight' characters helped get into their heads and ensured the emotional beats paid off.

I think those who have watched the series will get the most out of reading this. There are moments that resonate emotionally because we know the future outcome. It is this hindsight that allows the story to work in my opinion and I am not sure it lands the same without that prior history.

This book is about love and not just the romantic kind. There are familiar bonds that pack just as vital emotional punch as the romantic relationships. The scenes between the Kinkle brothers, in particular, took on a more bittersweet tone because we know what happens to Tommy. We know his wishes in regard to Harvey are not going to come true and that packed an emotional punch. The other familial bond on display is Sabrina's relationship with Ambrose. Their relationship is one of my favourites and we get to see their dynamic on full display here.

I, as a Harvey and Sabrina shipper, especially loved how romantic the storyline is. We learn exactly how much Harvey cares for Sabrina (and vice versa) and the main plot revolves around them and their relationship. I left this book even more invested in them as a couple. It's really hard to not want them together after this because it is such a focus, and done so well. Those who might be fan of Nicholas Scratch will be please to know he makes a cameo, but this really is all about Harvey and Sabrina.

There were two characters I wish had been given a little more to do. Roz and Theo (still going by Susie at this point) are mostly sidelined. We get to see them in the background and each has a brief 'spotlight' chapter. Hopefully if another book is released in this series they'll have more of a presence.

I highly recommend this for fans of the Netflix series. It captures the essence and tone of the series perfectly and allows a deeper look at some of beloved characters. It really is a treat for those who have watched the show and are looking for something extra that fleshes out the world of Greendale.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah Rees Brennan is the PERFECT author to write this; I didn't realize there was a prequel novel for the Sabrina series. Will definitely have to check it out. Great review!


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