Monday, July 23, 2012

My Review of Witch Dreams

Witch DreamsWitch Dreams by Vivian Vande Velde

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I (re)read A Hidden Magic by Vande Velde not too long ago, and I admit, it made me worry that I wouldn't like this book by her. I've read books I liked (Dragon Bait and Companions of the Night), but A Hidden Magic was fresh in my mind. I'm happy to say Witch Dreams was a better read, though like A Hidden Magic, it's surprisingly short. At the heart, it's a murder mystery with a young girl playing detective in a medieval town. The mystery of who killed her parents has plagued Nyssa for six years to the point where people think she's crazy, but she's also a witch (or rather a psychic which is more accurate) who with a small token from her target can enter their dreams. She's determined to get revenge, and when the one who killed her parents comes back to town, she sets out get it.

Again, this book was 120 pages long, so the story goes very fast and some things are handled very briefly. One thing they glossed over in the book was the passage of time from Nyssa's parents death to the day Elsdon, the suspected murderer returns to town. She was ten when her parents died and now is 16. That's a lot of time for someone so young. She works in a wool merchant's house as a maid, but is that what she's done for six years? It didn't seem like it, and what about her brother? I know now that I've read the whole story why Vande Velde may have glossed over the years, but it still feels a little lacking. I wonder why she made so much time lapse. Why not have it only a year or two? Why six?

I knew the whodunit pretty early in the story, but it may be just because of my love of police procedurals. I thought the way Nyssa worked it out was clever. Overall, I thought it was a good read. I think tween girls would enjoy it and maybe some boys as well.

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Anonymous said...

Hey, I commented on the last chapter,
and I was wondering if you have any tips for young writers? because I've been working on a book called Halloween Fright, but it seems to be lacking things and I'd love some tips :)
Thx! Kelly

S.A. Hunter said...


I'm honored you'd ask for tips and I wish I were a better writer. I struggle to stay on task and not procrastinate. All I can tell you is to try to write everyday. Get into the habit. Do it even if you don't want to. I'm still struggling with this idea, and I have my ups and downs, but if you can make it a regular part of your day, you will be rewarded with better writing and finished stories. (I need to finish a number of stories right now...)