London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.
Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.
I was gifted this book on NetGalley what seems like seriously forever ago. Honestly, I don’t know what took me so long to finish it. It wasn’t that it wasn’t good per say, it just wasn’t one of those books that you can’t put down. I had no problem putting it down.
The premise is interesting as far as witches go. The concept was original, but I kind of feel like Warburton didn’t go deep enough. There was this whole history behind the Malleus Maleficorum that never gets told. Where did they come from? Why did the brotherhood form? These are things that would greatly enhance not only the story, but develop Luke’s and many other side characters personalities as well.
Same goes for the witches. I felt like I needed to know more about the Knyvet’s, other than they were just bad people. Rosa’s family life just gets glossed over like you are just supposed to accept it, but I want to know why. Why is her mother so crazy? Why did her dad die? Why is her brother such a horrific asshat? None of these things are spoilers by the way.
It was like Warburton had this really great idea. This story that was full of magic and love and mystery and then someone was like “yeah, let’s just cut out all of the character development to make the book shorter and faster paced”, or something like that. But really, what it needs is about 50% more. I was disappointed, and felt a little cheated.
Witch Finder had promise, but it just didn’t really deliver.
That cover though? Beautiful.