Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton
Series: Witch Finder #1
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Publication Date: January 2nd 2014
Source: Publisher [Netgalley]
Witch Finder was a book I was intrigued by as soon as I came across it on Netgalley and I just knew I had to request a copy. I didn't have any expectations for this book since I'd never heard of it before, but I thought it was an enjoyable read. I had some problems with it, but overall, I still enjoyed it.
Witch Finder follows our characters Luke and Rosa. Luke has just turned 18 and has decided to join the Malleus Maleficorum - a brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches. Luke is put through his initiation tests and his last test is to pick a name a random from the Book of Witches and kill them. The name he draws is Rosa Greenwood. Rosa is a 16 year old witch who is being used by her mother and her brother to gain their fortune back. Rosa hates being their pawn, but she's willing to do anything she can to save the things that remind her of her father. When Luke finds a way to get into Rosa's life he thinks killing her will be easy, but it turns out to be a lot harder than he ever imagined.
Luke and Rosa were both interesting characters in their own way. Luke joined the Malleus Maleficorum because of something that happened in his past and he has a hate for all witches. It also helps that Luke has something special about him that makes him important to the Malleus Maleficorum. I really admire Luke's character. The trials he had to do during his initiation were gruesome and terrifying. He was clearly terrified throughout all of them, but he never showed it. He managed to stay strong and never show how scared he really was, which I really admire about him. Luke is always trying to do whatever he can to help the people he cares for and he's just such a lovely person.
Rosa was not what I was expecting her to be. I never thought she would be a nice and kind as she was. Rosa was being forced into marrying someone by her mother and her brother so that they could gain their fortune back. Rosa was basically being pushed around by her family and if she didn't do what they asked, she was punished. I really liked Rosa's character. She never knew how to stand up for herself at the start because she wanted to save everything that reminded her of her father, and she let herself be pushed around. But as the story went on, Rosa started to think for herself and fight for what she wanted for once. By the end of the book, I really admired her.
There was some romance in this book, but to be honest, I was actually rooting for it. Rosa deserved something happy in her life after everything she'd been through, so the romance didn't bother me too much.
The storyline was interesting, but it had it's slow moments that made me lose interest. I was really intrigued to find out more about what happened in Luke's past to his parents and I was hoping he'd be able to uncover the truth. I was also really intrigued to find out more about the Malleus Maleficorum. There wasn't a lot about them in this book, but what we did find out about them was interesting. I also really enjoyed learning about Rosa and her father and discovering more about Sebastian. There was definitely something extremely off about Sebastian and I was determined to find out what it was. There were a few twists and surprises that I didn't expect that kept me interested in this book.
The ending had me on the edge of my seat wondering how everything was going to play out. I'm actually pretty intrigued to find out what happens to Luke and Rosa in the next book since there'll definitely be consequences for the both of them.
Overall, this was definitely an enjoyable book. The storyline was interesting (for the most part), the characters were good (but not very memorable), but the ending was good enough to make me want to continue.