Book Review

REVIEW: These Witches Don’t Burn

August 13, 2019

Hannah’s a witch, but not the kind you’re thinking of. She’s the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she’s ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans. 

But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah’s concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.

While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she’s going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem’s witches become deadlier by the day.

These Witches Don’t Burn Synopsis
These Witches Don't Burn front cover

My Thoughts:

Sometimes I get all hyped up for a book and it is such a major let down I don’t even want to talk about it. This thankfully is not one of those times. I actually barely knew what this book was about when I started it on Scribd. All I knew was that it was gay, and it had witches. We all know how I am a sucker for gay witches.

Oh, boy was I in for a ride! This book was an emotional roller coaster and I loved every single bit of it! There was so much I loved about this book and only a few things that annoyed me.

First off, while a well thought out magic system and how it interacts with the world isn’t mandatory for my enjoyment, this one was perfection. The characters are all complex and messy, the plot was so heart-wrenchingly suspenseful.

Hannah is an unreliable narrator with very specific goals from the beginning, so we see things from that lens. Veronica made me want to slap her most of the time, and I liked this ex angle to the book. It added complexity and depth, especially because she isn’t always being nasty or bad.

The romance aspect of this was great and the way it is constantly interrupted by drama and strife is both sad but satisfying when things start to work out. The queer rep was great including a trans guy character. I loved that we even see a character deal with some of their own biphobia.

Finally, it is rare that an ending throws me as much as this one did. I loved it and every step was excellent, I cannot wait until book two.

I give These Witches Don’t Burn 4 out of 5 stars

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling was released May 28th 2019 by Razorbill. You can purchase your own copy at Amazon, Book Depository, Mighty Ape, Whitcoulls, Booktopia, or wherever you like to purchase books.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Waiting For Wednesday: This Coven Won’t Break – Lost In Literature May 7, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    […] absolutely adored These Witches Don’t Burn, so much about it was amazing, especially the magic system and the war with the hunters. I also […]

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