{Review} These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

Posted October 11, 2019 by Leah in Reviews / 4 Comments

{Review} These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

These Witches Don't Burn (These Witches Don't Burn, #1)

by Isabel Sterling
Pages: 336
Published on May 28, 2019
by Razorbill
Genres: LGBT, Paranormal, Witches, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

"Infused with page-turning suspense, bittersweet romance, shocking twists, and tragic turns, Sterling has written a standout debut." --Dana Mele, author of People Like Us

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.

Isabel Sterling's delightful, suspenseful debut is equal parts sweet romance and thrilling mystery. With everything she loves on the line, Hannah must confront this murderous villain before her coven--and any chance she has with the new girl--is destroyed.

3.5 Stars

I am so far behind with reviews for October spooky reads, and I want to start by highlighting These Witches Don’t Burn. It’s a fast-paced read perfect for Halloween; not exactly scary, but it’s definitely brimming with magic and lots of potential.

The book takes place in Salem with modern day witch Hannah as our narrator. She was a great storyteller. The narration was engaging and I was hooked from page one. She’s healing from a breakup with her ex-girlfriend, who is also a witch and in the same coven she’s in–which is not great in the healing department.  It means that Hannah has to confide in Veronica since she’s the only one who can understand Hannah’s concerns. Theirs was definitely a bad relationship, even more so after their breakup. Veronica is the type who gets jealous when Hannah goes out with another girl, yet Veronica can see other girls.

There’s also strange events that point to dark magic, but turns out to be so much worse.

The world building is simple yet gives enough to picture what’s happening and a sense of urgency to Hannah’s story. The magic systems are described and play out a little, but I wanted to see the magic given more time to develop. There’s a whole magical world here with its own mythology. Give it space to grow. I’m hopeful this will be seen more in the second book.

There are also several mysteries. Some left me wanting more. One in particular, involving a threat to Hannah, was a little easy to figure out. This also has a lot of potential for growth, which I also hope is given more spotlight time in the second book. That’s the thing I really enjoyed about this book: the possibility for more. The stage is certainly set for the unexpected and the exciting, since it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. I’m keen to check out where this series goes.



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4 responses to “{Review} These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

    • Leah

      Thank you! The publisher did the cover reveal for the next book a few days ago. It comes out next year so the wait might not be too long. 😀

  1. I was originally super-interested in this – that cover alone convinced me to add it to my to-read list – but I’ve been losing interest FAST. I kind of hate that it ends on a cliffhanger – I thought this would be a standalone when I first heard about it – and what you said about one of the mysteries being easy to figure out is meh. Anyway, this was a great review! 🙂

    • Leah

      The cover is very cute. 🙂 I’m genuinely curious to see where the next book goes, maybe everything will be strengthened. Thank you!

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