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Book Review: Season of the Witch – Sarah Rees Brennan

It is the summer before her sixteenth birthday, Sabrina Spellman knows that her world is about to change. Her life consists of studying magic and spells, hanging out with friends and going to the movies with her boyfriend Harvey Kinkle.

Now that the time in the “normal” world is slowly running out, she realizes that leaving her friends behind is much harder than she had expected. Especially now that she no longer knows exactly what Harvey feels for her. When her cousin Ambrose proposes to cast a spell that will reveal his true feelings for her, it goes completely wrong. A mysterious forest spirit interferes with the spell and everything starts to backfire.
Sabrina has always been drawn to the power of magic. Yet she is increasingly doubting that her magic is not leading her the wrong way. Will she choose to leave the path of light to follow the path of the night?

Review

Since The Chilling adventures of Sabrina is on Netflix, I have been a big fan of the series. I love the fact that the makers dare to make daring choices with regard to religion and events and I also enjoy the timelessness in the design of the whole. The fact that books came, of course, could not have been delayed and that is why I really looked forward to Season of the Witch, the prequel to the series.

Soon she will be sixteen and so Sabrina knows she will be at the forefront of her life: will she go completely for the path of witchcraft, just like the rest of the family, or will she choose for her normal life with friends and her boyfriend Harvey Kinkle? As her birthday gets closer, Sabrina finds it harder and harder to choose. When Ambrose proposes to cast a spell to make it clear what Harvey really feels for her, it goes completely wrong. A forest spirit starts to interfere with the search.

Of course I really enjoyed being able to immerse myself in the world of Sabrina through a completely different media. For example, I also like to read the stories of Charmed and Supernatural, and somewhere the Season of the Witch also felt like such a typical episode, although it is set before the start of the series. The disadvantage of that, I thought, was that it does not feel very innovative and that – especially at the beginning – you will have to deal with a lot of information that you as a loyal viewer of the series already know.

Sure there is also extra information along, for example about Ambrose and Hilda, but the question is whether this is really canon and was not invented by the writer. You will find out these extra details on the darker pages, where a different character always gives extra input. On the one hand it is very nice (and sometimes even more fascinating than the story itself), but on the other hand it is a bit more dependent on the more complete story.

For a long time I had no idea where this story actually wanted to go. The first half of the book is mainly an introduction and I simply didn’t need that. Sure, I thought it was fun and entertaining, but it could have been a little more exciting (especially for fans!). I recommend this book especially when you have not started the series or have just seen some episodes.

Season of the witch is really a very accessible book. Not too scary, but not so dull that it loses the atmosphere of the series. It is just a nice book with here and there exciting, horror-like and sometimes funny elements.

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