Cover Image: Wild Is the Witch

Wild Is the Witch

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Member Reviews

Although this is a book written for teens, and I am far from a teen, I really enjoyed it.  The characters are well developed and have an honesty to their actions.  I love their interactions with animals.  The story is set up all about correcting a mistake, and the adventure taken is full of emotion, revelations and peril for all.  It is a love story, but not just between a boy and a girl;  the love encompasses the nature of others and one's place in this world.  The magic is more of an enhancement of nature than fantastical, and that makes the story more endearing.  'Loved it!  This is a story that can be enjoyed by anyone!
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Wild is the Witch is a dazzling story of love, understanding and family, thought witchy means. The story is one of enemies and lovers, found moments, misjudgments and growing up. I loved the magic system and the characters development. The author has a way of making the story come to live in a believable way. There were times I thought that the characters might pop off the page and manifest in my living room. I also really felt the magic in the pages. The story line is great and has a story to tell and the ending... Well, that ending is one that will stay with me for quite some time. Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the ARC.
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I enjoyed this tale of adversaries forced to work together and in the process discovering common ground.
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I was pleasantly surpised by this, knowing absolutely nothing about the book or author before going in.

Iris Gray, a witch with an affinity towards animals works in an animal sanctuary with her mother and Pike, her workplace adversary.  Iris inadvertently sets a curse into play against Pike, and has to do what she can to stop the curse from going into fruition, which would ultimately put Pike’s life on the line, as well as Iris’s ability to practice magic. 

Pike, hating witches and not knowing Iris is one, goes on an owl expedition in the woods alone with Iris. Iris of course has her own plans for the trip.

Really enjoyed the characters, the subtle magic use, and the growing relationships between Pike and Iris. Nicely done.
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Disclaimer: eArc provided by Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley in exchange for a review.

Plot
Iris Gray is a witch working in an animal rescue shelter owned by her mother, her co-worker Pike. When Pike expresses hatred towards witches (without knowing Iris is a witch) Iris is enraged and decides to do a ritual to curse him. Only problem? Instead of sending the curse into the land and leaving Pike none the wiser, she accidentally curses an owl. When the owl escapes she sets out on a rescue mission to undo the curse, with Pike along for company.

Thoughts
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars

I absolutely adored Rachel's debut novel - The Nature of Witches - and was so excited when is was announced she was publishing another witchy book. This book is set in a different world to her debut, although there is similarities - witches powers appear to be rooted in nature, and the existence of witches is widely known throughout the world.

Iris is such an interesting character. Right at the beginning of the book we learn that Iris was a witness to a spell gone wrong when her friend tried to give her boyfriend power, which rescued in his death when he couldn't control his powers. After this event Iris and her mother left their home town, and her father, behind to set up an animal rescue centre. Both Iris and her mother's magic are classified as 'Stellar' meaning they have a natural affinity to healing and easing pain, which they use to help animals. Also, since that event Iris has kept the knowledge of her magic a secret.

Iris and Pike have a rivals-to-lovers style relationship, they dislike each other at the start of the book due to their preconceptions about each other. Their relationship slowly develops when the two go to rescue the owl. I really enjoyed their banter and how their relationship grew over the course of the book.

Overall, I think if you like Rachel's debut you will also like this book. 

Representation: Irish's mother is in a relationship with another woman. Neither of their sexual identities are confirmed.
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I had the amazing chance and opportunity to receive an ARC of Rachel Griffin's latest book, Wild is the Witch, thanks to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOK Fire in exchange for an honest review.
This book is, in all honesty, one of my favorite reads of the year and to me, it really deserves five stars. I read The Nature of Witches last fall, and completely fell in love with the characters, the world and everything in that story. And when I was finally done, I felt empty and really missed the characters and just reading the book! So when I heard of Wild is the Witch, I swear I almost cried! For real I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. And as soon as I started reading it, it all happened again. I fell in love with this new world and its characters. Let me tell you, I read it all yesterday, and went out with my friends the same night, and all I could think about was this book! That’s also one of the reasons why it deserves five stars.
So to tell you a bit about the story, you first meet Iris, an amazing young witch who is so passionate about who she is, her magic, nature and animals. She is still struggling with some events from her past and has her own little way of dealing with it and with the things that can stress or upset her. She works with her mother in their reuge where they help and try to heal and save wild animals with an intern, Pike. Pike is a normal human being who confesses to hating witches. He and Iris don’t really get along. But when she accidentally curses him, they have to go on a little trip together to try to fix it. I think you can guess where it’s heading; enemies-to-lovers, forced proximity, (after “there’s only one bed”, meet “there’s only one tent”...), tending to the other’s wounds… You get the picture!
I really, really loved Iris, her character was really interesting and really got to me, the struggles she has to face, her way of dealing with them, and her devotion to animals.. <33 I mean, I just love her so much. 
The story was so well written, and the worldbuilding was just amazing. I loved everything about it and really plan on reading it again. I 100% recommend it! Please Rachel Griffin, I need another one already!!!! 
I’m so thankful to have had the chance to read it. Can’t wait for the next book and most importantly for everyone to read it!
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It was so good! I love Rachel's writing style and the character personalities were so relatable! The tension throughout the whole book and then the ending!!!! What! Literally and absolutely phenomenal.
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I read and adored the book "The Nature of Witches" so was excited to see that Rachel Griffin had written another book.  I am so lucky to have had the chance to read this amazing new novel, "Wild is the Witch". 

After high school, Iris works at the nature preserve that her mother owns and runs.  She loves spending time there with the animals, her Lunar magic connecting her to them.  The only part of her job that she doesn't enjoy is having to work with Pike Alder, a college student who is interning there.  When a spell that wasn't meant to be cast accidentally joins to an owl, and that owl flees the preserve, Iris know the only way to prevent a tragedy from happening is to get the owl back and remove the curse she unintentionally created.  Iris and Pike set out into the mountains to find the owl and bring him back to the refuge, Iris keeping her secret that she's a witch and Pike having no idea what he's getting into.  As both teenagers start to open up more to each other, they become connected in a way that neither could see coming. 

This novel was beautifully written!  The author's description of magic and the way it works was, in itself, magical.  She gave magic a connection to nature - plants, trees, animals - that was simple, yet powerful.  It was easy to connect with Iris, and with Pike, and to care deeply about them both throughout the story.  My favorite part of the story though was Iris's connection to the animals - especially Winter.  We all need a wolf like that!  

Thank you to #NetGalley and #SourcebooksFire for an ARC of #WildistheWitch by #RachelGriffin in exchange for an honest review.  The thoughts above are completely my own.  I can't wait for #RachelGriffin to write more books!!  She is now on my favorite YA authors list!!
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I enjoyed reading this book. The atmosphere was beautiful, and I enjoyed the enemies to lovers. It's one that will immediately go on my recommendations shelf.
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Fantastic story!  It moved quickly and I felt I really got to the know the characters.  I could feel their emotions, their terror and hope.  It's a thrilling, beautiful adventure.
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I enjoyed this book. The plot was well paced and the characters were enjoyable to read. I would recommend this book to friends and would enjoy reading additional books from this author.
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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I went in reading this book with high hopes and it did not disappoint.  The whole book was rich I felt like I as there.  I loved the animal magic and finding love in the most unexpected ways.  Once I started I could not put it down.  This is a book I feel everyone should read.
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4.5⭐

Iris is a witch. She's been the unfortunate victim of circumstances in the past that have caused her to hide her status as such, and when her work adversary Pike makes a comment about hating witches - well, what can she do but curse him?

I don't typically gravitate towards books written in first person, as I feel they can often read very young - and I do think, were this not written in first person it actually work better for a New Adult/crossover audience than simply YA. This is also what took it down from being a 5 star read. That being said, I still devoured this story and had a  thoroughly good time doing so.

The characters in this, the slow unravelling of their motivations and thoughts and feelings, was so enjoyable to read. Especially for a stand alone, I feel that we were given a lot of insight into the characters choices as they were the driving force of the story. There were definitely times when I was slightly frustrated by choices made but these moments didn't take away from the story, as they so often do.

Would strongly recommend for readers who love character driven stories with concise yet beautifully descriptive writing - will definitely be picking up more from this author.
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This book is beautiful and perfect. Rachel absolutely nails it again! I loved Iris and Pike so much. The angst and chemistry is just fire. The world building is phenomenal. There is nothing I didn’t like except that it ended.
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Fact #1: I wanted to love this book, I was ready to love this book, this was my book – nature, witches, it doesn’t get any better…

Fact #2: … except it does. I did not love “Wild is the Witch”. Didn’t even like it.

I’ve been hearing about Rachel Griffin’s “The Nature of Witches” for some time now and it was definitely on my list of books to buy, so imagine my surprise and excitement when I found that her book “Wild is the Witch” is on NetGalley, and that I got approved for it!

The novel is about a girl called Iris, who’s… a witch (probably no surprise there). She gets in trouble because of a very unfortunate incident she witnessed and she’s forced to move to another state to escape her past. Her mother goes with her to Washington, while her father decides he’s not up for it and stays behind, effectively abandoning his family. Iris grows wary of the world and her only desire is to protect her home, her mother and the animals they care for. Her whole life is turned upside down again when, feeling threatened by a boy who she works with who hates witches (not knowing that Iris is one), she makes a curse that will turn him into one. She doesn’t intend to use the curse, but rather to destroy it, thereby destroying all of her fears and frustrations, but the curse gets stolen by an owl, an amplifier for magic, and with the curse being linked to the life of the owl, Iris has to find a way to catch the bird and remove the curse before it’s unleashed. To the help comes none other than the boy she cursed, Pike Alder.

In theory there’s really nothing to dislike in this book. In practice though, despite the pretty writing, despite the seemingly creative world, I just… did not buy it. I don’t think there have been many books in my life that just did not manage to convince me to buy the story. There have been ones I disliked, ones I did not particularly care about, or thought boring, but I’ve never felt such an overwhelming feeling of “This is all so flimsy and improbable”.

For starters, I found the magic system weak – magic in this world is known to all, yet people don’t particularly care about it – there are just some witches who do some witching and a Witches’ Council, and normal people just keep on living. Witches can theoretically turn other people to witches (or rather, mages, as the humans-turned-witches are called), but don’t because it’s dangerous (though it can also work without much of a problem), and life goes on. It just feels… improbable. Of all the ways a reveal of magic could go, I would never imagine witchcraft would stay so low-key and unchecked as it does in “Wild is the Witch”.

Secondly, and what’s much worse, is the premise of this book – Iris decides to create an actual, working curse, with the intention of aiming it at some herbs and burning them, thus destroying the curse, but an owl swoops down and steals it and that means that if the owl dies not only will the victim of the curse be hit by the curse, but it would spread for miles and miles in all directions and hit many other people (because the owl is an amplifier).

How f***ing stupid can Iris be in this case? It’s a real curse! Maybe it’s unlikely that it’ll get out, but it may! I know that people do some dumb stuff like those who were licking public toilets to show they’re not scared of COVID in 2020, but to so recklessly create a working curse which can get out and do its work seems incredibly, shockingly stupid and reckless.
It’s explained why the curse gets taken by the owl, kinda, but… I don’t buy it. I just don’t. Makes no sense.
And then everything else that happens, which is in the realm of spoilers and shall not be explained, just continues being so flimsy and far-fetched – starting, but by far not finishing with the fact that Iris hates and fears Pike so much that she makes a curse especially for him, and then the moment the curse gets away from her, she goes after the owl with none other than Pike himself. I mean, there’s no amount of nagging and convincing my mom can do that would get me to bring my most hated person backpacking through the mountains in search of an owl with me. Also, considering that Iris is not a child but a young woman, that she needs her mom’s permission to go do her job (rescuing animals), and that she’d get it only if she brings her nemesis just gets my BS radar buzzing (of course, if her mom hadn’t forced her to go with Pike, none of the book would have happened, so as I said, flimsy reasons for the characters to do things to get the book where the author wants it to be).

Just nope.
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this is my first Racheal Griffin book and so didnt know what i was getting in to, so this was a surprise for me it is a   low level fantasy book with the usual loathe to love story line. 
the way Rachel writes is easy and flows naturally, it give you this warm feeling when you are reading it. the story was emotional but without the damage and completely relatable.
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I officially can say that Rachel Griffen’s book have my entire heart. Wild is a beautiful contemporary fantasy with enemies to lovers (there is one tent!!!) and characters you will grow to love. What really sets this book apart for be is how emotions and trauma are handled. While, these emotions are strong and heartbreaking at the same time this book is healing. Iris has Anxiety and Panic Disorder, which is shown, but also dealt with in away that still showed she was strong and brave, but still struggled. I love how supportive Rachel writes her characters, even despite there flaws and mistakes. And yeah, they do make big mistakes, but I love how it is handled. 

Did I mention that the personalities of the animals in this book are beautiful. Especially, at the end with the Owl. 

Overall, I loved this book! And probably wouldn’t shut up about it ever. 

Thank you Net Galley for the free ARC. All opinions are mine.
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Rachel Griffin is officially the queen of nuanced, contemporary paranormal. Once again, she succeeded in creating a completely fresh take on a modern system of witchcraft. Wild is the Witch is a simple story paired with fleshed out characters and magic system. It is an easy but immersive read.

Wild is the Witch is the story of Iris, a Lunar Witch (power connected to animals) living in Washington State. After a traumatic event uprooted her life, she moves to the Pacific Northwest to run an animal refuge with her mother. There she meets Pike, an intern with his own dark history with witches. The two of them go after a wayward owl in the forests of the Northwest. Will they find it in time? Will they ever stop fighting?

This book is such a gem. It takes real craft to create something that feels so simple and yet is so thoroughly fleshed out. Rachel Griffin is quickly becoming an automatic "must-buy" author for me.
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The sharing one tent/enemies to more trope is EVERYTHING!
Thank you to NetGalley for giving me early access to this book. I have been eagerly waiting for this book since I read Nature Of Witches. It feels important to read about Washington knowing what it means to Rachel. It's always a joy to read her work and feel her deep appreciation for our Earth.
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I absolutely adored this book. The writing was absolutely beautiful and the story felt like a warm hug. It was so captivating and made me want to keep reading, but was also so comforting. The characters we so likable and I couldn’t help but smile at the banter between Iris and Pike. The descriptions of the setting and all the connections with nature and the different animals were so beautifully written it made this book an easy one to get lost in. I know this will easily be one of my top reads of the year!
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