Cover Image: Wild Is the Witch

Wild Is the Witch

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Member Reviews

This story grabbed me from the beginning and followed the natural  paths of ups and downs as the characters are revealed . Many times my heart raced as the fear of the outcome grew in intensity. I didn't imagine such tense and tender emotions were to be a part of this story. Witches indeed. Very satisfying read.
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An okay read that had a lot of potential but fell short. The characters are great. The take on magic was unique. Unfortunately it wasn't built enough. The romance was sweet. Overall it's an okay read.
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Just okay. Pretty standard enemies-to-lovers YA fiction. Like with her first novel, I thought that it was atmospheric with a beautiful cover and straightforward writing, but didn't have anything different about it that would make it stand out among the rest. If I'm going to love a standalone it needs to have that punch to it right away, whereas I got halfway through and not much had happened. Reminiscent of Shea Ernshaw's The Wicked Deep but much preferred that title.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of Rachel Griffen’s second novel: Wild Is The Witch. After enjoying Griffen’s debut The Nature of Witches I was looking forward to reading more of her particular brand of magic.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find a lot to love in Wild Is The Witch. I’m not a big fan of plots that depend on the characters lacking all common sense and logic. If they had used more than one brain cell at any given time, this book would’ve been 20 pages long. 

I loved the idea of witches in this book and I wish it had been expanded on more. As always, Griffen’s writing about nature is lovely and evocative. I just wasn’t sold on the plot. The romance was also sweet but I found it hard to enjoy in the midst of so many lies and poor decisions. I also feel like the wolf familiar was totally wasted.

With more world-building and a different plot I think I would’ve loved this book but alas I’m not a fan. Hopefully someone else will fall in love where I didn’t.

(FYI the main character has asthma and anxiety but I don’t know if it’s based on personal experience.)

Trigger/content warnings: animal death, burning to death, fire, graphic injuries including burns and compound fracture, panic attacks.
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Fans of Rachel Griffin's The Nature of Witches won't be disappointed with her newest offering. The novel is atmospheric and accessible. I would actually recommend reading this in the fall as it lends itself to that season. The main characters are relatable and it was good to see the progression of their love story. Great for fans of enemies to lovers and atmospheric romances with a bit of magic!
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I don't know what will I categorize this book. It's not fantasy enough to be called fantasy, and not contemporary enough to be called contemporary. I guess witchcraft and normal work like animal refuge didn't work out well together. The story itself centered on Iris and Pike and their relationship from hate to love. Not enough magic, I think the story could've been fine even without it. Remove the witchcraft and magic and it would work as contemporary romance. Although the premise was quite interesting--that was the reason I requested this book--with the concept of Stellar, Lunar, and Solar, the executions are lacking of those. So yeah. I didn't get what the author tried to deliver with this story.

The narrative was inconsistent too. On the early chapters, there's a LOT of detailed description about the vibes and surroundings but then all those detailed description vanished when the story started to revolve around Iris and Pike.

I tried to finish it to find something that maybe will change my opinion about the whole story but apparently I couldn't find any so at the end I decided to give it 2 stars. Sorry.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

The magic system in this book was very interesting and I wanted to learn more about how magic works. The overall story was intriguing and pulled me in from the start and kept me wanting more. The story was quick paced and was a great read!
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Thank you so much Sourcebooks Fire for sending me and ARC! Overall this was a 3.5 star for me. I became a Rachel Griffin fan after her first novel, Nature of Witches, and her sophomore novel, Wild Is The Witch was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I think being a fan of Griffin's writing before going into this story is what led me to push through the first half of the book. I felt like the first half was a lot of info dumping, telling instead of showing, and just lots of facts rather than descriptive writing. It was missing the magical, atmospheric style Griffin wrote Nature of Witches with. I felt like I couldn't place myself into the setting easily until around the halfway point where the story and plot picked up. This is a book I believe could've been longer. I wish we got more backstory on the friendship that was in the prologue of the story. And I wish we got a little bit more time building up the rivals to lovers plot line. It was hard to understand why exactly Iris and Pike didn't like each other but let me tell you their banter was phenomenal. And besides Griffin's skill with atmospheric writing she also knows how to write a romance and once the romance picked was magical and had me blushing and kicking my feet. In the end I adore this book and its story. The beginning is what knocked it down half a star but the story, the characters, and Griffin won me over in the end. This is the perfect quick fall time read (I recommend reading it on a rainy day).
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I heard so many good things about this author and, after reading this book, let me tell you, she's become a new favorite! This story has an astounding portrayal of magical systems and scorching tension between the main characters. I'm a hardcore witch lover and this book delivered on so many levels. If you are also a fan of witches, unique magical systems, and sizzling enemies-to-lovers, than this is the book for you!
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Solidifying herself as an auto-buy author for me, Rachel Griffin's second novel is a delightfully atmospheric witchy tale full of steamy tropes and tension that only an enemies-to-lovers story could provide.
Wild is the Witch follows Iris Gray, a witch living in the Pacific Northwest, working at the wildlife refuge run by her and her mother. Surrounded by nature and animals, life would be perfect were it not for the refuge's witch-hating intern, Pike Alder. When a curse goes wrong, the two must pair up and trek through the woods to stop catastrophe before it strikes, pitting themselves against the weather, their biases, and the depth of their feelings when there's nowhere left to run...because THERE'S ONLY ONE TENT!
This contemporary YA story is the perfect comfort read for anyone looking for a mountain-escape filled with rich and vivid imagery that places you at the foot of the forest. As usual, Rachel's ability to fit witches into the existing world is brilliant, never once feeling impossible or out of place. She's a force of nature, no pun intended, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!
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Wow this book was so good. I enjoyed Rachel Griffin’s first book but this one was even better! Definitely a five star read. I was on the edge of my seat reading Iris’ story. It was so adventurous and suspenseful.
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3.5 stars, rounding up. This was a lovely read. The story is straightforward and just as the blurb promises. What drew me in was both the cover and the title, both well chosen. 

The way witches are described in the book was interesting, how much they seemed in touch with nature, but how that could also prove to be dangerous. Nature plays a big role in the book and you feel yourself transported into the scenery. 

Iris is a great heroine and I really liked her POV. You can feel Iris' anxiety throughout the whole book. How the incident with Amy shaped her and just how much she loves the life she and her mother rebuilt in the refugee and how much she wants to protect it and herself. It's a testament to the author's ability to pull you into the story, but for me the constant threat of accidentally releasing the curse or somebody discovering what she did, kept me from picking up the book on some occasions. Personally I need the right kind of headspace for this kind of topic. 

Her relationship with Pike (and Pike himself as a character) was fun to read. You could understand his distrust in witches and where it comes from, just as well as Iris' fear of discovery. Their banter was nice and witty, but never felt forced. 

My one complaint would be that I felt the storyline didn't develop over enough time. The road trip only lasts a few days and nights and yet so much happens between Iris and Pike in terms of trusting and opening up to each other, I wish the time span would've been longer. 

I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a solid story with magical elements and main characters who try to trust again.
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I really love all these witchy books coming out. There vibes are all so unique. I only gave this 4* because it started off slow. Once it got going though I couldn't put it down. The emotion written into the characters really brings them to life. I also love a good witchy book set in nature with animals. With that being said this goes on my rec list!!
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I received this as an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Wild is the Witch has a very gentle magic system. Its also a touch too self-aware to be funny. Iris, the main character really fixated on get mistakes to the point where it feels like half if each chapter is just rehashing what we already know about the curse, her best friend, and the consequences she expects to endure. 

The relationship between Iris and Pike is definitely a bit of a slow burn. Iris is the stereotypical inexperienced ingenue and Pike sees himself as worldly. 

This is not an action driven novel. This is a story driven by thr inner turmoil of the main character.
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Can you tell I’m basically ready for summer to be over and spooky season to start? Wild is the Witch is a very clear “enemies to lovers” story between 18-year-old Iris Gray, a Lunar witch who communes mostly with animals, and Pike Alder—the intern at her moms animal refuge who drives Iris so crazy she accidentally curses him. Even though their “enemies to lovers” story felt like it quickly became “lovers,” we do know that they have been “enemies” for a long time. The author’s writing is beautiful and seamless. You can’t help but be pulled into the world created for these witches. You’ll want to add this to your spooky season TBR.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to read an advanced reader's copy of this book for an honest review. (Publish Date: August 2, 2022)

“Wild is the Witch” by Rachel Griffin caught my attention due to its intriguing cover art, but when I read that the story was about witches in modern times, powerful curses, and adventuring through the wilderness to save the world with a witch-hater, I was completely sold!

The story primarily follows Iris (a teenage witch) and Pike (a teenage boy who doesn’t know Iris is a witch). Pike works with Iris at an animal refuge non-profit her mother runs, and they can’t stand each other. When Pike suddenly makes a horrible comment about witches, Iris lets out her anger by creating a dark, powerful spell that she never intended to use. However, before Iris could undo it, an owl swoops down, steals the curse, and flies far away into the wilderness. Witches know that owls are powerful spell amplifiers, and if the owl somehow died before Iris could take back the spell, her deadly curse could be unleashed not just on Pike, but on everyone in the region.

Desperately trying to keep the accidental curse a secret while knowing she has little time to fix it, Iris is forced to take Pike with her as they hunt for the owl. The stakes are high as the teens try their best to survive the wilderness – and each other, but Iris isn’t the ordinary girl Pike thinks she is.

I was fascinated by the author’s world-building and completely bought into her explanations of how witches were living amongst people somewhat harmoniously in modern times. Unlike many other stories where witches are described as wicked and selfish, I appreciated that these witches were represented as good and helpful with talents inspired by nature.

“Witches are able to recognize the energy around us and reorder it in ways to produce certain outcomes. It’s a sixth sense that most people don’t have. We can harness all the chaotic particles and bring them together into something brilliant.”

My only complaint about the book was some of the scenarios were too easily predicted. Otherwise, the hunt for the owl who stole the curse along with the growing relationship between Iris and Pike captivated and propelled me through the story with ease.

As a standalone book, I was very happy with the ending and felt the author did a great job of wrapping everything up! Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to teens, young adults, and adults who enjoy stories that involve good witches who sometimes make bad choices..and happy endings.
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This was a well-written low fantasy debut, with an interesting magic system that I would have liked to see a little bit better developed. Would recommend for teens looking for a contemporary fantasy and the enemies-to-lovers trope.
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Absolute perfection. Rachel Griffins novels are ones that immediately make it onto my favorites shelf! This story was beautiful, magical, and deserves all the stars possible! I loved every second of it!
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My Thoughts

Iris Gray, an 18-year-old witch, finds herself in over her head in this story.

Living with her mother and working at their wildlife refuge gives her great satisfaction.

At least it usually does but the intern, Pike Alder, is a thorn in her side.

As a method to relieve tension she has long been in habit of writing curses then making sure they are destroyed before her magic is released into the world.

However, of course, her particular curse this time for Pike was one that got out of her control in such a way that she had no choice but to try her best to find the owl and stop said curse from deploying.

The concept of which would have been much simpler if said owl would only cooperate!

For me the simplicity of this plot set up was one I enjoyed, the paranormal elements worked as did every step that Iris and Pike took towards changing their minds about each other on a journey to find a magical owl with abilities that could wreak far reaching havoc.

Some of my favorite things, witches, magic, emotions and romance all in one package.

I could not put it down for long the entire day I read it!

[EArc from Netgalley]

On every book read as soon as it is done and written up for review it is posted on Goodreads and Netgalley, once released then posted on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles as well.
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I enjoyed this stand-alone fantasy novel, though not as much as Rachel Griffin’s debut novel, The Nature of Witches. This one felt a lot smaller in scope and less complex, which is not a flaw in the writing so much as a matter of personal taste.

Something I have come to love about Griffin’s writing is that (to echo what I said about her first novel) it is a love letter to nature. The descriptions of the forest are a form of magic all on their own. Speaking of magic, I really enjoyed the organic nature of magic in the novel—how it was used to communicate and connect with animals. I also appreciated the exploration of grief and trauma; it didn’t feel oversimplified. 

The enemies-to-lovers trope was fun but at times predictable. Some elements of the central conflict felt a bit repetitive and perhaps forced (especially at the beginning when the original curse comes into play). But overall, I did like this one and would recommend it to lovers of fantasy and nature.
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