Cover Image: Wild Is the Witch

Wild Is the Witch

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Member Reviews

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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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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This was so fun to read, the perfect book for a cozy afternoon in fall!

Rating: 3.5/5


After a night of magic turns deadly, Iris Gray vows to never let another person learn she's a witch. It doesn't matter that the Witches' Council found her innocent or that her magic was once viewed as a marvel-that night on the lake changed everything. Now settled in Washington, Iris hides who she really is and vents her frustrations by writing curses she never intends to cast. And while she loves working at the wildlife refuge she runs with her mother, she loathes Pike Alder, the witch-hating aspiring ornithologist who interns with them.

When Pike makes a particularly hurtful comment, Iris concocts a cruel torment for him. But just as she's about to dispel it, an owl swoops down and steals the curse before flying far away from the refuge. The owl is a powerful amplifier, and if it dies, Iris's dark spell will be unleashed not only on Pike, but on everyone in the region.

Forced to work together, Iris and Pike trek through the wilderness in search of the bird that could cost Pike his life. But Pike doesn't know the truth, and as more dangers arise in the woods, Iris must decide how far she's willing to go to keep her secrets safe.

Thank you NetGalley for giving me an eARC!!
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This book was like sitting next to fire while snowed into a mountainside cabin. In other words, it was warm and cozy. The author's writing style is so atmospheric and her world  is so rich and vivid. I loved how the magic system in this book felt so nature to how the earth actually works and the idea of witches being out and accepted (mostly) by society made me feel all warm inside. Because of this the book reads a lot like a contemporary and it feels like witches are just a natural occurrence in our world, as though it was the way it always should have been. 

The book is very character driven with just a spice of magic and I loved it. I think it's the perfect book for someone wanting to get into fantasy but is a little scared to jump straight into more complex magic systems. Speaking of magic systems, I really loved the way it was explained. The way magic was used, the limitations and consequences of using too much of it felt very believable. The only negative I have is that I wanted more. There is an entire sanction of magic that we never really got to see and I hope there are more books set inside of this world.

This book is for anyone who loves natural magic, realistic witches, and a whole lot of atmosphere.
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There’s something about Rachel Griffin’s writing that just feels so cozy and comforting. This book was absolutely beautiful. The atmosphere felt lush and so incredibly real. Wild is the Witch felt like a love letter to the woods and the Pacific Northwest as a whole. It was obvious that Rachel Griffin herself has a huge amount of love and respect for nature and animals and that love just jumped off the page. 

The pacing was great, and there were no issues with the gorgeous writing and descriptions of the world slowing the book down. Everything was really well explained and the magic system was simple, but really unique. Similarly to The Nature of Witches, nothing was overcomplicated and the magic was written in a way that makes it seem like it could exist in our world. I will say, this book is very light on the magic and is much more character and setting driven than it is fantasy driven. That wasn’t a bad thing in the slightest, but definitely something to keep in mind before going in. 

The characters/romance are where this book fell down a little for me. I really liked both Iris and Pike as characters and I felt like I had a really good grasp of Iris’s own personal motivations, but I didn’t feel particularly immersed in either of them. Because of this, they, as individuals and as a couple, didn’t feel super real to me. I think this felt more obvious to me because the world and magic felt so real that, in contrast, I was left a bit disappointed by the characters. 

Overall, however, Wild is the Witch was a beautiful story that featured really great representation for anxiety and grief. This is the kind of book I foresee myself revisiting time and time again when I feel like I need to be surrounded by nature but can’t be. I absolutely adore Rachel Griffin’s writing and can’t wait to read what she writes next.

Content warnings: Death (human and animal,) grief, cancer, injury (human and animal,) illness, burning alive, parental abandonment.
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Wild is the Witch is a whimsical novel about new chapters, finding love in the most unexpected ways, and the power of nature and the stories we carry on.

Rachel Griffin pulls together a stand-alone YA urban fantasy novel that follows Iris Grey, a young witch following an unfortunate accident. Eager to start over, Iris and her mother move to the NW coast. But, after a curse goes wrong and gets snagged by an amplifier, Iris's magic threatens to harm all in her community and the boy she cannot stand, Pike. Together, Pike and Iris embark on a journey into the whimsical nature around them and try to track down the curse. The only problem? Pike hates witches and he can never know Iris cursed him.

Three Things I loved:
1) THE THERE WAS ONLY ONE TENT TROPE. If you love there was only one bed... prepare to be shook.
2) The beautiful writing. I felt like the nature and imagery were so strong in this novel and I felt as if I was right there, magic swirling around me.
3) THE QUOTES. So many amazing moments that I had to stop and take a deep breath because they hit me so hard. So many good lessons, realizations, and story elements that left me in awe.

If you're looking for a quick read this August I highly recommend adding Wild is the Witch to your TBR! Out August 2nd!

Thanks Netgalley and Rachel Griffin for providing me the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. 

i'm starting to think that contemporary fantasy just isn't for me. i had a rough time getting through this and i just wasn't fully invested. that doesn't mean someone else won't love this! 

i adore what the author is doing for proceeds of this book. 

please go read it
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Rachel Griffin’s The Nature of Witches turned out to be one of my favourite books, so when I heard there was going to be a second one I was beyond excited. Wild is the Witch is about Iris who binds a curse on an owl without meaning to. In a quest to save the owl, she and her colleague Pike go into what was supposed to be a two day backpacking trip in an old forest.

The bar was high for this book and it delivered. I was afraid it would not be as good as the first novel, but Wild is the Witch brought tears to my eyes (for an owl!). The book had lgbt representation, well developed characters and a super cute ennemis to lovers story.

I would absolutely recommend this book. It just proves that any Rachel Griffin’s book is an insta buy. 5/5
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Another magical masterpiece from Rachel! I adored The Nature of Witches and this book was just as wonderful. I love the way her magic systems are crafted, there are wonderful queer characters, and high stakes with his emotions. I'm far outside the intended age group and sometimes the teenage angst of it all was a bit much-but it was realistic.  A beautiful story and one I can't wait to have physically on my shelves.
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Wild is the Witch is a lovely new tale from Rachel Griffin. All Iris wanted to do was get her curse back from the bird who interrupted her spell-making. She wanted to bind it to the earth and not actually hurt anyone in the process. However, her mission gets considerably more complicated when her mom asked for Pike to go with her on the journey. The longer she spends with the boy who drives her crazy, the more dire the consequences become, and the more she realizes that she may not be able to undo what has been set in motion.

After really enjoying Griffin's writing in The Nature of Witches, I was eager to continue with her latest novel. Wild is the Witch takes the reader down a completely different interpretation of what it means to be a witch in the modern world. Griffin is skillful in her relationship building between characters and her descriptions of the natural world. 

While I still hope for a sequel to her first novel, I have no doubt Rachel Griffin's work will continue to create magical worlds for years to come.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with the opportunity to read this book.
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Wild is the Witch likely has the most grounded magic system that I've encountered in recent memory. I really enjoyed how Griffin explained the limitations, while not allowing it to feel contrived. Instead, the magic in this world feels lived in, and easy. No over complicated monologues, no long winded speeches on how something works. Just a push and a pull. I also really enjoyed the characters! Iris is a lovely protagonist, and Pike does well as the love interest.

I think the biggest weak spot for me was the choice of using first person narration here. It made the entire book feel a little more childish than I really wanted it to, and I think that just by changing the tenses a lot of my issues would go away. Beyond that, this book was an enjoyable read, with fun interactions, and a classic one tent scenario that I absolutely knew had to happen.
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