These Witches Don’t Burn
Publication date: May 28, 2019
Author: Isabel Sterling
Genre: YA Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
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.
These Witches Don’t Burn follows the main character Hannah, who is an elemental witch. She lives in Salem and dark things have started happening around her and her ex. She’s convinced a dark witch has followed them home and is out to kill her.
Overall I really enjoyed this story, I thought the plot was great, I liked how the story unfolded, I kept turning the pages to see what happened. It was a quick read, fast paced and I didn’t feel like there were any lulls in the story. I’m a sucker for witch stories so I knew I was probably going to enjoy this. I thought this was a standalone but I was sorely mistaken, I’m so happy that there is a second book, because this was great.
For the most part These Witches Don’t Burn is a fun, lighthearted read, that seems like a mystery with witches but, it does deal with some heavy topics. It deals with abuse, grief, death and heartbreak. There is also quite a bit of representation, there are a few lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters in this story.
I loved the setting on this book, its set in Salem where the infamous Witch trials and burning’s took place. I wish the author could have show more of Salem in detail, the world building did seem a bit lacking. As someone who has never been there I would have liked a little bit more. I also loved the magic system, there are three different types of witches: elementals, casters and blood witches. Each uses a different type of magic which was really neat.
Hannah was a pretty good character, she does have some flaws which is fantastic, shes a lesbian, a witch, she just broke up with her first girlfriend and is navigating the waters of dating. The only thing I didn’t like about Hannah was some of her decision making skills absolutely sucked, but overall she was great.
There were a few things I didn’t really like the first was non-witches being called “Regs” it just feels so unoriginal and boring. The other thing was a specific scene near the end of the book. Nothing makes me more annoyed than when teenagers think they know better than adults, police, etc. in certain situations. Especially when teenagers completely disregard when an authority figure tells them to stay out of it and they think they know better and end up f’ing everything up. This drives me up the wall.
If you’re looking for a book that will keep you turning the pages, pick this up. If you like books with witches, pick this up. Honestly just pick this up.