Brew (Salem’s Revenge, #1) by David Estes

A copy of Brew was kindly sent to me by David Estes in exchange for an honest review.

Brew is an interesting take on a post-apocalyptic world – one where witches of all kinds have risen against humans when events mirroring the Salem Witch Trials begin again, with people being burned at the stake and murdered for all to see, just because they have some form of magical power. The witches band together and rise against the humans who have persecuted them and the world is ravaged, becoming a place of violence, fear and death.

Rhett Carter finds himself alone in this crazy world, his family slaughtered and his friends taken by witches. He is trained by a surviving neighbour to be a witch hunter, albeit in a rather short period of time. He sets out to avenge his family and friends, slaughtering as many witches, wizards and warlocks along the way as he can. Sadly, I found it hard to connect to Rhett, and most of the other characters (all I really got from them was that they had every manner of exotic, chocolate, dark skin – a weird descriptive tactic that I’m not keen on). They just didn’t seem real to me; I was reading a book that I just couldn’t connect to on an emotional level, although Estes created a wonderfully tense atmosphere, the characters fell short. A high point, however, was Hex, the dog who stumbles into Rhett’s life. No one’s going to complain about an adorable magically inclined dog, are they?

I found the premise of this book really interesting, I like novels involving witches and was excited to read it. I’ve found, however, that I prefer my witchy novels to be set a few hundred years in the past. Something about Brew just didn’t work for me the way I wanted it to; I found it hard to like the characters and found the sudden jumps in time confusing and hard to follow. Having said that, it is a solid dystopian novel, as I knew it would be, but it was missing the magic of Estes other novels that I so loved. A solid three stars for a pacy read with an interesting take on witches and a post-apocalyptic world.

Read: November 20th-30th 2014

3/5 stars

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