The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

Monday, November 9, 2020

Hey Ya'll! Happy Monday. It's been a whole week or so since I read a damn book or pretty much did much of anything productive. This last week has been stressful as hell, some change have come but...chile, we still have a ways to go. Anyolway's I'm here with my thoughts on The Year of The Witching by Alexis Henderson...an okay read for me but more on that below. 

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Published: July 2020
Penguin Random House/Ace 
Series: NA
Format: eBook (Library Borrow)
Genre: Young Adult 
            Historical Fiction
            Horror
Available: BN | Amazon 
Add it on Goodreads

I think what took the excitement of reading this book away from me wasn't exactly the length, it was a whole lot going on in The Year of the Witching and it slowed the momentum of the reading for me considerably. This story didn't pick up until I was more than half way finished with it. It seemed like parts gained speed and then suddenly deflated. 

The gist of the book is that the Prophet (old dirty white man) has control and has his pick of the young girls in Bethel. He takes many wives but he isn't the only man to do so. The women in this town suffer abuse (physical and sexual) at the hands of men and this goes on for generations then there is the infiltration of the Witches and a Holy War (basically white men killing women based on their illogical religious beliefs). Immanuelle soon discovers that through her Father's blood, she is a descendant of powerful witches and it is she, through her family's powerful blood who will save Bethel. 

There were plenty of eye-rolling moments for me here. While I did think Immanuelle was a strong character, this book tended to lean heavily into typical YA themes...the girl had too many too stupid to live moments for my tastes. And I get it, its horror and that genre has plenty of those. 

I also tend to side eye books that have the word "feminist" in it because Black women in those stories tend to be the ones sacrificing themselves for the good of everyone else and this happens in TYOTW. Immanulle is the biracial daughter of one of the town's many shunned women; her mother fell in love with a Black man and the product of that love is Immauelle. I hated the fact that Immanulle felt the need to sacrifice herself for that crazy town and I get it, her mother's family and you know that saying of not everyone is bad...
BUT there was a powerful statement in this book by Immanulle's fathers mother:
"Good people don't bow their heads and bite their tongues while other good people suffer. Good people are not complicit".
And this is what I felt like the people in Bethel were...complicit. And don't even get me started on how the Black people in this "town" were treated because a Black woman was the face of evil just irked me to no end. 

Ugh, let me end this. By the end of The Year of The Witching, I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's an okay read, good horror gothic themes but there were too many things in here that just didn't sit right in my soul so I'll leave it at...yeah, it was an okay read. 

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