Book Review #38: The Witch’s List by Andrew Cairns

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Title: The Witch’s List
Author: Andrew Cairns
Pages: 232
Format: Paperback
ISBN13: 978178535348
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Supernatural
Date of Publication: June 24, 2016
Publishing House: Cosmic Egg Books
Date Read: September 23, 2016
Goodreads Average Rating: 4.17
Personal Rating: 4.5 / 5
The African culture is one of the cultures that I honestly know nothing about. After reading this novel, I discovered a lot about it and I seriously want to know more!  According to Wikipedia, this culture is well-known for its arts and crafts, folklore, and religion, clothing, cuisine, music and languages. And I couldn’t agree more. All these elements are present in this book, and I like how I got to have a glimpse of the African’s beliefs, traditions and preferences. This book is the first installment of The Witch’s List trilogy by Andrew Cairns and the author’s debut novel at the same time. I honestly did not expect this to be so good! I was amazed by how totally hooked I was! On the day that I received my copy, I immediately started reading it and found myself already halfway through it after two hours. It is a combination of magic, love, life and series of horrifying events. To say that this book is good is an understatement; this is definitely one of my best reads this year!
Synopsis
Sandy Beech doesn’t believe in witches and the supernatural. However, certain strange events occur which put his skepticism to the test: a burning book, a falling crucifix, a mysterious illness, and a fire in a convent which kills all twelve nuns. On her death-bed, Bernadette, the last surviving nun, warns him to control his lusts and avoid African women. Sandy finds this difficult, since he is attracted to exotic, dark-skinned women and after his hedonistic university exchange year in Paris, marries Rocky from the Ivory Coast. Five years later, childless and, with the marriage souring, they decide to visit Rocky’s home country. Sandy is drawn into a world of strange beliefs and practices: he finds out about the Witch’s List – a list of people destined to die, and is attacked by various animals starting with a ferocious dog in Abidjan. He delves further and further into the realm of African witchcraft, but the horrific truth remains obscure…
(Credit to www.goodreads.com)
Setting
This book brought me to three different countries, and I was fascinated by that ecstatic experience. First is in Scotland, this is where the male protagonist grew up and spent most of his childhood and adolescent years. Second is in Europe, the country where he studied for a year and eventually became the place where he settled and decided to build a family. Third is Africa, where the ancestors of his wife reside. My journey is breathtaking! I love how I was able to travel in three different places and explore everything that’s great and not-so-great about them.
Characters
Sandy Beech. I must admit that Sandy’s name is really funny! Anyway, I like the idea that the author presented his life in a manner that started when he was a child until the moment of his middle adult years. It’s like reading a biography, but at the same time I get to find out and unravel all the mysteries that Sandy is experiencing. As a child, he is good. Sandy as a high school student transformed from being a good boy to a naughty-ish young adult. And then from that, he became a successful man with an almost-perfect relationship. After that, well, you have to start reading this book to find out what happens next. Seriously.
Rocky. She is the sweet, gorgeous and ever-loving wife of Sandy. I was surprised, and at the same time impressed by how the author made me like her character and despise her afterwards.
Writing Style and Plot
I will definitely recommend this book to all of my bookish friends! I am undeniably astounded with the author’s writing style. It is fast-paced. You will never get bored once you started reading it. All the mysteries that you have to unfold will have you totally hooked. I cringed over and over because of all the creepy scenes. I was mind-blown with the twist! I haven’t seen that one coming! I actually had goose bumps because I did not expect those turn out of events. I want to commend the author for three things. First, I am always into stories with the first person narration so this one nailed it! It felt as if I’m with Sandy all throughout the story because I was able to see things in his perspective. Second, the title in every chapter is really appealing! I get the chance to contemplate before proceeding with the chapters, and I was able to analyse why that specific part has that specific title. Third, I love how multicultural the story was! Discussing different cultures of people from different origin is actually new to me. As a reader who likes historical fiction as well, this is a first! Diving in a story which tackled different backgrounds is very informative and interesting. For me, that is the best part of this book. Furthermore, I kind of had a hard time with some of the words. I find them deep and unusual and looking up in the dictionary really took up my time. But overall, this is a highly recommended book!
Conclusion
I have three realizations:
  • It may sound cliché’ or funny, but I think there’s nothing bad if once in a while we take into consideration or believe in on some mysterious stuff in this world. I know its 2016 already but respecting other culture’s traditional beliefs still and will always matter.
  • Fun is good. Fun is tempting. Fun is definitely needed in a person’s life. But sometimes too much fun will lead a person to do stupid and wreck less things which in the end might cause trouble or regret.
  • Just because we have known someone for eternity doesn’t mean we know everything about them. People are sometimes good at hiding secrets especially if they are dark and twisted.
    ~Janna
I receive this book from SocialBookCo (www.socialbookco.com) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. You might want to check out their site for the lowest price of books.
You can grab a copy of this book here:
The Witch’s List

 

 

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