Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review of Season of the Witch, the first book in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series.
It’s the summer before her sixteenth birthday, and Sabrina Spellman knows her world is about to change. She’s always studied magic and spells with her aunts, Hilda and Zelda. But she’s also lived a normal mortal life — attending Baxter High, hanging out with her friends Susie and Roz, and going to the movies with her boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle.
Now time is running out on her every day, normal world, and leaving behind Roz and Susie and Harvey is a lot harder than she thought it would be. Especially because Sabrina isn’t sure how Harvey feels about her. Her cousin Ambrose suggests performing a spell to discover Harvey’s true feelings. But when a mysterious wood spirit interferes, the spell backfires… in a big way.
Sabrina has always been attracted to the power of being a witch. But now she can’t help wondering if that power is leading her down the wrong path. Will she choose to forsake the path of light and follow the path of night?
Despite not being a big TV watcher, I did watch a few episodes of the Netflix Sabrina remake. It seemed to be aimed perfectly at my age group: those of us who had grown up watching the original Sabrina, and were now older, ready for something a bit more gritty (although I’d have been fine with a talking Salem still, not gonna lie…). I did enjoy it, and only didn’t finish it because, as I say, I’m not much of a TV watcher, and my husband wasn’t interested in watching it together. That said, I was still interested in the premise of the show, and so when these books came to my attention, I knew I had to give at least the first one a chance.
The book alternates between Sabrina’s perspective, and things happening in “the dark”, which give us a bit of insight into some of the other characters, such as Sabrina’s family and friends. These chapters are printed white on black paper rather than the traditional alternative, and give it an interesting visual twist as well as the various points of view fleshing out the book nicely, giving it a more rounded contents.
Just like the TV show, this book is far grittier than the original, and has many dark turns in its pages. From the deep secrets we all keep, to the realities of this interpretation of magic, it’s not a lighthearted read by any stretch. Moving with this darker storyline are the relationships that Sabrina has, some of which she is fighting hard to keep far away from her magical life. The warm love she feels from her friends at school are in deep contrast to the “cold hearts” of witches that she comes face to face with at home. With these cold hearts referenced, and displayed, many times throughout, you can see why she would fight so hard for her mortal relationships.
What made this book the most interesting was that most of the characters weren’t particularly likeable. Through the “in the dark” pages, you can gather various pieces of information, and these all invoke different feelings: anger, sadness, pity. But I don’t think I particularly liked any of them, with maybe the exception of Roz. Sabrina is morally grey at best, and this is both deliberately and well. It’s enough to keep you guessing as you read, and to wonder just where she would draw the line, if at all.
Thanks for stopping by for this review today. I’ll be sharing more posts across the week, so please do come back again soon. You can even follow my blog to make sure you never miss a post.
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