Review: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan

Title: Season of the Witch
Series: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 288

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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?

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That one word pretty much sums up how I feel about Sarah Rees Brennan’s prequel to the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Netflix series. Book adaptations of movies and shows are always a risky thing to do. Season of the Witch isn’t the worst I’ve read, but it certainly wasn’t the best.

He reached out and twined my salty fingers with his own, and I thought, this is how witches burn.

season of the witch by sarah rees brennan

Everything about this story was very flat. You are definitely able to read it without having first seen the Netflix Original show. There were no inside details that somebody would have a hard time figuring out or understanding if they were to read the book first. If the book had been my introduction to these characters and story, though, I don’t think I would have explored the series more.

As an extension to the show, the reader is able to get to know the characters a bit more. In between each of Sabrina’s chapters is a chapter from different character’s POV. While some of them seemed like pure filler, there were a few that were interesting. I really loved getting to know Harvey’s brother, Tommy, and he definitely broke my heart.

These extra character chapters were printed on black paper with white text and I had a really hard time reading them. I wish they had been formatted the same as the rest of the book and there was a different way to set them apart. As a concept it’s a really neat idea, but it didn’t work well in the end.

[Related – Eight of My Favorite Netflix Original Shows]

I was incredibly disappointed that Sabrina’s friends, Roz and Susie, were not in the book very much. They’re such a special and vital part of the series and their presence was definitely missed. The few times we did see these two, they felt very hollow and not how they should be.

Don’t fear that you are not enough. That’s the only fear that can stop you.

season of the witch by sarah rees brennan

The creepiness and darkness that was so well done in the show were also nonexistent in this novelization. I think a big part of that was due to the lack of a real plot. There wasn’t a very consistent storyline happening and things moved way too slowly.

I am glad that I read Season of the Witch. It was a quick book to get through and I loved seeing some of the events that led up to the first season of the show. Something I really enjoyed was getting more insight on Sabrina and Ambrose’s relationship which I don’t feel Netflix explored enough.

There is a second book, Daughter of Chaos, set to come out in December. I’ll probably end up giving it a shot because I really can never get enough of my beloved Sabrina. Fingers crossed some of these issues will be fixed in it.

A finished copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Enter to win 1 of 5 copies of Season of the Witch!

Giveaway is open to US residents and ends 7/30/2019. Enter through the Rafflecopter form and don’t forget to read the rules!

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