Are you surprised that I’m back with some thoughts about Lou Wilham’s recent release? That’s right—The Hex Next Door just recently came out during October. It’s perfect timing for those of you who love a good fall read. Without further ado, let’s chat!
Rating: 4 Stars
What’s a little necromancy between family?
For the Crow Witch, Icarus “Rus” Ashthorne, Moondale seemed the perfect hiding place. But like they always say, you can’t go home again, and Rus finds out quickly that nothing is how she remembered, while at the same time very little has changed. Then she comes face to face with the only woman she’s ever loved, Az Elwood, and… well, things get messier than she thought they ever could.
The Elwoods are a staple of Moondale, respected, feared, powerful, and Azure Elwood was always happy with her place amongst them. Happy to play the part of the good little witch, until Rus Ashthorne. Eleven years ago, Rus got on a bus and left Azure behind, but she’s back, with two little girls trailing her like ducklings, and enough unspoken things between them to drown the town.
Now witch hunters are knocking at their proverbial door, the council of magic is being a real pain in the ass, and Rus wonders how much magic it’ll take to protect the people she loves from herself and the danger following her.
What I Enjoyed
I really like Wilham’s take on “cozy hometown” fiction. I’m sure this book is going to really speak to folks who love shows like Gilmore Girls—the local gossip or busybodies are annoying but it’s hard to consider any other place home.
Wilham also does it again with creating realistic characters and relationships. Rus, Az, and other adult characters talk and act like people I know in real life. They felt real and so easy to root for.
The worldbuilding is also incredible. The town is divided into covens; readers can find the list of covens, as well as their functions, in the back. It was delightful to find witches, druids, necromancers, and other types of roles in Moondale.
My Final Thoughts
If you need a cozy novel with some action and inclusive representation, I’d recommend this read. There is some action and some potentially triggering moments (kidnapping) but Wilham guides us to a cute ending. The main “fault” of this book is that it ended a bit too soon for me. I know a sequel’s coming but I hoped a bit more would find resolutions at the end of the story.
Hopefully, I shared enough to pique your curiosity. Want to get reading? If so, I highly recommend you look up Lou Wilham on social media: