Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Book Review: Brew by David Estes

Salem’s Revenge strikes without warning or mercy, ravaging the powerless human race under the forces of united gangs of witches, wizards, and warlocks. During the slaughter, Rhett Carter's foster parents and sister are killed, and his best friend and girlfriend are abducted by a gang of witches calling themselves the Necromancers, who deal in the dark magic of raising the dead. Rhett’s sword-wielding neighbor with a mysterious past saves Rhett from becoming another casualty of the massacre and teaches him the skills he needs to survive in this new world.

Rhett is broken, his normal high school life of book blogging and football playing shoved in a witch-apocalyptic blender. The only thing he has left is his burning desire for revenge. Armed with his new witch hunting skills and a loyal, magic powered dog named Hex, he sets out into the unknown with one mission: hunt and destroy those who took away everyone he ever loved.

But Rhett isn’t just a witch hunter; he has secrets of his own that he has yet to discover, secrets that his enemies will stop at nothing to keep him from. And discovering the truth about himself is the human race’s only hope.

My Review: 
I loved the covers for the series and based on reading The Moon Dwellers, I wanted to read this series. Sadly I did not get far with it.

I was greatly disappointed that the author chose to have the first two chapters featuring one of the things I hate most in YA fiction. The poor nerdy hero is being picked on by the popular school jocks who like to beat him up on a regular basis. Why was this dumb story needed anyway? After two chapters war starts and people are dying everywhere so I failed to see the point of inserting this annoying plot device. It adds nothing to the story and put me off from page one. Rhett himself wasn't greatly exciting, having to be rescued from bullies by his best friend and girlfriend. I get he doesn't like violence but letting the world walk all over him makes him look weak and he is obviously the lesser partner in this circle of friends.

I feel that more time should have been spent with the main characters as a group of equal friends and warm family to make you care what happens to them as chapter three rolls around. Instead the impression I get of them is that his mother is so preoccupied by watching TV that she fails to notice her son got his nose caved in at school that day. His sister seems clingy and annoying. His dad appears for a few seconds so we don't get any impression of him at all. His best friend likes to interfere and drag him into fights they can't win and seems to take over everything. Beth is the cliche newspaper editor who lets nothing get in the way of a good story but we don't see her do anything except rant about witch trials and intervene in another fight that the boys get themselves into. I don't feel emotionally attached to any of them by the time the action starts. Character development was seriously lacking which was a surprise to me.

The important action when the witches arrive is rushed and we don't see what actually happens. It is all done by vague impression and it just lacked tension or emotion. His talks with Mr Jackson after the event felt disjointed, lacked cohesion and I just wasn't getting into it at all. I so much wanted to like this book but it just lacked the interest to make me keep reading. It didn't feel like the author of The Moon Dwellers had written this, if I'm honest, as the whole thing was a bit flat for me.

Pity I never got to meet the dog! 

Read November 2016.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png


  1. You mean Hex didn't show up in the book? I wonder if he makes appearances in the rest of them. That's a pretty misleading letdown!

    1. He'll be in there somewhere...I only read a few chapters before abandoning it!