Book Review: ‘Wytches’ by Scott Snyder and Jock

wytches scott snyder

Another Acquisition from The Last Bookstore:

After my binge of The Wicked + The Divine, I picked up a used copy of Wytches from a subsequent visit to The Last Bookstore (seriously, that place is dangerous for a fellow with a book habit). I had been eyeing the series, written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Jock, for a while, but hadn’t yet made the move. A $6 copy did me in, and I took it home, turned off the lights (well, not all of them, obviously) and prepared myself for a good horror traipse.

And while I can confidently say I did not wet my pants, I did endure shallow breaths for the couple hours I spent between the pages.

Something Always Just Out of Sight:

The art style is extremely suitable for the genre, the dissonant slashes of hue that are layered across the page lend themselves to a sense of disease, that something is hiding under one of those errant strokes. It is a sort of visual noise that never lets you see too clearly what is happening, and leaves you tense.

Wicked Witch of the West…Not Even Close:

Without spoiling any reveals, I can say that I enjoyed the fresh approach of what the witches (wytches) were portrayed as. Intelligent, savage, uncanny. A far cry from the cackling, pointy-hatted cliché. Reminiscent of Robert Eggers’ 2015 psychological-horror film The Witch, a story that portrayed witches as something almost primal, sectioned off from society, their point of deviation from the normal human race left ambiguous.

Not a Main Attraction, but a Decent Set:

The setup is pretty much standard though. With several horror tropes meshed into one narrative. We have a family moving to a new home, a house in the woods, a child whose soundness of mind is questioned, just to name a few. However, there is enough that is fresh in this series (at least in the first volume) to redeem it to a respectable level. With a few subversions occurring that confounded my expectations.

For anyone who isn’t already a fan of dark stories, or the horror genre in general, it won’t do much for you. The characters aren’t all that compelling. But for a quick hazy stroll of suspense, it can do well enough. Enough that I’ll give the second volume a try, but unless it substantially picks up, I might just be content with what I’ve got.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5