Once in a while, I learn something about a book as I’m writing the review. That’s what happened here. Read on to see what I mean…

Fans of Debora Geary got an extra treat for Christmas: A Different Witch, the latest book in the “Modern Witch” series.

I’m always excited to see a new Modern Witch book coming out, and you’ll know from my previous reviews of the series that what I love most is the Witch Central community.

In A Different Witch, Beth Landler, a minor character we met in A Modern Witch, reaches out to the  Witch Central community for help in tapping more deeply into her powers. But Beth is different, and the usual training methods- and trainers- just don’t work with her. Despite best efforts, Witch Central and Beth feel a sense of failure and frustration.  I don’t want to be too spolier-y here, so suffice it to say that sometimes, the people we least expect are the ones who point us in the right direction and help us connect with others.

I found myself really identifying with Nell in this book.  She has a strange trepidation about Beth, something she can’t quite place, and something that keeps her from connecting with Beth.  Similarly, I had a hard time connecting with the book at the beginning.  I’m not sure why, because we’re always welcoming new characters to Witch Central, and it’s usually very easy to dive into their stories.  But the more I think about it (and again, without trying to be too spoiler-y), that sense of disconnection could well have been the point.

Beth doesn’t interact with people the same way many of us do. Thinking back on it, I think the sense of disconnect added to the story: you want to connect with this character,  and as the reader, we have the inside details on Beth that our beloved characters don’t have, but like most of the characters, the connection didn’t come easily to me.  As I’m writing this review, I realize that intentional or not, that sense of being slightly out of synch added to the story.  I’ve just related to Nell, Lauren, Jamie, and Beth now in ways I didn’t when I first read the book.  And now it makes me want to go back and re-read the book with this new perspective.

We get to see previously minor characters really shine in this latest installment of the Modern Witch world, and we’re revisited by many of our favorites from previous books.  Reading any of the Modern Witch books is like a reunion with wonderful friends and family, and I’m glad to say that once again, the Witch Central community comes together to embrace with open, welcoming arms, someone who needs them.  We also get to see more of something else I love about Debora Geary’s books: the people who make up Witch Central are diverse, and strong. The girls are as awesome as the boys at coding and other geeky things; the guys know how to cook; everyone has a sense of adventure; everyone has their own strength that benefits the community; and they all love and respect each other.  It’s how we should be in real life.