Friday Five Challenge ~ The Salem Witch Society by KN Shields #FridayFiveChallenge #BuyorPass #Historical

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five Challenge, involves taking only five minutes to choose a book cover which appeals instantly. So take a few minutes, pour yourself a coffee…..and have a browse.


In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

I put Salem in the search, just because I regret not going when I had the chance, and this cover caught my eye…


The book description reads…

Salem, New England, many dark nights ago.

It is a time of spells and shadows, of black magic and blood.

And the most famous witch hunt in history is about to begin…

Years later, a young woman is found savagely murdered, a pitchfork thrust through her neck, her body arranged in the shape of a star: the death pose of a witch. Someone – or something – is reviving the terror of the notorious Salem Witch hunts. And only one man – a brilliant, eccentric loner with a dazzling mind and a fascination with witchcraft – can keep the evils of the past at bay.

Rich in history, mystery, and witchcraft, The Salem Witch Society is a twisting, terrifying thriller – a dark fairy tale for readers who loved A Discovery of Witches and The Interpretation of Murder.

Sounds good, although I didn’t finish A Discovery of Witches and I haven’t read The Interpretation of Murder, but still, these comparisons aren’t always applicable. 

Price: £4.99/$7.76

Pages: 497

The reviews are mixed, roughly about half and half, 27 on Amazon UK with an overall 3.6 out of 5 stars. There are just 2 reviews on Amazon US, which I thought was a little surprising considering the author is American, one 5* and one 3*. A top 50 reviewer gave it 5* and a couple rated it low because it didn’t live up to the comparison to A Discovery of Witches in their opinion. Not that that would sway me either way.

This is a debut novel, and expensive for a kindle copy, whether it’s a debut or not. I like the cover, it has all the required elements for a novel about witches. The story is set in Maine in 1892 and includes black magic and murder which seems to have a connection to the Witches of Salem. I had a quick look inside and the first couple of pages seemed quite interesting but I’d have to read a little further and my five minutes were all but up.

I was undecided but on reflection..

BUY or PASS? I’ll PASS. The price is too high for a punt and I’m not sure about the book even though I’m still taken with the description. The reviews didn’t convince me but I might change my mind if the price ever comes down. Had they been more positive…it could well have been a BUY!

If you’d like to enter next week’s challenge, and the more the merrier, check out Rosie’s blog to read about the Friday Five Challenge.

More Friday Five Challenge choices..

Rosie’s inspiration was spiders

Shelley goes for a diet book

Terry searches for Norfolk

Liz chose time management

Barb theme is Spanish…and queueing

11 thoughts on “Friday Five Challenge ~ The Salem Witch Society by KN Shields #FridayFiveChallenge #BuyorPass #Historical

  1. Pingback: BUY or PASS? Looking at Diet Books for the #FridayFiveChallenge | Shelley Wilson

  2. As you say, far too expensive for a punt – does look interesting but the lukewarm review situation would put me off. I think that book often don’t have many reviews simply because people abandon them, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Would You BUY Or PASS? #FridayFiveChallenge Hard Landing by @stephenleather #Thriller | Rosie Amber

  4. I thought the book cover fitted the genre and the book description sent a shiver down my spine. Sadly too many new authors try to compare their writing to wider read books in an attempt to boost sales and this is a really heavy risk which often backfires because readers then have really high expectations for the book. Best to let a reviewer say “this book compares to….” but not shout it in your own blurb. It looks like too many readers have been let down by this book and with a high price tag for this debut book it is a PASS from me too. Lower the price, change the blurb and lure readers back.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: #FridayFiveChallenge | Lizannelloyd

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