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These Witches Don't Burn

Narrated by: Kristen DiMercurio
Series: These Witches Don't Burn, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)

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Summary

"Infused with page-turning suspense, bittersweet romance, shocking twists, and tragic turns, Sterling has written a standout debut." (Dana Mele, author of People Like Us)

Hannah's a witch, but not the kind you're thinking of. She's the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she's ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans.

But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah's concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah's sure it's the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.

While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she's going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem's witches become deadlier by the day.

Isabel Sterling's delightful, suspenseful debut is equal parts sweet romance and thrilling mystery. With everything she loves on the line, Hannah must confront this murderous villain before her coven - and any chance she has with the new girl - is destroyed.

©2019 Isabel Sterling (P)2019 Listening Library

Critic reviews

"Though this is not a coming-out story, Hannah’s proud lesbianism is prominent in this thoroughly entertaining mystery. With the presence of a fluffy romance and the promise of an action-packed sequel, readers will drink this one up." (BCCB)

"A quick, fun read with magic and light romance." (VOYA)

"Propelled by suspenseful paranormal drama, Sterling’s debut also touches on deeper subject matter in its thoughtful depiction of the manipulative, potentially abusive relationship between Hannah and Veronica." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about These Witches Don't Burn

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

perfect

excellent book. great plot, characters and narrator; one of my absolute favourites. would highly recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it!

Amazing book, great story and plot.

Characters were all amazing, and I especially loved the portrayal of several LGBT+ characters.

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Amazing booking

LOVED this! Finished in one go. Cannot wait for the next two books to release.

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Absolutely loved this!

I loved this and this was the first book in a while that urged me to come back and carry on (even though some elements were very transparent!). Hoping there is a sequel in the works.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good story idea, badly written.

I was sold by the LGBT elements of this story, but the quality of the writing is poor - too much telling, not enough showing. Probably fine for younger readers (13 - 16), but irritating for an adult used to higher quality writing. I also found there were too many characters and it was hard to follow who was who, how they were linked to Hannah and what they added to the mystery aspect of the storyline. I liked the idea of elemental witches vs blood witches and wish this had been explored in more depth.

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amazing

Witchy, Perfect for fall, and a overall amazing story The storyline was great and I was really immersed in it very fast, I love the characters and I'd reccomend it to anyone.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Loved the characters and their relationships

I found the characters and their interactions the strength of this book. I was so invested in the relationships - both platonic and romantic.
Because of this, the witch plot seemed weaker in comparison. I get that the author didn't want to info-dump, but I found myself often being confused by the elemental witches and what they actually did and the rules of their world. It could have been more interesting to see more coven interactions and more uses of magic, especially from the adults. It seemed like all they did was hide their use of magic, so what's even the point? It was only toward the end that magic became more prominent.
But I fell in love with the characters; its because of Hannah, Morgan, Veronica and Gemma that I will definitely pick up book two.
I liked the narrator but sometimes found she would over-emphasise, which pulled me out of the story a bit.

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  • Robert
  • 16-09-19

Great for a CIS middle aged dude

This was both a nice romance as well as a good mystery. Both done well. Most importantly none ofthe elements of the book made me feel like a creep for enjoying it.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andreína
  • 06-06-19

Gay witches. How could I not love it?

This was so good!!!

I've never been an audiobook fan. Every time I tried to listen to one of those things, my mind couldn't concentrate on the story and I always ended up quiting because I got tired of repeating the same 30 seconds without understanding the story they were talking about. On the other hand, I love podcasts. So when Kristen DiMercurio was a guest on a podcast that I really like and talked about this story that was her first audiobook recording, I decided to try again. THANK GOD I DID.

Gay witches, Harry Potter references, plot twists (LOTS OF THEM), realistic parents, family drama, witch hunters AND a cliffhanger... It was impossible not to love it.

I started reading this wonderful thing without actually knowing a lot about what it was about, and it was darker than what I imagined. Our main character is gay, yes, but she already came out, has a supportive family and even though girls around her cause some trouble, the main plot is about something more complicated than those girls. I really enjoyed how naturally the gay thing was handled because it made me realize how nice it is when people accept our sexuality as a part of our life and not as something that separates us from other individuals.

I would've liked to learn more about this world Hannah belongs to. They DO explain a lot, and I liked what I learned so now I'll sit here waiting until the sequel is released and I can fill my brain with all the new information it will probably contain.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kelly C.
  • 02-07-19

Surprised Me

I have heard so many people talk about this, and the reviews have been mixed. One of my favorite YT really loved it though and we have similar tastes. I knew I needed to at least give it a try. Based on the cover I thought this was going to be a cute romance involving witches. I knew this was being marketed as a LGBT fantasy, so I was not expecting a thriller/mystery aspect to the story. When the story began, I almost put this down thinking it was not for me. I kept reading though and I ended really loving this. This story does involve elemental witches (which I loved), Regs, and Hunters. Some of the story was very predictable like who the Hunter turned out to be. However; there were some darker twists that I was not expecting in this YA novel. I found myself immersed in the story and wanting to know how it was going to end. Overall, I really enjoyed this and look forward to seeing what happen in book two.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ruthi
  • 31-05-19

LGBTQ witches never gets old

This book is so good and so much fun! Lately, I’ve been struggling with enjoying YA fantasy because I’ve ran across a spate of immature ones but this is just as enjoyable for adults as it is teens. I can’t wait to add this to my physical library as well as my “books to buy for Xmas gifts” list for teenaged & adult paranormal fantasy lovers. The representation in this book is so good and I just can’t get enough of it! Can’t wait for the next in this series!

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Leann
  • 19-08-20

A Fun, Diverse, and Slightly Underdeveloped Story

Performance: DiMercurio did a good job differentiating between characters. Some voices seemed a bit over the top, but nothing too grating. I will definitely listen to the sequel.

Story: First and foremost, I highly recommend reading the prequel “This Spell Can't Last.” It provides a better backstory and sets up the main characters better than this novel does (additionally, it really shows why the main character is afraid of blood witches). Without that novella, this novel would have felt even more underdeveloped.

That is not to say that this is a bad story - far from it. I enjoyed the world and the magic. I truly wish the author would have spent a little more time on the magic, because those scenes were fun to read.

However, the characters fell a bit flat and needed more development. This issue becomes even more frustrating when a character dies - without showing that relationship more, the moment falls flat.

Development issues aside, I LOVED how this novel normalizes LGBTQ+ society. It’s so nice to read a book that includes a more accurate, diverse cast. The budding romance between the lesbian main character and bi side character was especially adorable and nicely written.

In regard to the mystery, it was fairly easy to predict how it would turn out. Despite this, I still highly enjoyed this story and I am curious to see what unfolds in the sequel.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Liora
  • 05-07-20

It was a fun listen

I got a little bored around the middle but then the ending was pretty awesome.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • E.
  • 11-01-20

Disappointed with the world building.

Not sure how the MC can remember all her lies, but she seems to know better than everyone until she doesn't.
So you have hormonal and emotional underage teens with magical powers. They're expected to keep dire secrets from regular people while co-mingling and having romantic relationships with them. How does that actually work?
I had a hard time suspending my disbelief due to some of the difficult scenarios, like how does the MC get into her ex's home when the ex is supposed to be watched and protected? The MC is not a likable person. She's bitter, full of guilt by her own making and blames others. Her internal dialog is full of fears and paranoia. She's an idiot who outs her secrets and endangers everyone. Not sure how many times I keep calling her stupid.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lojo
  • 30-09-19

pretty decent

main character lacked agency and was constantly being rescued by males, but was overall decent.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-08-19

Good story, but the performance bothered me

I really enjoyed this book, but the narrator’s constant over-articulation was really off-putting. It made the characters seem unrealistic and weirdly proper.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Shelby Ence
  • 30-08-20

Loved it

Might actually change my rating. This could be a five star book for me, but five star books are my tried and trues that I've read at least three times. I can definitely see myself reading this over and over.
The characters were amazing, the story was full of some fun twists and turns, and went places I didn't necessarily expect. The relationships were all great, romantic and otherwise, and the main ship is honestly super adorable. I loved this book, maybe one of my favorites of the year. 10/10 would recommend ;)