Review: Witch 13 by Patrick Delaney

I was hopeful to read a queer horror book in time for Halloween. I got a different horror story than I expected.

Quick Info
Witch 13

  • Title: Witch 13
  • Author: Patrick Delaney
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Horror
  • Content Warnings: suicide, cheating, possibly more
  • Diversity: POC
  • Rating: DNF at 45 %

Witch 13 by Patrick Delaney

On the eve of her resignation, Sheriff Sterling Marsh prepares for a bleak winter in Drybell, Connecticut, after a string of bad decisions leaves her life in shambles. Two weeks before Christmas and expecting a long night of paperwork and quiet celebration with the friends she’s grown to know and love, she’s surprised when an unnerving stranger appears in the form of a witch.

A silent, menacing figure, the witch appears to be ripped straight out of a fairy tale, complete with a tall, pointed hat, and black clothing. But when strange things begin happening all over town, Sterling begins to suspect that there may be more to the witch than meets the eye.

As she works to maintain order as the world crumbles around her, the witch’s mysterious presence throws her world into a frenzy, threatening to send the sleepy town spiraling face-first into the darkest night it’s ever seen.

The Queer’s Review of Witch 13

I was hopeful to read a queer horror book that I can recommend for Halloween.

I won’t be recommending this book by Patrick Delaney anytime soon – or at all, really. Where to start, where to start?

You know those books where a seemingly male author writes about a woman and you just feel… ugh by it? Yeah, that happens here. Sterling’s body gets so much unnecessary focus that leaves me feeling uncomfortable with it, and it really doesn’t bring anything to the story.

I mean, is that really necessary: “with eyelids etched as dark as an Egyptian pharaoh, her almond-shaped eyes were stark upon first glance. Cracked, plum-colored lips and skin that glistened with an olive sheen[…]” (Kindle pos. 174)? The damn woman was just on the treadmill. One, from which she “gracefully swung off” “with a thump”. Also, what has the softness of her stomach and jawline to do with the story? Huh?

That brings me to another thing I was really bothered by. Fucking adjectives everywhere! That way of forcing stuff into my mind’s eye left me rolling my eyes and made me so annoyed I couldn’t focus on the story.

Something which was hard enough on its own, because it doesn’t flow at all. We’re getting drowned in unnecessary information that stops the plot from developing and becoming alive.

As a little side note, the witch wearing a black pointy head so that everyone knows at first glance she is a witch is a little bit too stereotype, don’t ya think?

But yeah, With 13 is supposed to be a horror book with a queer MC. The only horror I encountered was unintended and I finally gave up 45 % into the story when their tortured hearts beat in unison. (Kindle pos. 1965). I even marked it with a “sorry, I’m done”. Good gracious. There was nothing I enjoyed and I actively disliked the MC. Actually, every single character.

Bookish Thoughts

And just before her head was fully submerged, she almost thought she heard her parents screaming her name.

Then, she drowned.

Kindle pos.165


I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

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