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Sunday, 25 October 2009

Review: Witch and Wizard

Author: James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
Release date: 8th October 2009 UK
Genre: Dystopia / Fantasy
Target audience: YA

Amazon says:
The world is changing - the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now kids are disappearing. For fifteen-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside-down when they are hauled out of bed one night, separated from their parents, and thrown into a secret compound for no reason they can comprehend. The new government is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. Imprisoned together and condemned to death, Wisty and Whit begin exhibiting strange abilities and powers they never dreamed of. Maybe there is a reason they were singled out. Can this newly discovered witch and a wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents - and maybe the world?


Review:
I am a huge fan of James Patterson's Maximum Ride series so I was really excited when I read a review of Witch and Wizard on Emilee's blog Penutlimate Page. Emilee commented that this book is more of an introduction to the series. I completely agree with her. Patterson uses it to set up the landscape of the world and the overall premise for the series. I'm not sure if I have now adjusted to Patterson's lack of description as a style or whether Charbonnet has influenced this novel in the use of descriptive detail. Either way, it worked for me.

Whit and Witsy are rudely awakened by soldiers who arrest them as they have both been identified as seriously dangerous criminals. The One Who is The One has set up a New Order. There are now strict orders to live by. Whit and Wisty have found themselves living in a dictatorship because they were ignorant of the changes happening to their society. Patterson has a strong message in this novel: be politically aware! The New Order society is ruled by science and rationale. Creativity, individuality and magic are being eradicated. "Magical" children are persecuted, arrested and executed. It is dark reading.

Wisty is an amusing and easy to like rebel with a satirical voice. Whit is more controlled but equally determined to survive torture and imprisonment. The story alternates between the two voices. The characterisation is good if a little predictable.

I have to say I found the ending disappointing. I had been reading all about how Whit and Wisty refuse to submit to the will of The One Who is The One and then suddenly the story cuts off almost mid-ending. A total cliffhanger. Where is the ending Mr Patterson? The book felt unfinished to me but I am sure there are exciting things to come in this series.

Overall, I liked it. Actually I really enjoyed it but the ending really did feel incomplete. I guess this did guarantee one thing: I will definitely buy the next book. A must read for fans of James Patterson and fans of dystopias may enjoy it, just don't expect much content. It was a quick read and definitely not in the league of Suzanne Collins or Patrick Ness.

5 comments:

Lauren said...

Interesting review. I wasn't sure whether I should try this one, because I only made it through one book of the Maximum Ride series (*loved* parts of it, didn't really engage with the rest). From your review, this one doesn't sound satisfying enough for me. Thanks for clearing that up!

prophecygirl said...

I'm waiting for my copy of this to arrive from Amazon - I bought the teen cover though. I can't wait to read it, as I love Patterson's YA books. Thanks for the review!

Chicklish said...

Interesting review. We've had such mixed reviews on our site for Patterson's books, I was wondering about this one. Thanks!

Nina said...

Great review. It does sounds like a good book.
I like the title, but the cover not so much. :(

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I can't wait to read this.