After my experience trudging through Pattersons Maximum Ride the first book of his much-heralded Angel Experiment series I really should have known better. I shouldnt havew asted my time on Witch and Wizard. But, the premise nabbed me. The cover art was hot. And the teaser on the back was intriguing. So, I decided to give Patterson a second chance.
The plot of Witch and Wizard is one of the book's strong points. In the start of yet another dystopian YA series, readers are introduced to 15-year-old Wisty and 17-year-old Whit Allgood. The siblings are very special, as their parents have always told them. Unfortunately, special isnt a good thing in the New Order, an overthrow government that prosecutes people for nearly any difference. Under the rule of the One Who Is the One and the other Ones (an uber-creepy ruling body), kids with supernatural talent are the biggest criminals of all. Whit and Wisty go from normal kids to wanted criminals overnight when soldiers charge into their house, accuse them of being a witch and a wizard, and take their whole family away. Unfortunately for Wisty and Whit, the legal system is a bit different under the N.O., and so are the prisons
Really, Witch and Wizard suffers from many of the same problems that plagued Maximum Ride. The chapters are insanely, illogically short. I think if the book had been printed in a more reasonable-sized text and some of the two- and three-page chapters were condensed, Witch and Wizard probably only boasts enough actual content to warrant a short story.
Those little annoyances could be overlooked, however, if the writing were better. Even just a little bit better. Patterson writes the most awkward teenage characters Ive ever read. The dialogue is especially painful how many nearly 18-year-old high school quarterbacks do you know that say things like, Well, tough noogies! when theyre really mad? Seriously? I understand the need to keep the language family-friendly for younger audiences, but there many authors out there that infer cursing and adult themes without actually spelling them out for readers.
Patterson also likes to overload the kitch. In one scene, the brother and sister are exploring a magical book that can become anything they want to read. Like Whits favorite book, Percival Johnson and the Thunder Stealer. Or something by Wistys favorite author, K.J. Meyers. Ugh. In a similar scene, Patterson even gives himself a nod (and his ego a stroke) when one character says, Yeah. Kids with wings. Thats likely. Double ugh. This book is for Maximum Ride fans. We get it.
These are only a few of the examples of the awkwardness that is the most defining characteristic of Witch and Wizard. To me, the book was more readable than Maximum Ride, but only marginally. The writing is flat, the characters are colorless, and the authors word choice is, at times, ridiculous. It would be impossible for me to recommend it to anyone. That said, if I was absolutely forced to, I think this book would most appeal to younger, and possibly reluctant readers. The chapters are very short, and it is a quick read. So, the most positive thing I can say for the book is that it didnt take up too much of my time.
This is a quick read. The story of the brother and sister was good, but it was disappointing and seemed incomplete. The concept of The Ones, the totalitarian state of the New Order and how these things came to be was vague, at best. Even the powers of the brother and sister, the dimensions they encountered and the others they met were all left with unanswered questions. Maybe there is a sequel, but this book felt like coming into the middle of what might have been a good story, but you missed all the background and are left floundering to figure out how to fit the pieces together. It passes the time, but not a satisfying read.
I am a huge James Patterson fan and when I bought this book I didnt know that it was solely a children's/teen novel but I enjoyed it just the same. It is very intriguing and keeps your mind thinking all the time. There will be a sequel and I cant wait for it to come! MUST READ!
I liked this book. It wasn't super in depth or as intricate as some others, but it was a fun, fast read. I most certainly will read the others in the series when they come out. The characters are likable, and it is action, action, action from page 1. Certainly no boring or slow parts in the book. Again, not an in-depth book, but it does get you hooked.
The writing alternated between 'written by an adult trying to sound like a young person' and 'written by a young person with delusions of writing ability'.
At times the dialogue included words that are so out of the norm for - well, anyone who isn't a fierce reader or an English major. At other times, I marveled at how the story could be classified 'Young Adult' when the tone and plot would have been believable only to an elementary school-aged child who had lived a fairly sheltered life.
I'm not a fan of dystopian fiction, and foisting this one on a YA audience smacks of, "Hey, Hunger Games was a huge hit. Let's do something similar. It worked for the sparkly vampires!"
Listening to this on audio with male and female voices probably averted some confusion, unless in the book each chapter was prefaced wtih "Boy voice" and "Girl voice", since it jumped back and forth fairly frequently between the two.
The premise, however, was interesting and I stuck it out to see how this story would end. The two star rating is purely for the story's potential.
I won't be pursuing this series.