Tuesday, April 16, 2013

[Review] Witch and Wizard - James Patterson


Title: Witch & Wizard
Author: James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy 
Pages: 307, paperback
My Rating: ★★

Description courtesy of Goodreads: The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they'd never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents--and maybe the world?

I'm surprised I finished this novel. I really didn't want to. There were quite a few things that irked me. For one, the writing style was fairly childish, even considering that it is written for Young Adult. Everything felt scattered and the plot was just meh. I mean, it had potential, but nothing was developed enough. It's fast paced, which is nice, but perhaps too much so. It jumps from one thing to the next and doesn't really expand on anything. Everything happens too quickly in the beginning. It's out of nowhere. One minute the world is normal, the next it's taken over by the New Order. Somehow, I think there would have been some sort of buildup.

The character's--Whit and Wisty--names are too similar. I kept getting them confused (you know, when I was trying to speed read through this). Also, I didn't really connect with them. Wisty is supposed to be some sort of smart-aleck who skips school a lot, but I didn't get that out of what was shown. Whit is supposed to be the all-American poster boy or something, but all I really know about him is that he's a quarterback, blond, strong, handsome, and likes to drink. It's told in first person, so we obviously get inside their heads, but I really didn't sympathize with them.

The format annoyed me as well. I enjoy short chapters. In fact, I love them. It makes the reading go smoother. But it didn't work with this novel. Every chapter was like two pages long. There are 104 chapters total. It's only a 307 page book (with huge margins, large font, and lots of blank space). Normally, chapters that end abruptly have OMG moments that make you want to read on. These just seemed to end out of nowhere, for no reason at all.

Whoever likened the novel to Harry Potter needs to have their head examined. The only similarities are that it's from a famous author, is about a witch and a wizard, and happens to be a bestseller. The only reason I can fathom why it is a bestseller is because it has James Patterson stamped on it. 

Witch & Wizard was something I would expect from an amateurish indie author. Not from a well-established author. This is my first time reading James Patterson and I'm not planning on grabbing any of his other novels any time soon. I'm already sad that I spent money on this one.