Monday, August 29, 2016
Witch & Wizard by James Patterson
One of the best selling authors ever takes on the young adult fantasy genre in Witch & Wizard. This series has been super hyped up with lots of praise, adds everywhere, a movie in the works....and here I am thinking this might be a smidge overrated. Sorry.
The story is that of young Whit and Wisty Allgood, a brother and sister whose lives are turned upside down when a demanding and vicious New Order arrests them and tears them away from their parents. This is apparently because Wisty and Whit are a witch and wizard, unbeknownst to themselves, and are destined to lead the next generation to rise up against the oppressive New Order.
Okay, this one caused me a sufficient amount of eye-rolling. The major problem with this book can be summed up in one word: unsubtle! The lack of subtlety is astounding in this book. From the abbreviation of the New Order being N.O. (don't let the grown-ups tell you what you can't do kiddies) to the groan-inducing last name Allgood (look at us! We're the good guys!) and so on. The attempts at symbolism are just not clever and the message of the book is so obvious it's painful. I could take the book, hit you over the head with it several times while shouting "THE ARTS ARE IMPORTANT!" over and over and you'd get the same result.
Also the plot of this thing just baffles me. Plot holes big enough to fall into are everywhere. How did the New Order just happen overnight? If the parents are such powerful wizards, why didn't they hide their kids beforehand? Plus it feels like it drags on in unimportant places but rushes through ones that are. There's a scene near the end where a character is revealed to be a traitor but all I could think was "Who are you again? Why do we care?" Then I go back and realize I didn't know who that person was because he had one insignificant line of dialogue and two sentences telling us what he looked like and that was it.
There's nothing all that wrong with Whit and Wisty as characters except for the fact that they don't seem to do much. A bunch of stuff happens to them, but mostly they are along for the ride. Wisty in particular uses magic several times, but still manages to accomplish little. The action does pick up, though and there are some good scenes, even pretty heartbreaking moments, but you have to dig through a lot to finally get to them.
The book also has an annoying habit of referencing other books and artist but changing the names. It's here that the lack of subtlety rears its ugly head again. Gee, I wonder The Pitcher In The Wheat is supposed to be or Gary Blotter And The Guild Of Rejects is a reference to? This just makes me want to read those instead of this
There is some excitement to be found in Witch & Wizard but an unrealistic premise, long stretches of boredom and a desperate lack of creativity leads me to say that, if you still wanna give it a shot, save
your cash and check it out at your local library.
Next time: She'll be back...before midnight