Sunday, April 17, 2016

Review: Witch & Wizard

Witch & Wizard

by James Patterson
Book 1 of Witch & Wizard

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  4.0 Stars

Official Blurb:
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?

It's hard to say how I actually felt about this book, but to be totally honest, I would file it under the short, fun, sweet, and witty category. Basically, it's something that I thoroughly enjoyed reading, but not something that I would boast about to friends unless they also wanted something short and fun to amuse themselves with.

The only reason I started reading Witch and Wizard in the first place was because it came to me from the library's e-book waiting list alert. I had put myself on the waiting list for this book out of curiosity one day and had forgotten about it; then I got the email alert and decided to go ahead and check the book out for 21 days and hope to have it read within that time frame. Well, apparently 21 days was a lot more than I really needed to finish this particular book. I knew that I was going to be done by the time I hit 50% after four hours.

This book is written in a very simplistic fashion as a first person narrative through the eyes of two different narrators: fifteen year old Wisty and her eighteen year old brother Whit. Brother and sister chronicle their tale of how they came to be a witch and wizard in a suddenly changed society, taken over by some whack-job who calls himself "The One Who Is The One" (which amusingly reminds me of those strange names I come up with for role-playing games whenever I can't think of something cooler, so I settle with stuff like "That One Person" or "That Other Guy").

While I'm not a big fan of first person narration to begin with, there are certain instances where it works and I enjoy it just fine. In this book, I'd say that it was fine; HOWEVER, there were certain points where the flipping back and forth from Wisty and Whit almost got confusing. Pretty much there were times when I had to consciously remind myself who's POV I was reading from in each chapter, though since the chapters were short, those moments of confusion were short-lived and usually settled themselves pretty quickly when the name of the other sibling was mentioned.

The story line requires quite a bit of willingness for suspension of disbelief, especially since the groundwork of this newly formed dystopian world is still in the making. But I don't mind it too much since the readers are learning about the new screwed up world that seemed to practically fall in overnight at the same pace that Wisty and Whit are learning about it. We don't know how things came to be the way they are and we don't even know how Whit and Wisty end up being magic-wielding wizard and witch. We aren't even really sure why the world is suddenly turned upside down. The magic system is still a bit sketchy, but we know just about as much about it as our two protagonists do.

The pacing is excellent and the story is interesting enough, but the ending drifts on a cliff hanger, so it seems that it's a must that you start reading the second book when chance allows. Of course, somehow, the ending also seems to give you leeway for not needing to IMMEDIATELY seek out the second book. At least for me, I can wait it out for the next available e-book library copy on yet another waiting list.

While not the best written book ever, the book DOES accomplish what it sets off to do with enough wit and humor to make me giggle and laugh out loud. I enjoy following a set of characters with a great sense of the laughs and both Wisty and Whit have their own dry sarcasm and strange humor that I can totally relate with. The world and the characters and even the bother/sister interaction kind of reminds me of the humor that usually belongs to Japanese manga.

I will look forward to the next book, but I'm not going to trample anyone to get to it. It was really just a fun, light read; so I can say that I really DID enjoy it. This book might not be for everyone; the premise is a bit silly, but the author captures two teenagers' voices quite well, so I liked it.

This review was originally posted at Goodreads in April 2012.

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