Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Witch and Wizard" by James Patterson

Witch & WizardFrom 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?"

But I think that this little snippet from page 176 of the book better explains the book:

"1) I, everyday ordinary Wisty, am a witch. Washboard-tummy Whit is a wizard. We don't exactly know how to control our powers. 
2) Whit and I were sentenced to death by an insidious individual named The One Who Is The One. 
3) And my parents are wanted for treason. And we still have no idea where they are, or whether they are still alive. 
4) We were tortured in a "magic-dampening" prison. So possibly we are even more powerful than we know. 
5) A dead girl- who just happens to be the true love of my brother's young life - showed up mysteriously and rescued us from prison. 
6) I turned Bryon Swain into a weasel. That, I'm very proud of. 
7) The world is actually plural, not singular. Between the Shadowland, Freeland, Overworld, and Underworld, it's hard not to lose count. 
8) And one of those worlds is being run by a bunch of kids... from the manager's desk in a semi-demolished department store. It isn't paradise, but at least its a place where freedom still reigns.
9) I am being asked to help orchestrate a prison raid that might save kids from being vaporized. But maybe not. Actually, it might get them all killed."

I really haven't read any good reviews about this book (seriously, look it up on Goodreads and almost every single review on the first page has rated it as one star) and I don't understand why it has been rated so poorly. A lot of the reviews say that it was a blatant rip-off of "Harry Potter" and all I can think is, "Did we read the same book?" How are they so similar? Because they are about witches, wizards, and prophecies? Do you know how many books revolve around those themes? A lot. I don't think that it is fair to say that this book is a rip-off by any means, the differences far outweigh the similarities in this instance. I thought that it had an interesting plot line and it was very fast paced/ action-packed and by now it has probably become more than a little bit apparent that I prefer when books have a little romance aspect to them, but despite this book not having really any romance to it I personally still really liked it. 

I think that the main reason why I liked this book was because of (in addition to the interesting plot line, that is) Whit and Wisty. Despite all of their hardships they were really quite funny characters. I lost track of the number of times I burst out laughing at their antics, like when Wisty was learning the extent of her abilities and yelled "Ooh, I'm a bad scary witch," I said in a psycho kind of voice. I'm going to turn you into a pumpkin. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!" (pg.117) and accidentally turned another character in the book into an animal.  And I think that the both of them were just really sweet, they obviously cared a lot about one another and it was nice to see their brother/ sister bond grow throughout the book. Furthermore, I love seeing kids develop their powers over the course of a book and there was a lot of that going on in this book, from learning how to make horseflies and leeches appear out of thin air to bursting into flames to shooting lightening out of their hands. 

All in all? I do think that this is a really great book. While it is mostly serious with all of the action and adventure there is most definitely a comedic aspect to it that it genuinely funny and that does help break up some of its seriousness. I am looking forward to seeing its film adaptation (my copy of the book contained a special preview of the movie screenplay and it sounded pretty awesome). 

Rating: 8.5/10


  1. Really want to read this! It looks amazing: and I love Patterson's Maximum Ride, Daniel X and Alex Cross books. So, I'm really wishing for this one!
    Brilliant review!

  2. This doesn't sound like a rip-off to me. But it sounds close enough that I would probably really enjoy it :) If I can tear myself away from the world of YA for a bit, then I'll definitely check this one out!

  3. This was my first book that I downloaded that was mismarked. It was supposed to be a partial trial book for free, not the whole book. I'm wondering if it suffered because of this error. I was upset, but didn't fault the author nor amazon. It was an honest mistake they corrected later. I read a lot of bad reviews right after that happened. The part I read it looked good, but I just haven't had the chance to pick it up. I might have to now. ;)

  4. That's strange about all the one star reviews, but now after reading Melissa's comment I wonder if that's exactly what happened. It's such a shame when books get low ratings because of technical difficulties or something going wrong with the ordering process, that has nothing to do with the book itself. And I agree, there are tons of books out there that all have the same themes, it's nearly impossible to write a storyline that hasn't been "done before". I like the sound of this one, the characters seem to have a good sense of humor and it just seems like a fun read! Thanks for this review Avery!

  5. 'The One Who Is The One' is a horrible name. Reminds me of 'The One Who Shall Not Be Named.'

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