James Patterson is a well known author, particularly for his Alex Cross detective series. He has received the Guinness World Record for the first author to sell a million e-books (probably way more now). This is a man who has out sold Stephen King, John Grisham, and Dan Brown COMBINED. Patterson doesn’t need much more of a recommendation than that. Therefore, when I saw the Witch and Wizard series I felt like this was a good investment of my time and would at the very least be passable read.
The Witch and Wizard series falls under the young adult category, where my reading interest usually lies. Having heard about Patterson being such a prominent author, I decided to pick up these books in good faith. Horrible mistake. The plot centers around a brother, Whit, and a sister, Wisty, that have magic powers in a suddenly (with almost no explanation) dystopian universe.
The central theme is that children have all the imagination and that they are the future in a dystopian world. Literally almost all of the adults are useless and/or evil. I could almost hop on board with all of that. The explanation of why this was happening was shoddy at best until book two or three, but if that was my only issue I think I could get over it. Unfortunately, it was not my only issue with the series.
Patterson jumps back and forth in extremely small chapters between the two main characters, which led to discrepancies in the action occurring. Both of them can be a part of the same event and yet one person describe the actions so differently despite experiencing it together that you have to re-read it just to make sure it’s the same scene. Some novelists pull this off wonderfully, but here it seems like a rough draft error that never got resolved.
Then there is the actual descriptive writing of this series. Besides lacking consistency on more than one occasion, the description was much too sparse for my liking for a novel. This noticeable occurred for the first two novels. I don’know if it had anything to do with the sub-authors that helped write the book, but it was bad. After half of the first novel I wanted to put it down, but couldn’t because I have to finish every novel I start. After a while it just became this mildly amusing annoyance. I finally reached the end of book three, considered that a satisfactory ending and ended my self-induced torture.
While the story line had an interesting concept and could be used to raise the self-esteem of children, I think anyone used to reading novels with descriptive events or with a higher standard in mind for what they read will find this series disappointing.
Many reviewers here are dead on (particularly from Goodreads and Amazon). The story line held great potential, but was written poorly. It was reassuring to find other readers thought the same thing I did – that this was not a finished, edited novel. The dialogue between the characters was overly cliche and sometimes horribly predictable. There were even spelling and grammar issues! One review really nails it on the head: “In a trite and oversimplified manner, we learn that our political system crumbled overnight and was replaced by the New Order.”
The main characters were a bit confusing, and at one point I thought they were going to be lovers because of the creepy closeness of their relationship. Overall, this is just a bad, not worthwhile series. Maybe the manga adaption would be better, but I’m not sticking around to find out.
Have you read the Witch and Wizard series? Would you recommend it?