I have to admit, I am slightly suspicious of writing juggernauts like James Patterson, Nora Roberts or Danielle Steel. Mostly because you have to wonder about someone who can push out that many books in a year (did they make a deal with a demon or something??). I mean, how do they find the time?!? Don’t get me wrong, I have read books by all of them, and enjoyed them very much. But I do get suspicious.

Another thing that makes me suspicious is when authors who have written a zillion and five adult titles* suddenly jump on the YA bandwagon. Yes YA is SO HOT right now. (Just like Hansel.) Yes, when something is SO HOT it is rather lucrative. And it has the ability to bring you, and your astounding back-catalogue, onto the radar of a new generation of readers. But should you be allowed to cash in on this trend if you’re not truly devoted to writing YA??? But this is just my cynical take on things… please make your own opinions! There is absolutely no reason you can’t read one of Mr Patterson’s non-YA novels after all. 🙂

*According to Wikipedia (the most authoritative source ever obvs) Mr Patterson has written 71 books in 33 years. That’s an average of 2.1515151515151 etc. books per year. Doesn’t seem like much… but I think he’s become faster as he’s aged or something.

So, given how suspicious I clearly was about this week’s book… I found I was actually pleasantly surprised. And so, I present to you book number 3,654,842,108 in Mr Patterson’s career:

book cover of "Witch and Wizard" by James Patterson

Witch & Wizard by James Patterson

Summary:

Whit and Wisty Allgood are living normal suburban lives in a world that has started to become a little bit topsy-turvy. There is a new government in charge and it isn’t unusual anymore for armed soldiers to march down a street at 2am and take people from their homes at gun point. Or it is not unusual if you’re Whit and Wisty anyway.

If being taken into custody by the new government isn’t strange enough, try adding the mysterious disappearance of Whit’s girlfriend, Celia, 3 months ago! Nothing is going the way it should be for Whit and Wisty, and it is becoming clear that things are going to get much worse before they ever get better.

Review:

Like I said in my intro, this book actually surprised me. I was expecting … you know, I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting. I’ve read some of James Patterson’s adult novels and remember enjoying them, but that was a long time ago and I’ve read so many books since then I don’t really trust my memory. But for some reason I think I was expecting drivel. (Sorry Mr Patterson!)Why, you ask? Well mostly because I’m judgmental about authors who churn books out more often than most of us change socks, and about authors who jump on the newest trends (in this case YA lit and supernatural stories) so they can make even more money.

Man, I’m rather cynical aren’t I? 😉 But I think my cynicism comes from a good place. If you haven’t figured it out already, I love YA lit. I believe that it should be high quality and should never be produced just to make a buck. All readers of YA deserve this, but especially you readers who are yourselves young adults. This is your genre after all!! You have a right to demand quality and I assert my right to demand quality for you. 🙂

But I’m getting off track aren’t I? So what I liked about this book is that it was a fast-paced and interesting story with likeable and believable characters. The pacing was great; if you like a book that moves and doesn’t stop for anything, this is a book for you!

I liked that the story was set in a world that clearly had magical people living with muggles (thanks J.K. for giving us that word!) prior to the new regime coming into power. But since new regimes always want to change the world to their particular vision, clearly these magical folks would need to go. What I did find rather frustrating about this book though, was the fact that it did a lot of assuming. (And you know what happens when you assume. You make an ass out of u and me. It’s an oldy, but a goodie. :D) It assumed that you knew what the world was like before the new regime. That you knew about words or sayings when there had been no prior explanation in the book, or even in a footnote or glossary in the back. Rather frustrating, wouldn’t you agree?

My only other criticism was the lack of character development. Whit and Wisty seem like rather cool people (who am I kidding, I’d love to know a witch and wizard!!!) but we don’t get too much detail about who they are as people and what makes them tick. But like I said, this is a fast-paced, action-packed, thrill-ride of a book. So character development clearly wasn’t priority number 1. Which is fine, since it’s totally just my bias and personal preferences acting up again. 😉

Rating: 3 of 5 star rating

This book did not light me on fire. But nor did it completely offend my delicate sensibilities. Ergo, ipso facto columbo oreo, I give this book a fair-to-middling rating. I’m not going to rush out to read the sequel, but nor will I avoid it. 🙂 You dodged a bullet Mr Patterson… carry on. 😉

How to get this book:

  1. book
  2. e-audiobook
  3. e-book

As with many YA books right now, and most of the books I choose to read myself, this book is part of a series. SHOCKING RIGHT? lol You currently have access to book number 2 (The Gift) through OverDrive as a downloadable e-audiobook. Book 3 (The Fire) comes out in December 2011. And if that’s not enough of Whit and Whisty for you, there is also a graphic novel (Battle for Shadowland).

I also found this book trailer for The Gift… and it makes mention of a movie?!? But I couldn’t find anything else on the interwebz to confirm or deny this. Your guess is as good as mine!!

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