Reviews for Witch and Wizard


Booklist Reviews 2009 December #2
Although marketing muscle might make this book a hit, it's hard to believe too many readers will be satisfied with the confusing blend of sorcery and political dystopia. Fifteen-year-old Wisty and her 18-year-old brother Whit are awoken one night by troops from the newly elected N.O. (New Order) regime. The siblings are chained, tossed into a prison, and accused of being a witch and wizard--a charge that seems preposterous until Wisty envelops her body in flames and is no worse for wear. With the help of Whit's dead girlfriend (who exists in a limbo known as the Shadowland), the teens escape to a bombed-out department store where a teen resistance movement fights the dastardly N.O. Wisty and Whit are standard-issue teen smart alecks, the baddies are stock villains who use phrases like "dangerous fiends," and the meandering plot seems to make up the rules as it goes along. It's got an enticing prologue, though, and Patterson's trademark bite-size chapters at least keep things zippy. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Spring
In alternating voices, brother and sister Whit and Wisty describe their fight against a fascist regime that has recently come to power. Along the way, the kids are accused of being a wizard and a witch, respectively, and they develop supernatural powers. The story's magical system is underdeveloped, but the fast-paced plot may hook action-fantasy fans. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2009 November #2
In a parallel world, a new political party, the New Order, has come to power. Its leader, The One Who Is The One, hates children, those with imagination and magic users. Unbeknownst to teenage siblings Wisteria and Whitford Allgood, they are powerful magic users. The New Order arrests, imprisons, tests, tortures and sentences them to death. Thankfully, they're rescued by the teen resistance to fight another day for the good of all levels of reality, as they must survive to fulfill a great prophecy. In a series of mercifully short chapters narrated by two indistinguishable teens, megaseller Patterson, with co-author Charbonnet in tow, kicks off his latest series for younger audiences with a completely derivative blast of capital letters and exclamation points. The dialogue rings as true as a plastic bell, and the scant prose is so purple it's ultraviolet. Flimsy characters are slammed around a plot that lacks any internal logic. No cliché is left unused in this insulting-to-its-audience, nonsensical flapdoodle. You'll have to purchase it due to the ad campaign and author-branding, just don't invest too heavily--save your dollars for better. (Fantasy. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2009 November #3

Patterson (the Maximum Ride books) and Charbonnet launch a new series about political and cultural oppression, which suffers from some questionable storytelling choices. Ordinary teenagers Whit and Wisty are taken from their house by representatives of the oppressive "New Order." Accused of being a wizard and a witch, they're thrown in a dank prison to await execution. While there they begin to master previously unknown powers and, thanks to some otherworldly help, they manage to escape and are united with the resistance movement. The authors rely on coincidence and plot holes--each teen is allowed to bring one possession into the otherwise barbaric jail, and thus end up with magical implements. The story is further undercut by frequent recapping and short chapters, alternately narrated by the siblings, which break up the narrative for no perceivable reason. There's some fun world-building, including a stream of thinly disguised pop culture references in Wisty and Whit's alternate world (from the books of Gary Blotter to the artist Margie O'Greeffe), but even these are inconsistent (their world also includes Red Bull and the adjective Dickensian) and come across as groaners. Ages 10-up. (Dec.)

[Page 55]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 March

Gr 5-9--Wisty and Whit Allgood have magical powers, but they don't know it. At least they don't know until they are arrested by the guards of the New Order, which has just come to power. Their parents have always been into herbs and plants and predictions; they don't send their kids to typical schools, and when the teens are allowed to take only one item each to jail with them, they send a drumstick and a book with no words that are visible to the naked eye. The kids start to get an inkling of what they can do when Wisty bursts into flames when she gets angry, and before long she is turning people into creatures and conjuring tornadoes, and lightning bolts shoot from her hands. The bulk of the book takes place when Whit and Wisty are locked up in a reformatory where they are bullied by the guards. The chapters are only one to three pages in length and alternate between the two main characters' points of view. The action doesn't really pick up until the last third of the book, when the siblings make their escape. Readers expecting something akin to Patterson's "Maximum Ride" series (Little, Brown) are bound to be disappointed, but the groundwork is set for subsequent volumes that might make wading through the first one worthwhile.--Jake Pettit, Thompson Valley High School, Loveland, CO

[Page 165]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2010 February
Brother and sister Whit and Wisty awaken one morning to the sound of soldiers marching down the street and straight up to their house. Within seconds, the door is in splinters and the dumbfounded family is rounded up. Wisty, in her struggle to get away, suddenly bursts into flames, injuring the soldiers around her. When the flames subside, the two teenagers are shoved into a van and driven away as their devastated parents watch. So begin the Allgood family's troubles with the New Order--a military-type new government that is rounding up kids who are suspected of having special powers. Whit and Wisty are informed at their trial that they are a wizard and a witch, and they are sentenced to death. They had no idea. The ensuing escapade features torture, beginner magic, daring escapes, a prophecy, rats, ghosts, and forever running from the leader of the New Order--The One Who Is The One This first volume of a planned series sets the scene well, building a world of hidden realities and following the protagonists as they learn to use their magical powers. Readers will hope that the many unanswered questions will be addressed in subsequent volumes. The only problem here is the tone of the piece--written in the first person in alternating chapters between wise-cracking Whit and back-talking Wisty. Readers never get the feeling that these are real youth in danger. More interesting elements of this new world order are not well-developed, but young Patterson fans will be thrilled to jump into this new adventure.--Laura Lehner 3Q 4P M J Copyright 2010 Voya Reviews.

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