Reviews for Witch World


Booklist Reviews 2012 September #2
There are two worlds, each mirroring the other--almost. One is populated by humans, the other by witches; one plays the card game Twenty-One, the other symbolically plays Twenty-Two, known as Red Queen. Jessie Ralle is introduced to this bifurcated world during her high-school graduation trip to Las Vegas, a trip that effectively murders her and brings her back to life not only as a witch but as a mother to a nearly perfect witch child coveted by the evil Lapras, one of the two covens within Witch World. It's another Pike roller coaster ride, with Jessie plunging into dangerous situations and scrambling back out through her supernatural witch powers, only to plunge into yet another bizarre, terrifying mess. The Las Vegas glitter and gambling is juxtaposed with the barren desert, much like the good Tar witches morphing into the evil Lapras. The novel will force readers through a tug-of-war between two worlds and the powers that connect them: good and evil, pain and pleasure, love and hate. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Pike is the New York Times best-selling author of the Thirst series, and fans will be clamoring for his latest. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
Jessie and friends head to Las Vegas to celebrate high school graduation. They discover amid the gambling and glamour an alternate universe populated by magical variants of themselves, where Jessie's the mother of a perfect child who's the fulcrum for a battle between the forces of good and evil. Melodrama, solipsism, weak writing, and flat characters hamper an intriguing premise.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 October #2
Jessica Ralle expected her graduation trip to Las Vegas to go smoothly--a little bit of drinking, some entertainment and a smidge of gambling before going off to UCLA--but…. The plan derails when she meets Russ, a dangerous man who shows her the arts of blackjack and of a mysterious new card game, 22. After blacking out when she is locked in a freezer, Jessie wakes up in the morgue and discovers she is in a different world, one in which she has special abilities built into her genetic sequence. When Jessie learns a sinister organization has kidnapped the daughter she bore in the alternate world, she embarks on a mission of vengeance to recover her child. Pike's knack for melodrama is in evidence, but the worldbuilding never takes off here. Jessica adapts to her dual nature much too easily and adjusts to her role as mother with little disconnect. The main villain, a holdover from the Roman Empire, is laughably evil, and readers will find her Achilles' heel to be utterly banal. Underdeveloped characters, a dull plot with high page count and hollow moralizing make for very little to recommend. (Thriller. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 December #4

In this bloated series launch from the prolific Pike, when Jessie accompanies her graduating class to Las Vegas for the weekend, she meets a mysterious man with a knack for winning at cards. Soon after, Jessie is killed, but she returns to life to learn that she's a witch with superhuman abilities, able to dwell in two different worlds at once. What follows is a muddied sequence of events involving alternate realities and people with multiple counterparts. As Jessie learns the truth about her heritage, reconciles with her boyfriend, and fights to save the daughter she never knew she had, she gets further entangled in a millennia-old battle between two opposing witch factions. Readers may struggle with Jessie's convoluted narration ("Anyway, the first time we had sex, that was important. It had been in the shower, like I told him, or rather, just after we took a shower. But he was right about one thingâ??he had not spent time in the shower washing the oil off his hands"), and Pike's premise is needlessly complicated. A chaotic jumble of supernatural tropes. Agent: Jennifer Unter, the Unter Agency. Ages 14â??up. (Nov.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

In this bloated series launch from the prolific Pike, when Jessie accompanies her graduating class to Las Vegas for the weekend, she meets a mysterious man with a knack for winning at cards. Soon after, Jessie is killed, but she returns to life to learn that she's a witch with superhuman abilities, able to dwell in two different worlds at once. What follows is a muddied sequence of events involving alternate realities and people with multiple counterparts. As Jessie learns the truth about her heritage, reconciles with her boyfriend, and fights to save the daughter she never knew she had, she gets further entangled in a millennia-old battle between two opposing witch factions. Readers may struggle with Jessie's convoluted narration ("Anyway, the first time we had sex, that was important. It had been in the shower, like I told him, or rather, just after we took a shower. But he was right about one thingâ??he had not spent time in the shower washing the oil off his hands"), and Pike's premise is needlessly complicated. A chaotic jumble of supernatural tropes. Agent: Jennifer Unter, the Unter Agency. Ages 14â??up. (Nov.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 March

Gr 10 Up--Jessie Ralle starts out as a typical teenager with a complicated love life. She and some friends, including her ex, all head to Las Vegas to celebrate graduation. Strange things start to happen, culminating in Jessie's getting murdered and mysteriously brought back to life-with superpowers. As if that weren't enough, she finds herself in a parallel version of Vegas. Luckily, her long-lost father turns up to explain everything. Less luckily, there is a lot of explaining to do. It turns out that Jessie is a witch, or a human with superpowered genetics. Now that she has "connected" to her true nature (by dying), she will start experiencing life in dual universes: one day in the regular world followed by the same day in the witch world. There are also two versions of herself, Jessie and Jessica, and Jessica, the witch version, has a baby named Lara who has been kidnapped by a rival group of witches who are trying to take over the world and … so on. The complications of the two universes and the fact that all of the characters have two versions of themselves make the already-convoluted plot completely unmanageable. Also off-putting is the way that the rules of Witch World seem to be inconsistently applied and the characters, including the protagonist, are frequently unsympathetic. Though the book is written for teens, the characters talk and act like adults, and there is no shortage of sex and violence, making the novel most appropriate for older teens. Even the most dedicated Pike fans may have trouble making their way through this messy tome.--Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA

[Page 172]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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VOYA Reviews 2013 February
Jessie did not plan on sharing a three-hour car ride with her former boyfriend, Jimmy, to Vegas for the upcoming high school graduation weekend trip--and that was only the first of her surprises. Alex and Debbie, Jessie's friends, plan on making the most of the parent-free weekend, including enjoying the fake IDs Ted produced for each member of the class. After discovering the truth about their break-up, Jessie found a way to forgive Jimmy, but when she heads off to play at the shows and the tables, she meets a mysterious and handsome stranger, Russ. He guides her into the ways of "witch world," an alternative universe, where the Red Queen rules the game of twenty-two. Jessie learns of her witch powers after a harrowing night that opens the door to the world where James, Alexis, and even her long-lost father mirror her former reality. Witch world exists a full day ahead, and Jessie learns to transition at sunrise to replay the day in her old world. This is a suspenseful thriller, with frank handling of such topics as sex, alcohol, violence, gambling, and witchcraft, but it is also about decency and parenthood. It is a well-written, interesting, unpredictable story, and the characters have realistic voices. It does leave readers expecting more, so a sequel is likely. The topic will be greatly appealing to many teens as a pleasure read.--Ava Ehde 4Q 5P M J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.

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