First of all, I'd like to say I respect James Patterson for being a successful and disciplined author what with all the novels he has published. I have read a few of his Alex Cross novels, and almost all of the "Maximum Ride" books.
"Witch and Wizard" takes place in a reality where America has been taken over by an organization known as the New Order. This totalitarian faction (ruled by some shady guy who calls himself “The One Who Is The One”) has essentially outlawed free speech, habeas corpus, and other “creature comforts” of the Free World. Two siblings, Wisty and Whit Allgood, are woken up in the middle of the night by soldiers and forcibly removed from their parents and their home on charges of being a Witch and Wizard. They are found guilty without a trial, and taken to a jail solely occupied by children. After a short amount of time (literally two chapters) they escape in search of their parents and the means to rebel against the New Order.
The idea of children fighting the government appeals to me, but I found this book extremely uninteresting. I began to skim after I reached the halfway mark just to get it over with, and the only reason I read to the halfway mark was because I was hoping things would heat up later on.
Needless to say, I was disappointed.
This book is loaded with flaws- it’s written on a 5th grade reading level, the characters are annoying and unbelievable, and the themes hang like humidity on an uncomfortable summer day.
Towards the end of the book, there’s this lame-ass prophecy which reads:
“One day soon, kids will run the world...and do a better job than the grown- ups ever did.”
Seriously? You shitting me? This has got to be the worst prophecy I’ve ever heard of! It doesn’t even sound like an omnipotent being predicting the future. More like a child with delusions of grandeur.
When reading the characters talk and interact, it feels as if they’re all basically the same person. I get the impression that Patterson either is extremely out of touch with today’s youth or has forgotten his own childhood and hasn’t realized that even kids today don’t act or talk like they do EXCEPT in his books.
In “The Final Warning”, the fourth Maximum Ride book, the theme of Global Warming stunk like a rotten egg. This time, it’s the idea of people with power end up corrupted. I’m all for literature as a means to get a message across, but when I’m reading about magical children or human beings with bird wings, you can tell I’m not interesting in politics.
“Witch and Wizard” is yet another cookie-cutter novel from Patterson as a means of income as opposed to trying to write a good book. If you honestly feel the need to read it, I advise you fight it with every ounce of your willpower.
Trust me on this one.