Witch & Wizard Battle for Shadowland Vol 1 by James Patterson

Witch & Wizard Battle for Shadowland Vol 1 book cover
Rating 7.0/10
Well realised from the original novel.

Designed to be set between the first and second Witch & Wizard novels by James Patterson, Witch & Wizard: Battle for Shadowland Vol 1 highlights the New Order's intent on changing everyone's world where they have decided to declare that all magic is evil. This isn't the best news for Whit and his sister, Wisty whose parents were a witch and a wizard. A prophecy says that Whit will be a great wizard and his sister a great musician, but what concerns Whit is that they are also supposed to liberate this new world order.

While Whit is comfortable with their base of operations being an old abandoned place called Garfunkles, Wisty doesn't like working alongside Byron as he is a curve, as he is reckless and dangerous, so she doesn't trust him like she does the others in the resistance movement. So that there is a sense of democracy among the members, there is the elected "this week's leader" so no one lets the power of being leader go to their head. Walt and Wisty's mission is to go to the data centre building to steal a drive where the N.O. keeps backlogs of all their files. What sounds like a simple task gets the two of them in hot water faster than they think.

In this novel there are several worlds; the Overworld, the Underworld and Shadowland. As the N.O. already controls most of the Overworld they want to control the Underworld and if they get to control Shadowland this would cut off their main form of stealth travel. There they can go through portals into the Shadowland, but for anyone who has been there, they can't spend too long there, or they will become like the Lost Ones, people who have become trapped in that realm for too long and transform into ravening creatures, out for flesh and blood. The new world order is no place for anyone who has their own mind. There are street patrols checking on the whereabouts of citizens, posters on every wall letting the public know they are being watched, that all creativity is banned and as there were "Just say no to drugs" campaigns in the 80's, here there are "Just say no to art" posters everywhere. The N.O. or New Order is the idea of The One.

Looking like a form of futuristic priest, he emits fear into the people, without remorse, his right hand is in the One who creates weapons and they want to crush the rebellion that plans to take over the Shadowland.

With a resistance movement led by a brother and sister combo, an oracle, a cyber world and two enemies who want to take it over, it sounds a lot like The Matrix. Though the artwork is colourful, some colours show the difference between the good guys and the baddies. The art might not be to everyone's taste as it tries to be half manga, half very angular Western; a look I don't really like. The novel is fast-paced and the story fun and the connection to the first volume well realised from the original novel.

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