Witch and Wizard by James Patterson

Some great ideas but could have been explored and developed much more.
Witch and Wizard book cover

Witch and Wizard is the first novel in the same titled series. It was released in 2009 and is followed by Witch and Wizard - The Gift (Nov 2010). A comic book range also supplements the series, the first book in that series is Witch and Wizard - Battle for Shadowlands (Oct 2010) and in a recent video clip James Patterson confirmed there is a movie of the series being made.

Witch and Wizard centres around two main characters, a brother and sister, Whit and Wisty who live in a dystopian world where use of magic is banned by The One who is The One and is punishable by death.  Whit and Wisty have never used magic but they are woken from their sleep in the middle of the night and imprisoned as magic users, which carries a fatal sentence if proven. They are allowed a keepsake from home and their parents give them two seemingly useless items, the significance of these only revealed when Whit and Wisty find out that their parents have also been imprisoned and they decide to risk their lives and escape so that they can rescue their parents from their terrible fate.

Witch and Wizard was a fast read with a plot that rips along at a good pace. The overall story is compelling and pulls the reader in quickly.  The characters are easy to identify with and their motivations clear. The settings and situations are well described and suitably bleak and foreboding.  There's plenty of perilous encounters and action packed magical battle scenes to encourage the more reluctant reader.

I liked the ideas within this book, and the use of bleak imagery especially within the prison setting. There were some really quite striking images created by some of the battle scenes that I can see will translate easily into the movie that's in progress.

But, sadly, for my first James Patterson novel I felt a bit let down, having heard so much about his ability to weave very intricate plots and well developed characters I found little to substantiate those reviews.  The book is aimed at the YA market, which is a field that I read a lot of books from, but this book I felt 'talked down' to the reader in several places, it's set with unusually large text too, which I feel was to make the book appear longer than it really is, which is a notion I felt supported by the gratuitous amount of advertisement pages at the end.  The biggest negative for this book for me was that I felt there were little or no conclusions to the various problems that Whit and Wisty encounter, now being a part of a series as a reader you expect that to a certain degree, but in this particular case, I felt that that there were too many points left unanswered which may leave some younger readers feeling frustrated.

I think this book will appeal to the younger YA readers as the plot moves quickly, there's lots of action scenes and the use of language isn't overly complicated. Older teens will, I think,  be more accustomed to a longer read with a more intricate plot. I think there's enough use of magic to appeal to readers of JK Rowlings' Potter series and also enough adventure based magical action to appeal to the fans of Jenny Nimmo's Charlie Bone series.

Overall I rate this book as 6.7; it has some great ideas but could have been explored and developed much more.

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Witch and Wizard reader reviews

from Poland


Just flat out bad. There is little to no character development, the heroes are whiny and annoying, the villains are cartoonish, and the story is nonsensical.

from Argentina


If i could give this book 0 stars, but i cant so i give it 1. This book is bad, in most place it could be interesting it fails catastrophically, the character are bland and stupid, The One who is The One is a lame try of imitating He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and the plot moves at soporific rhythm, there is not even a magic system! the do magic because "potato"! IF YOU WANT TO READ A BOOK ABOUT A WIZARD IN AN URBAN ENVIRONMENT, DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND DON'T READ THIS, GO GRAB SOMETHING THATS ACTUALLY GOOD LIKE THE DRESDEN FILES BY JIM BUTCHER 10 Stars out of 10 as fuel

from Iowa


I LOVED this book but I think it have had more pages because it was really interesting and I got SO mad wen it ended but I LOOVED IT!

from US


Mediocre, boring book. Painfully short chapters, poor writing, and a stupid plot.

from Australia


Ugh, I thought this author was meant to be good. Although, I guess it wasn't really written by James Patterson. It almost felt like the first draft or even a detailed outline of a book.

from United States


This book might have been my least favorite book i have ever read. Poorly constructed, terribly written, and just strait up dumb. i was recommended this book by my English teacher. i went into the book knowing the story line, and i loved it, teens are prosecuted by government and try to escape to freedom. but i soon figured out that the author completely ruined the whole book by trying to add humor too it. he tried to make it funny for kids to read, but the book was far to violent for a kid to read.

from Texas


This book had an okay plot, but all the characters were very one-dimentional and flat. As a result of this, it was, as ron says, impossible to tell who was narrating until you went back to the start of the chapter. Speaking of chapters, all the chapters are way too short. They clearly wanted to have a book with over 100 chapters.

from The U.K.


I wanted to like this book, as the premise seemed interesting, but the writing was HORRIBLE! At one point in the story, the author describes something (isn't it great that the book was forgettible enough that I can't think of what it was) as "Hard to Describe." YOU ARE AUTHORS! IT IS YOUR JOB TO DESCRIBE IT!

from Romania


Though the premise is good, it quickly falls apart. The biggest problem for me was that Whit and Wisty, who are very different people, have exactly the same writing tone. I. upon multiple times, found myself checking back to the beginning of the chapter to see who was writing this one.

from Gallefrey


Sorry, but I didn't enjoy this book. I had read the manga and liked it, so when I saw the novel, I chose it for a book report. I wanted to like this book, I really did, but it just had too much wrong with it. The main plot, (modern day witch hunts) was good, but it seemed like every subplot had been done too many times to count. Creepy land of the dead? I got bored of that ages ago! Parents dead/missing, but not really? Please! However, this was just the tip of the iceberg! One thing that REALLY bugged me was the "Bad Guys." The main antagonist, "The one who is the one" is meant to seem creepy, but at one point, he (This is literally what he said) said the term "Tricks are for kids!" Plus, the guards decided to put Whit and Wisty in the SAME CELL! Come on! However, the worst part of the pook was THE WRITING. To give you a sample of how bad it was, listen to this little gem on page 15. "I bolted upright, wide awake. Then came more crashing sounds, and I thought I heard someone moan in pain. Had Whit Fallen and cracked his head? Had my dead been hurt? Jeez, Louise, I thought, scrambling out of bed." JEEZ LOUISE? Come on! You think that a member of your family is seriously hurt, and you say Jeez Louise? Come on.

from USA


The best book Patterson has wrote yet !!!! Cannot wait for the rest of the books to come out!

from Canada


I give it a ten out of ten! I loved this book and can't wait to read the rest of this series! Including the mangas and graphic novels! Once again James Patterson has written a facinating pageturner! (sorry for copying your words Courtney I just agree with you and love how you put it). You could really see the bond between their family, especially the bond between Wisty and Wit! I was very sweet and special! I do have one thing though, why does Whisty have more abilities than Wit? She got the spotlight more!

from Canada


I thought this book was olay, but at some places it got really boring and annoying. Overall this book was okay for me.

from India


I had just one problem with the novel. WHY does Wisty have so many more abilities than Whit. It put me off. There was no equality, each chapter I kept anticipating and waiting for Whit to do something really amazing but it rarely happened. And even when it did I felt a bit dissappointed. Hopefully he'll get the spotlight in book 2.

from Indiana


This is the best James Patterson book series yet! I can't wait for the movies to come out, to me this is the next Hunger Games (which I did not read the books for) and when I found out there would be a movie for the Witch and Wizard series I screamed! The only thing that I didn't like was that there some words that are just too hard the pronounce and that was it!

from Rhode Island


Witch and Wizard was an extremely good book. I did not like it as much as his other series, Maximum Ride, but I did enjoy the book very much. The plot was intense with a lot of twists. The book show just how strong the bond between family is. The trials they experience are so horrifying, yet the way James Patterson describes it... it sounds thrilling. Once again,James Patterson has written a facinating pageturner. We could all learn a thing or two from him.

4.7/10 from 17 reviews

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