"Dialogue-heavy and action-packed, the writing throughout is inventive and colorfully detailed. Written in a conversational tone by Patterson and co-author Ned Rust, it's as if the reader's craziest best friend was recounting a wildly apocryphal tale, and doing so for about four hours, which is about how long it takes to read the book. It's easy to visualize the story, which may explain why movie rights to this series have already been snatched up."
San Francisco Book Review
"Chapter endings are suspenseful cliffhangers and urge even the most tentative reader to keep reading! We can expect more from this dynamic sibling team in the future."
From the Publisher
"Dialogue-heavy and action-packed, the writing throughout is inventive and colorfully detailed. Written in a conversational tone by Patterson and co-author Ned Rust, it's as if the reader's craziest best friend was recounting a wildly apocryphal tale, and doing so for about four hours, which is about how long it takes to read the book. It's easy to visualize the story, which may explain why movie rights to this series have already been snatched up."LA Times"
Chapter endings are suspenseful cliffhangers and urge even the most tentative reader to keep reading! We can expect more from this dynamic sibling team in the future."San Francisco Book Review
VOYA - Lona Trulove
The Resistance efforts of Wisteria Rose and Whitford P. Allgood against the New Order, a brutal totalitarian regime, continue in The Gift. Whit and Wisty find themselves at the head of the Resistance, trying to find and save their parents, who have been arrested for the practice of magic, and trying to restore freedom of reading, music, and creativity of all kinds while being chased, arrested, and punished by The One Who Is The One. Fortunately for Whit and Wisty, they have special powers that grow stronger as the story unfolds. Whit, Wisty, and the children of the Resistance face physical and emotional brutality, yet they are able to work together and fight against the evil and very powerful The One Who Is The One. Learning who to trust and who to fear becomes very difficult as they are attempting to understand exactly what the New Order ruler wants, why he wants it, and how far he is willing to go to get it. World control is within the grasp of this evil, powerful ruler with magic of his ownall he needs is the magic powers of Whit and Wisty. This is an action-filled story that contains some twists along the way. Whether Whit and Wisty are successful will depend on the next highly anticipated book in this series. Patterson and Rust send a very powerful message to children to believe in themselves, each other, and their own special talents. The allusions to books, artists, and music are an added bonus. The topics of children vs. adults, violence, magic, music, and romance make this an edgy novel sure to please many readers . . . boys and girls alike. Reviewer: Lona Trulove
Children's Literature - Michael Jung PhD
In this sequel to Witch & Wizard, siblings Whit and Wisty Allgood find themselves on the run from a corrupt government that seeks to stamp out free speech and condemn young people to slave labor camps. To survive, the siblings join a secret youth resistance movement where their recently discovered magical powers prove useful in liberating kids from labor campsyet as time goes on, Whit becomes more obsessed with finding his lost girlfriend and writing poetry, while Wisty spends much of her time pining over a drummer from a rock band. Indeed, while the book is ostensibly about young people fighting against an apocalyptic witch-hunting world, much of the time the characters come across as vapid slackers more intent on having fun than fighting the establishment. It does not help that most of the heroes are two-dimensional, over-idealized stereotypes (Whit is a former football star/homecoming king/poet), making them difficult to relate to, much less sympathize. Each chapter is alternately narrated by each sibling, allowing audio book performers Elijah Wood and Spencer Locke to take on the roles of Whit and Wistyyet the book's dialogue and narration are so contrived and stilted that even these two capable actors are incapable of sustaining audience interest for very long. Ultimately, the audio book proves almost as painful to listen to as it the book was to read. Reviewer: Michael Jung, PhD
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—In Witch & Wizard (Little, Brown, 2009), Whit and Wisty Allgood were taken from their family in the middle of the night, accused of witchcraft, and imprisoned by the corrupt government. This sequel picks up as Whit manages to save his captured sister from public execution. On the run from "The One Who Is The One" (the evil ruler of this apocalyptic world), the siblings' recently discovered magical powers are their only hope of finding their rebel cohorts and escaping capture and certain death. Once safe for the moment, Whit becomes preoccupied with finding his murdered girlfriend in the Shadowlands and jotting poetry/spells in his magic journal. Wisty practices her power of controlling fire while dabbling in an occasional musical performance and exploring a budding romance with the drummer of a popular rebel rock band. There is no real safe haven for these siblings, though, and they find themselves imprisoned once again by "The One" with only a would-be traitor holding their key to escape. The action is relentless and there are too many close calls to count in this supernatural suspense thriller. The narration alternates between brother and sister, which, particularly in these very short chapters, can be confusing. Patterson's trademark mastery of gruesome and terrifying imagery makes this otherwise dull tale come alive a bit as readers are whisked at breakneck speed toward a culmination with no resolution. This sequel can stand alone, but is unlikely to draw new readers into the series.—Tara Kehoe, Plainsboro Public Library, NJ
Whit and Wisty Allgood, sibling magic-users with amazingly unreliable powers, return to fight with their utterly expendable teen comrades against The One Who Is The One, dread master of the New Order, who hates the young and those with imagination (Witch & Wizard, 2009). Whit and Wisty carry out a mission and are betrayed. They are captured and escape. They run and are captured again. They try to save their parents (for naught), but spooky unknown forces save the teens who (obviously) live to fight again in the upcoming sequel. Fiction brand Patterson returns with a new "co-author," Rust, to pick up the story of the Allgoods, and what they offer is more nonsensical, inconsistent blather. There are no characters that even rise to the level of stereotypes and no genuine emotions in this embarrassing attempt at a "fantasy" series that insults both genre and audience at every turn. At worst, this reads like the ramblings of a just-waking-up toddler; at best, it reads like a Carol Burnett Sci-Fi sketch with all of the mugging and none of the laughs. A new low in children's publishing. (Fantasy. 9-12)
Read an Excerpt
Witch & Wizard: The Gift
By Patterson, James
Little, Brown and Company Copyright © 2010 Patterson, James
All right reserved.
The Girl with The Gift
LISTEN TO ME. We don’t have much time.
My name is Whit Allgood. I guess you’ve heard of me and my sister, Wisty, and of the crazy stuff that’s happened, but here’s the thing: it’s so much worse than you think it is.
Trust me when I tell you that these are the worst of times and that the best of times are little more than a distant memory. And no one seems to be paying attention to what’s going on. Are you?
Imagine that all the things you love most in the world—and probably take for granted—are now banned. Your books, music, movies, art… all snatched away. Burned. That’s life under the New Order, the so-called government—or brutal totalitarian regime—that’s taken over this world. Now, with every waking breath, we have to fight for every freedom we have left. Even our imagination is at risk. Can you picture your government trying to destroy that? It’s inhuman.
And yet… they’re calling us criminals.
That’s right. Wisty and I are the offenders in that unhappy propaganda piece brought to you by the New Order. Our crime? Engaging in free thought and creativity.… Oh, and practicing the “dark and foul arts”—i.e., magic.
Did I lose you? Let me back up a bit.
One night not so long ago, my family was awakened by soldiers storming through our home. Wisty and I were cruelly torn from our parents and slammed into a prison—a death camp for kids. And for what?
They accused us of being a witch and a wizard.
But, the thing is, it turns out the N.O. was actually right about that: we didn’t know it at the time, but Wisty and I do have powers. Magic powers. And now we’re scheduled to be publicly executed, along with our parents.
That particular ghoulish event hasn’t taken place yet—though it will. I promise those of you who crave suspense, adventure, and bloodshed that you can look forward to it. And you will, if you’re anything like the rest of the brainwashed “citizenry” of our land.
But if you’re one of the few who’ve escaped the N.O.’s clutches, you need to hear my story. And Wisty’s story. And the story of the Resistance. So when we’re gone, there’s someone left to spread the word.
Someone to fight the good fight.
And so we begin with the story of another public execution: a sad and unfortunate event, an accident, as luck or fate would have it. In a phrase that I hate to use under any circumstances: a tragedy.
Excerpted from Witch & Wizard: The Gift by Patterson, James Copyright © 2010 by Patterson, James. Excerpted by permission.
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