Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Witch and Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Whit and Wisty...typical big brother and little sister. They live with their parents and life is the way it's always been - school, home, friends...until the New Order takes place. And their lives are impacted when the police come to Whit's and Wisty's house to imprison them for not following directives. The only thing they take with them? Something their parents shove into their hands - an old drum stick and a blank book. They don't understand, but these are the only things linking them to home.

Whit and Wisty are imprisoned and found guilty. Whit will be the first one put to death, and when Wisty reaches eighteen, her time will be up...if she can survive the terror they both are going through now. But before things get worse, they both discover something unique about them. The names of witch and wizard imposed on them begin to come to fruition, and both brother and sister are slowly beginning to harness this power. But is it too late?

James Patterson has dived in head-first in YA fiction, starting with his Maximum Ride series and following up with his Daniel X series, and now this (which will have a sequel if not a series behind it). A talented adult author, the resonance of his storytelling doesn't transfer across lines as clearly. Although this book had moments of jaw-clenching tension and the dystopic future of the United States is intriguing, it still lacked the punch found in dynamically written YA novels such as Ryan's Forest of Hands and Teeth or Shusterman's Unwind. But Patterson does know how to cross YA lines - this could easily be put in a middle school library as well as a senior high library.

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