Witch and Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
Witch & WizardWhit and Wisty Allgood live in a normal world, until they discover things are not as they appear in Witch and Wizard.
Wisty and Whit are at home with their parents getting ready for a normal day when things change. The snotty kid from their high school shows up with soldiers from the New Order, the government just voted into place. They are arrested for being a witch and a wizard. Neither teen understand the charges. What are these people talking about? They are each allowed to take one personal thing with them. Before they are dragged out the door, their parents give Whit a blank book and Wisty a drum stick.
In her confusion and anger, Wisty erupts into flames – much to her own surprise as much as everyone else’s. After she is put out, the brother and sister are taken to a high security prison. It has extra dampening built into it so they cannot use their magical powers. What magical powers? Neither Whit nor Wisty know what’s going on. Before Wisty ignited, neither of them had ever shown any sort of supernatural powers. The mother and father certainly hadn’t said anything.
During their “trial” they are quickly convicted and sentenced to death. Since they are still minors, they cannot be killed before their 18th birthdays. Whit will be 18 in a few weeks…After the trial they are transferred to another prison. There they find the whole place is filled with children who have been arrested for illegal acts or powers. Now they have to figure how to solve their problem – escape, find their parents, and get away from the New Order (“Just say N.O.”).
Gabrielle Charbonnet has teamed up with James Patterson again in this set of novels for older children and young adults. Witch and Wizard has two teens learning new things about themselves and their strengths – while still trying to be the normal teens they feel they are.
The New Order is a government that seizes control, first through good marketing so they are voted into power. The day after the vote, they take over. The country falls under a Nazi-like regime. No one has any personal rights. If a member in good standing in the N.O. makes an accusation against someone, that person is going to be convicted. Everyone is free – as long as they agree with the N.O. and do not have the magical powers of a witch or wizard.
The siblings discover their powers after they are arrested. They learn what they can do and how they can use it. Would that have happened if they hadn’t been arrested? Who knows. They also seem to be the fulfillment of a prophecy that could bring down the N.O. That is why the N.O. want them executed as soon as possible.
Although parts of the story are beyond reasonable fantasy, overall Charbonnet and Patterson’s story works. It certainly has a cliff hanger ending to lead into The Gift, the conclusion of Whit and Wisty’s story. The story is told in two parts, sometimes first person by Wisty and sometimes first person by Whit. It’s an easy read for an adult, but I still skimmed over parts. I didn’t need to read every page to be able to keep up with the story. Sometimes my mind would wander, I’d bring it back, and not really have missed enough to make me back up.
Charbonnet and Patterson are cashing in on the success of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. The results should keep the target age group entertained.