Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Gift

Patterson, James with Ned Rust. The Gift (Witch and Wizard book 2)
Whit and Wisty Allgood are still on the run from the New Order, which has banned all art, music and writing from the world, and is attempting to reeducate all of the children in various awful ways. Whit sees Wisty killed, only to find out it was really fellow Resister Margo, and the two siblings take off to find their parents.Whit is also looking for Celia, his lost love, who appears to him from propaganda bill boards and gets him in trouble from time to time.The two seek temporary refuge in the Garfunkel's department store, the Resistance headquarters, Wisty performs at the illegal Stockwood music festival but is betrayed by a drummer on whom she has a crush, and makes it clear to the leader of the New Order that she really does have "the gift" that he wants, but of course she refuses to surrender it. Whit and Wisty end up in a children's detention center but manage to escape when a former nemesis helps them. They see their parents for a brief time before their parents are vaporized. There is certainly a sequel in the offing, and Whit and Wisty will no doubt have more frenetic adventures as they try to get their parents back.

Strengths: There are 100 chapters, but they are very short and fast paced. There is a ton of action and adventure, as well as some blood, gore, and gross out moments. The theme of children against The Powers That Be is always popular in a dystopian tome.
Weaknesses: Personally, this was painful to read. The prose was pedestrian, the character development weak, and the action hard to follow. I would feel bad about saying this if the Kirkus review hadn't said "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. "

Ouch. I bought this because students asked for it.

1. 5 miles 2. 6 books 3. 8 quilt tops


  1. I started reading what I think was his first children's book, Daniel X, a few year's ago and couldn't bear to finish--it felt utterly 2-dimensional and commercial, an exercise in money-making, not writing.

    Coincidentally enough, the word verification for this post is "dulness." :)

  2. Strangly, I wasn't tempted by the first and feel no desire to read this one!

  3. "year's ago"? Too early in the morning.

    Very wise, Charlotte!

  4. The one positive comment I have about this one is that it is slightly better than the first one. that saying much?

  5. Well, it's better than saying that it was worse than the first one!