Book review : Witch & Wizard - James Patterson with Gabrielle Charbonnet 3*
I have read a few of James Pattersons's crime novels, including the excellent Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spider, and to be frank, if I was him I would be embarrassed to have my name on the cover of this piece of puerile claptrap. I don't know how much writing influence Patterson has on the W&W series beyond dreaming up a title and characters as the style of writing in this children's book seems so far detached from his adult orientated thrillers as to be written by another writer entirely, perhaps that is what happens, Patterson gives a title and plot sketch to Charbonnet (writer of numerous 'Disney girls' books) and she churns out the rest.
I also don't know what age group this is supposed to be aimed at, there are quotes on the back from readers aged 10-14, and the blurb claims it is aimed at 'younger kids.' My 9 year old friend Stephen has just read The Hobbit, it took him a couple of days, the gulf between children's book such as The Hobbit or Neil Gaiman's excellent novel The Graveyard Book and this book is vast.
The book is narrated between brother and sister Whit and Wisty, although there is no point to this as they both have identical language styles and phrasing, there is essentially no difference between them. They are supposed to be older teenagers, and in this respect they are are just as believable and realistic as the protagonist in Twilight, i.e. not at all. The shame is that there are lots and lots of good authors out there whose work is suitable for children, but a big gun like Patterson puts his name to something of really poor quality and it will most likely sell by the truck load.