Witch & Wizard
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (March 2011)|
|Author||James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet|
|Cover artist||Larry Rostant|
|Series||Witch & Wizard|
|Genre||Fiction, Children's literature, Fantasy|
|Publisher||Little Brown and Company|
|December 14, 2009|
|Followed by||Witch & Wizard: The Gift|
Witch & Wizard is the first novel of the Witch & Wizard series, written by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet. It chronicles a dystopian future in which Whit and Wisty Allgood are arrested, imprisoned, and sentenced to execution during the uprising of a new totalitarian government, for unknowingly possessing outlawed magical abilities. The novel was published on December 14, 2009.
Two siblings named Whit and Wisty are being accused of being a witch and a wizard. The two kids are shocked and appalled when Byron Swain, a horribly stuck up kid from their school, appears and conducts their arrest. They protest against these claims, but to no profit. During the arrest, their parents are permitted to give Whit and Wisty one item each. They are given a seemingly worthless book and a drum stick respectively before being led away. A mysterious figure known as The One Who Is The One shows up and it is revealed that he somehow knows their parents and he is the leader of the new political party, called the New Order. The pair are then taken to a prison which appears to be occupied solely by children, and are interrogated by Byron. They are then put on trial by the One who Judges and are sentenced to execution, to be carried out when they turn eighteen.
Celia, Whit's girlfriend who had mysteriously disappeared, then emerges, informing the pair that she is a Half-light - a spirit which exists on an alternate dimension called the Shadowland. She tells them how to enter and exit into the Shadowland, and in the attempt they are joined by a hoar which Wisty names Feffer. In the Shadowland, Celia introduces them to Sasha, a boy who takes them out of the Shadowland to Freeland - a store called Garfunkle's which has become a haven for persecuted children, currently run by a girl named Janine, although leadership changes hands weekly.
The siblings' magical powers are welcomed in Freeland, but Celia soon has to return to Shadowland, as she cannot stay in the real world for too long at one time otherwise she will cease to exist. The other children share horrific stories of the regime - particularly of The One Who Is The One, who seems to possess magical abilities of his own. They visit the City of Progress, where they quickly discover that magic is harshly persecuted. However, Whit and Wisty wish to search for their parents, and refuse to stay in Freeland, even when, upon revealing the extent of their magical abilities. They are told that they are the Liberators spoken of in a prophecy about the end of the New Order.
When Whit and Wisty begin to plan their new mission to take down the regime, Byron, in weasel form, says he wants to go with them. Wisty initially refuses, calling him a "hateful, traitorous, black-hearted naysayer". Byron-weasel insists that he has changed, and even apologizes for his terrible behaviour while Whit and Wisty were in jail. Whit finally allows Byron to come along with them.
While starting on their next mission, they feel an area they are passing looks familiar and set off to explore it. The pair come across the site of their old house, which has now been demolished. It is now only open countryside. Their parents use magic to communicate with them, and help them to transform the drumstick and book into a magic wand and spellbook. Wisty's mother then changes Byron back to human form and orders him to look after them. The novel ends with her urging the reader to go out and live and promising they'll hear from her again. "I promise. And I'm a scary witch who keeps her promises."
- Wisteria 'Wisty' Allgood -is a rebellious fifteen-year-old who is shocked to discover her magical ability. Her main power is the ability to burst into flames at random moments. She is the sister of Whitford 'Whit' Allgood.
- Whitford 'Whit' Allgood - An eighteen-year-old 'All-American' athlete. He secretly struggles with depression after the unexplained disappearance of the girl he was in love with - Celia. Whit is a wizard, with the power to conjure food, objects, and animals. He can also move objects with his mind. He is also a powerful healer.
- Celia - Whit's girlfriend who disappeared mysteriously months before the beginning of the book. She was killed by the government but still exists as a Half-light.
- Byron Swain - A classmate of the Allgoods, who betrays them to the government. Wisty turns him into a weasel (prompting her to call him the "Tattling Weasel" for the rest of the book), . He realizes that he is also madly in love with Wisty and would do anything for her.
- Janine - A teenage girl who is usually the leader of the resistance group and is described as a 'cute girl' by Whit. She is best friends with Margo and devastated when she is killed.
- Sasha - Sasha first appears when he rescues the Allgood siblings in the Shadowland. He later lies to them in order to enlist their help in a jail break. Sasha is lanky, with overgrown black hair.
- The One Who Is The One - the face of the government. Despite being a figure of great power and authority, he conducts himself politely and with quiet dignity. It is strongly implied that he is an evil wizard, possibly on a mission to eradicate all his enemies (meaning the Allgoods). He is after Wisty's Gift, which is controlling fire and electricity. He can also control water, earth, and wind.
- Lost Ones - Warmth-consuming zombies, who were once humans who got lost in Shadowland.
- Feffer - the loyal 'Hellhound' who accompanied Whit and Wisty through their first journey through Shadowland.
- Ben and Eliza Allgood – Whit and Wisty's parents.Ben is a wizard like Whit. Eliza is a witch like Wisty.
- Margo – Commando and team leader for the break-in at the Overworld Prison
Daniel Kraus of Booklist said “It's got an enticing prologue”. however “The meandering plot seems to make up the rules as it goes along.”. publishers weekly also criticized the novel as being “The authors rely on coincidence and plot holes.”. Lisa praised witch and wizard as “New readers will be able to easily grasp the situation and characters”. Danny complimented the author's use of “And Patterson's trademark bite-size chapters at least keep things zippy.”
“Plenty of introductory text sneaks into the dialogue and the premise itself is simple even simplistic.” Book review, Brief article, Young adult review.
“Which suffers from some questionable storytelling choices.” Book review, Brief article, Young adult review.
“The story is further undercut by frequent recapping and short chapters, alternately narrated by the siblings, which break up the narrative for no perceivable reason.” Book review, Brief article, Children's review.
“There's some fun world-building, including a stream of thinly disguised pop culture references in Wisty and Whit's alternate world (from the books of Gary Blotter to the artist Margie O'Greeffe), but even these are inconsistent (their world also includes Red Bull and the adjective Dickensian) and come across as groaners.” Book review, Brief article, Children's review.
Book 2 of the Witch & Wizard series has a blue G on the cover and is entitled Witch & Wizard: The Gift, and concludes with "to be continued", as did the first novel. It was released December 15, 2010. The third book, Witch & Wizard: The Fire, was released on December 5, 2011. It has a big F on the front cover on fire the same way the first book's cover is shown to be on fire. The fourth book, Witch & Wizard: The Kiss, was released on February 4, 2013. Although there are other short graphic novels that include the witch and wizard "W" in a multitude of colors, they are not to be with the others in the series. The fifth and final book in the series, titled The Lost, was released on December 15, 2014.
- Witch and Wizard on amazon.com
- Kraus, Daniel. "Witch & Wizard". Booklist. Retrieved Dec 15, 2009.
- "Witch &Wizard". Retrieved Nov 16, 2009.
- Martincik, Lisa. "Patterson, James and Dara Naraghi. Witch & Wizard: Battle for Shadowland". Retrieved Feb 2011.