Sunday, October 31, 2010

Abducted by a Witch and Wizard


You know I’ve never been much of a Halloween fan. I mean it is a fine holiday I suppose but it has never been one of my favorites. However, over the past few years I have found many multiple reasons to look forward to October 31st.

First of all, if you have the time and money it can be quite enjoyable to dress up in funny little costumes. This year I went as a crime fighter like in Kick Ass. I have a red wig and a mask and a cape. I wore my costume to work on Friday and I realized I never fully appreciated the joys of wearing a cape. I felt like a little 8 year old boy walking around in cowboy boots or their own favorite super hero costume. If you come around my apartment on some lazy Sunday afternoon and find me walking around in my cape, I’m just saying…well…I warned you.

Second of all, my mother and I always have a movie date to watch Rocky Horror Picture Show. A fine tradition if I do say so myself. Usually we also order a midnight pizza. But since I’ll be starting a diet here in the next few weeks, my dad has agreed to make my favorite for dinner, cheese ravioli, roasted tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. So a pizza wont be necessary.

Third of all, this year marks my fourth anniversary of becoming Catholic. Funny story, four years ago I was at Borders purchasing my dvd of Rocky Horror in order to go home and watch it with my mother and while there I also bought Catholicism for Dummies. And so it began.

Last but not least, it marks the kick off for NANOWRIMO!!!!!!!!!!!! Could I be more excited? Uh, I doubt it! (for more info see the previous post)

So to all those Halloween lovers out there, I’m slowing but surely coming over to your side. To all those indifferent about the matters of Halloween, trust me, it’s not so bad.

Moving on.

Last night I finished one of the three books I was trying to finish before NaNoWriMo started. Unfortunately the other two will probably be put on the back burner until December. But anyway, here is my review for…

Witch and Wizard by James Patterson with Gabrielle Charbonnet

First of all let me confess that I didn’t technically “read” Witch and Wizard. I listened to it on audio. Now, W&W is a story told from two perspectives and one of those perspectives happened to be read by none other than my sweet Elijah Wood! So I downloaded it from audio books and then I finished it last night.

Basically the story is told from the perspective of a boy, Whit Allgood, and his sister Wisty Allgood. As it turns out they are in fact a witch and wizard although they had never known it.

I really enjoyed the sibling relationship in the book. I thought it was funny and honest. I understand that in times of danger and high stress siblings can get on better then they would normally, but sometimes in books the authors can take this relationship to the extreme and make them too saintly. But with Whit and Wisty, they bickered and bantered back and forth, and they still had their loving moments but it was more believable.

However, the characters were supposed to be, I believe 17 and 16. So the authors included a lot of slang in their speech, and I am just not a fan of that. For some reason when adults put those words into teenagers in their books it never comes across as genuine to me.

I did not enjoy the parental relationship in the story. Which is kind of surprising seeing on how the parents leave the story in the beginning of the book and don’t show back up until the end. But that entire relationship was, well…in a word, cheesy.

As for the plot of the book. Of course Whit and Wisty find out about their powers right as a new world government takes over and condemns all those with magical powers as evil and criminal. Whit and Wisty are then ripped away from their parents, forced to go on the run and mayhem ensues from there.

The story had a good balance between the humor and action adventure scenes and I found myself really enjoying the book.

That is until the end.

I hated the end so much that I am now going to talk about it. So if you think there may be a chance that you’ll read W&W in the future and don’t want to have the ending ruined for yourself, I understand.

Therefore DO NOT read any further.

*************************SPOILER ALERT********************************

I’m going to be brief because this blog is already pretty long. And really I only hated one thing about the book.

However that one thing I really hated, I really REALLY hated it.

The story begins with the Allgood family about to be hanged for their crimes of having magical powers. And then Wisty backs up and starts to tell you the story of how they got to that point. Only she never finishes. The book ends with them still on the run and separated from their parents. I was listening to this book on audio and I could see there was only like 10 minutes left and I kept thinking that was strange because they were still on the run and yet I knew that they had to be reunited with their parents, captured, and then brought to the location of the hanging. But no according to James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet a book doesn’t have to come full circle in order for it to end. You can just end it.

What kind of f%*ked up s#~t is that!?!

Most of my friends that know my preference for books, know that I’m not a fan of series. I have read a few and can find myself sucked in. But I am very reluctant to allow this. For the most part when I finish a book, I like to close that cover and know that the story is completed. Maybe the characters can go on with their lives and dreams and what not but for the most part any problems that occurred with in that story are resolved in some manner. I don’t really mind stories being left open for sequels but the over problem for this stage in the characters journey needs to be settled.

But for two authors to come together, introduce a certain obstacle and then not resolve it in any way shape or form, it is just infuriating! I can understand if not every tiny little obstacle gets resolved but a pretty big one like the entire family being hanged to death, yeah I’m going to need some form of an ending for that.

All I am saying is that if you are not going to complete the circle, don’t start out your entire novel with it!

And in all honesty the book wasn’t good enough to really make me want to run out and buy an entire series. I mean it was a fun and all but it wasn’t enough to keep me hooked through several books. That is all I’m saying.

Have a good Halloween everybody!


Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

Happy NaNoWriMo Kick Off Day, Bittner! Loved your post, but I did have to skip the end. I bought Witch and Wizard months and months ago but have yet to finish it. But I probably will some day as I'm over half way done with it. It's an okay book thus far, but seeing as it's been lingering on my shelves for several seasons it's obviously not a compellingly good read.

I hope to have a surprise for you up on my blog later today or tonight, but for now I must get to writing!


Hi i wont spoil the suprise but i'm a new follower because of the secret! I love this review and I'm soooo agreeing with you !! I hate when a book doesnt revolve at least one major point! I know the trend is to have series but writes lose me if the dont have each book stand alone.

Annette Mills said...

Just wanted you to know that I'm enjoying your blog and have given you a "Life is Good" award. Check it out on my blog . . .

Bittner said...

Thank you guys so much for following my blog! I hope you all see my latest post because I posted great big thank you's to all three of you!

Anonymous said...

You got an AWARD!!! That rocks. Your reveiws are really good. I'm afraid to let you read one of my stories.

Books Dudes Will Read said...

So your pal's pay it forward idea was really sweet! Since you asked about how you could repay her, I'm betting that when you hit a benchmark like 100 followers, you could have a contest in her honor. That's a pay it forward type deal, too. I didn't enter her contest, but I am a new follower because I'm in your shoes. And because I like the look of where your blog is going. I haven't read W & W, & probably won't. I like Patterson, esp. Max Ride (some folks don't like the series, but I enjoyed the quick pacing and unusual premise). W&W seemed a little like a sell-out to me.

Bittner said...

Thank you for your comment and for giving me an idea of how to pay back Kate for her show of kindness. I have never read anything by Patterson until W&W. Although I will say that I am not a fan of W&W I was able to pick up on techniques of Patterson writing and I can see myself readings a book or two of his in the future. I also love his commercials. I think it was when he had the Alex Cross book come out that he did a commercial for it where he was like "Go buy my new book or Alex Cross will DIE!!!" I thought that was hilarious!

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