■ REVIEW: Witch & Wizard
Simplistic but still a good read

James Patterson must be the most prolific writer out there, this time coming up with Witch & Wizard, a fantasy novel for younger readers.

This, like so many books, is the story of a dystopian future. Not surprisingly, given the book’s title, the book is also about witches and wizards, with the main characters, Whit and Wisty Allgood, being taken from their family in the middle of the night, thrown into jail and accused of being a witch and a wizard.

There are elements of the witch hunts of the Middle Ages mixed in with Lord of the Flies and a splash of 1984 for good measure: there’s the sinister New World Order government, prisons filled with children, interrogations by former classmates and some self-discovery for good measure.

Some critics weren’t enamoured of this offering from Paterson, and I suppose when compared to the Harry Potter series it might seem a tad simplistic. However, with so many trying to be the next Tolkien, it’s nice to read something that was just a good standalone read.

I might not be the target audience but I enjoyed it.

Witch & Wizard, by James Patterson with Gabrielle Charbonnet (Random House, RRP $36.99)

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