I picked this series up when someone threw away a bunch of books (literally threw them away; I found them stacked around the dumpster). I am exceeding...moreI picked this series up when someone threw away a bunch of books (literally threw them away; I found them stacked around the dumpster). I am exceedingly glad that I did not pay money for this dreck, and can even understand why they were left to the elements rather than donated to the library or Goodwill.
I'm not the sort of reader who gets bogged down with technical details. If I've been sufficiently hooked by the narrative, a lot of times I won't even notice typos and grammatical errors unless they're really jarring, and I can deal with an odd writing style. Needless to say I was not hooked by the narrative.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why Patterson's chapters are so short. I don't see any type of logical or intuitive reason for the ending of most of the chapters, and I just keep wondering why the hell there isn't a regular page break. The opening of the book, when Whit and Whisty are arrested, takes up ten chapters, each averaging about a page and a half. It would be one thing if he was alternating points-of-view, but he isn't; there might be three chapters of Whisty's narration, followed by two of Whit's.
Which leads me to the fact that a lot of times I forgot who was the current narrarator; Whit and Whisty are basically interchangable, as well as monumentally stupid. It really should not take anyone as long it did these two to realize that yes, they really are a witch and wizard. When you can spontaneously burst into flame and yet remain unharmed, levitate, stop objects being thrown at you in midair--how dumb do you have to be? And how stupid were their parents for not telling them what they were and training them how to use their powers?
The dialogue was frequently either stilted or way too wordy for the current situation, or to have come from the mouths of modern day teenagers:
...Then I heard Whit shouting as he was thrown onto the living room floor next to me.
"Whit, what's going on? Who are these...monsters?"
"Wisty," he gasped, cohently enough. "You okay?"
I'm really not sure why Whisty would think her brother would have any more of a clue what was going on than she did, not to mention the situation calls for a much stronger epithet than "monsters", just in my opinion.
* * *
"The soldiers, all in black, their boots spit-shined, came for us that morning in the prison..."
People just don't talk like that, particularly not teenagers. Who would even think to come up with "spit-shined" as a descriptor, much less bother describing their captors' boots in any sort of detail?
The One Who Is The One was just laughable. Not even in an over-the-top stereotype way, he just seemed completely ineffectual and childish and not scary, at all. Nothing in this book seemed especially believable; I only made it to chapter 76--which starts on page 201, incidentally--before giving this book up as a waste of time.
I am baffled that this is a bestseller. I suppose it just goes to show that there really is no accounting for taste.
Thus endeth my excursion into the world of YA fiction.(less)