J's Reviews > The Gift

The Gift by James Patterson
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's review
Mar 12, 11

bookshelves: fantasy, middle-school-fiction

James Patterson is contracted to write over 20 books per year, and it shows here in what appears to be a quickly dashed off fantasy for young adults (the writing is geared toward upper elementary/middle school but the protagonists are 15 and 17 years old). Kids will enjoy the basic story -- Wisteria or "Wisty" and her brother Whit are woken up in the middle of the night by a snarling band of New Order cops who accuse them of being a witch and a wizard. Turns out that they are, but their parents neglected to inform them about their magical powers. They slowly discover their abilities (Wisty can burst into flames, Whit can stop things in mid-air, among other things) as they go through a mock trial and then languish in a horrible prison while they await execution. They are rescued by Whit's dead girlfriend (who is a spirit) and join a band of renegade kids who will save civilization from the New Order. Good, basic plot, but the writing is so, so bad I often wanted to tear my hair out. The dialogue goes from being tacky teen hip (older men shouldn't try to write teen lingo) to stilted evil cliches. There are so many holes in the plot that there's barely anything left of this story. Why didn't their parents tell them they were magical? Why are they allowed to take magical instruments off to prison with them? Why, after shooting flames and stopping things in mid-air, does it take them so long to believe they are a witch and a wizard? Why is Patterson allowed to publish this stuff? There are so many better fantasy novels out there.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Jane (new)

Jane This is a very candid review! Thank you.

message 2: by J (new) - rated it 2 stars

J Jane wrote: "This is a very candid review! Thank you."

Couldn't help myself. I was gnashing my teeth through the whole book : )

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