The Gift by James Patterson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I am confused about this series. I have looked at websites and read other reviews, and so far the feedback seems to be rather positive. I guess there are just some books you don’t like. It’s just unusual, because I’m usually in sync with other people, but this time I can’t be further away. I really, really do not like these books – this book specifically. I think with Witch and Wizard, it was new and somewhat enjoyable. I was hoping the story would have moved on from the last book. Really, I feel like this is the same book over again, only Whit and Wisty actually know about their powers instead of being oblivious.
The characters are all over the place. For example, Byron and Celia –Are they trying to help Whit and Wisty, or are they against them? It’s like this wavering plot point that seems like it’s suppose to be tricky, but is really annoying. Usually a character (Byron) only changes sides once, maybe has a change of heart and then will change twice, but he is completely riding the fence and has no idea who he’s working for or why. Then there are the cryptic messages from the parents and other “friends.” In any “war” situation, why would anyone give half advice? “You must give your gift away.” Like that is helpful. To whom? Why? How? Parents especially would never be that cryptic – especially when there is a master overlord in the picture. People who are for you wouldn’t try to relay information this way. It just doesn’t make any sense.
And as for the Master Overlord, The One Who is The One (hello cheesy name..but when he heads up an organization called the N.O, and has N.O.W troops running around, what do you expect?), this guy must be really dumb. I mean, how many times can you capture the same two kids only to let them escape? Seriously! And if you’re going to give a death sentence, don’t you think (considering how many times the two have escaped in the past) you would just do the deed right away instead of letting them “sit and think about it” for a few days. I won’t even touch on this menacing “test” at the end of the book. This guy would run screaming like a little girl if he were to meet Voldemort, and at least he knew how to play down the whole ego driven, power hungry thing, making a much more deadly villain.
As for the magic. It really is a little out of hand. Not only can Whit and Wisty change into animals, fish, birds, whatever; but they can cause things to appear out of thin air. They can change bomber planes (machines) into birds (alive). So what doesn’t seem to line-up is why is it so difficult to run and hide, or why worry about your energy running low? Surely you can create more food whenever you want it. Or, with this kind of power, why not go for invisibility and just take your time?
I am not sure what age group these books are suppose to be geared for, and maybe that is the problem here (with why I don’t like the books). Between the horrible text speak and teenagey talk that just sounds like the book is trying to “fit in” with all the other paranormal books out there, the characters come off sort of stiff and unbelievable. (If you want some good characters – check out some Cassandra Clare) Then there is an impromptu concert, that is supposed to be a benefit for The Resistance (or whatever they call themselves) and has what is suppose to be an encouraging, motivational speech given by Wisty….where is Katniss Everdeen when you need her anyway? I really can’t see this series working with a young adult crowd (which I would consider 16-20 somethings), but it probably would go over well with the 11-15ish age group. The book, for me, read like a Nickelodeon Sitcom.
I think I’ve made my point well enough. I don’t usually rip books apart like this. In fact, I don’t usually finish reading (or listening, in this case) to books I don’t like. I was just hoping for something to happen so that it would redeem itself. I feel like most of the hype is due to the author’s popularity and the media backing he’s able to get, rather than how well the books are written. With all the great books out there, I can’t even imagine picking up the next installment of this series. It just wouldn’t be worth my time.
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