Saturday, December 26, 2009

Witch & Wizard

I was drawn to buy this book because I recently wrote a novel where a girl was accused of being a witch, and I published a novel with a sorceress in it. I also wrote one about a wizard. That explains my interest. The clincher was the author's name, Jame Patterson. Below his name was the co-writer, Gabrielle Charbonnet. It is a 2009 release in hardcover.
James Patterson is a well known and accomplished writer; however, he does not write everything that is released with his name on the cover. He uses co-writers, and according to an interview I read with him, he sometimes just comes up with the concept for the story and provides a brief outline and guidance. I doubt if he had more than that to do with this juvinile tome. It reads as if it were written by a fourteen or fifteen year old girl; her first effort after a writing class or two. The story line is jerky and sometimes nonsensical, the action badly handled, and the dialog forced. If a chapter or two of this had been presented for critique at a writers' group to which I belong, it would have been roundly thrashed in a good hearted and helpful way designed to help this poor writer.
I realized as soon as I began reading that this was amateurish, and probably aimed at twelve to fifteen year old, female readers. They may actually enjoy it. I also sometimes write for that age group, but I never write down to them as she has. I believe that if you write for young people, you should respect their intelligence. But, that's just my view and style.
If it sounds like I am being unreasonably harsh in my review of this novel, it is simply because I know there are a lot of really good writers out there, with really well done and interesting novels, that can not even get an agent of editor to look at their work. The publishing industry is in a tight spot now, and if you do not have an inside contact or sponsor, it is amost impossible to get your foot in the door. This weak effort would never have made it past the query letter stage, or a chapter reading by an agent of publisher, without James Patterson's name on it.
I promised myself that I would always be honest and fair if my reviews, and this is the first one where I have been so critical about a work, but whether my opinion of it sounds fair or not, it is my honest opinion. Till next time, keep reading and writing. Best wishes, Troy D. Young

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