Witch World by Christopher Pike

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Jessie never suspected that witches are real, or that she is one…Heading off for a weekend in Las Vegas with her friends, Jessie Ralle has only one worry—how to make it through the road trip in the same car with her Ex, Jimmy Kelter. The guy who broke her heart five months ago when he dumped her for no reason. But what Jessie doesn’t realize is that Jimmy is the least of her problems.

In Las Vegas she meets Russ, a mesmerizing stranger who shows her how to gamble, and who never seems to lose. Curious, Jessie wants to know his secret, and in response, alone in his hotel room, he teaches her a game that opens a door to another reality. To Witch World. Suddenly Jessie discovers that she’s stumbled into a world where some people can do the impossible, and others may not even be human. Are there really witches? Is she one of them? 1

Usually all you have to do is say the word witch and I’ve already got my wand and I’m jumping on a broomstick.  There are usually artistic freedoms allowed to each author and artist to put their two cents into any mythical creature but there are some core traits that remain the same. Well… most of the time.

Jessie is heartbroken after her boyfriend Jimmy breaks up with her without a reason.  Although young she knows that the two were in love which makes the break up all the more difficult.  Her graduating class has decided to plan a secret trip to stay on the Vegas strip while their parents believe them all to be going skiing in the mountains.  The fact that they are all relatively 18 years old is meaningless thanks to their friend and convenient master of fake I.D.’s.  Jessie’s friend Alex decided that it might help Jessie and Jimmy to be stuck in the same car for a few hours, but failed to connect that while Jessie is still in love with Jimmy who left Jessie to be with his ex-girlfriend, there is also her other classmate who has a crush on Jessie and smushed into the same back seat is a girl who has a crush on the boy who has a crush on Jessie who loves Jimmy.  Sigh…

With fake I.D. in hand, Jessie and Alex hit the casino for a little game of Black Jack.  There they meet the mysterious and intriguing man named Russ.  Russ claims to be ignorant to most things while joining the game but it becomes clear he knows more about the cards then he is letting on turning his meager buy in into half a million dollars.  By giving Alex some bad advice he is able to get Jessie all to himself and soon Jessie is winning her own stash of cash.  When it comes time to cash in their chips, it finally hits her that she will need to show her fake I.D. and get busted.  Russ agrees to cash in all the money, giving Jessie his room key and tells her to meet him at his room.  Though she knows what a stupid and dangerous idea it is, she agrees and spends the rest of the night/early morning with Russ in his room.  Russ is very cryptic in his responses and becomes even stranger when he teaches Jessie a game similar to Black Jack but known as Red Queen.  Jessie doesn’t understand the point of learning the game until she wakes up in a nightmare and Russ is the only person with any answers.

Witch World opens the possibility of each person having their own witch counterpart in a different world.  There is a way to be cognizant of both worlds but for some the connection could cost them their life.  When you go to sleep your soul travels to witch world to relive the same day over again with some minor variations.  If connected you are able to share the memories from both worlds seemingly reliving the same day twice.  Although your witch self has powers, it is predetermined the extent of your powers based on the number of genes each person possesses.  The more genes you have the more powers you can one day unlock.  But where would we be without a power hungry enemy ready and willing to exploit those with more abilities?

Witch World creates a dual reality with mystery and magic.  Unfortunately, the story relies far too heavily on the genetic, and complex details of the different worlds, the different genes and the different times leaving us with a story with far too much blah, blah, blah and not enough bippity bobbity boo.  Christopher Pike makes Witch World seem like a possible reality, but what better setting for the story than Vegas when to connect yourself to Witch World you must gamble your life.  There are some rough squeamish scenes surrounding some deaths, but other than that the story is a hubbub of people and information coming and going and seems to have gotten lost in the connection between this world and the next. There may be other books in the series, but I am more than willing to let this body rot in the deserts of Las Vegas to be erased by time and sand.

*as an unexpected side note and probably the best part about this book.  Can we all take a moment to appreciate the fact that Snapchat added a frownie and fangs to the girls face on the left side as well as mine.  I enjoyed this unexpected glitch far more than I enjoyed the book*

  1. Book summary courtesy of Christopher Pike Simon & Schuster Canada Page.
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