Book Review! WBI: Witches Bureau of Investigation by Richard Capwell

A while back, I bought a cheap Android tablet computer. (There’s a lot of story behind the device itself, but I’m not going to talk about that now.) One of the first things I did with it was install Amazon Kindle for Android and start downloading free books. At any given moment Amazon will have a lot of Kindle editions for free, and I grabbed a lot of books based purely on the cover art, or because the title interested me. Most of them I’ve been pretty lukewarm about so far.

This one I’m really pleased with. There’s no way I would have paid money to try it blind like this. Before I started writing this review I checked Amazon to see what the price is now, and found a sequel! The sequel is already purchased and downloaded and as soon as I publish this I’ll be running off to read it. 

WBI is a children’s book written by Richard Capwell, whom I’d never heard of before but will be watching for in the future. The plot revolves around twin brothers Herman & Nate and a retired witch named Mrs. Weatherby who agrees to help them search for their missing mother. As soon as they start looking they find a lot more is going on than one missing person! They soon find themselves racing around Los Angeles trying to stop the spread of malevolent mystic artifacts which could start World War III!

It’s a fairly short book, and a fast read. Once the plot starts moving it never stops, and only slows down to catch its breath once or twice.

It reminds me of a book I read when I was a little boy, The Disappearing Dog Trick by Scott Corbett. I’d forgotten all about that until now and had to search Google for the author’s name. I’d known back then that it was part of a series, but this was before the internet and I never found any of the other books. Like that, this story is two boys and a mysterious old woman with a unique car who has strange powers and knows more than she lets on.

The other, obvious, comparison to be made is Harry Potter, of course. Anything that’s more or less our modern world plus magic must be held up next to Potter. The contrast is stark, actually, because while the wizards & witches of the potterverse live in isolation from the muggle world and don’t understand or use high technology, the witches of the WBI embrace both. Sure, they keep themselves secret, but they live in the world and are clearly a part of it. I loved the crystal ball with a firewire port, (“I know, I should really go wireless”) and the Bureau itself makes great use of both magic and technology to do their jobs and stay hidden from the public.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure stories. It would be a good one to read to kids, it has fairly short chapters (“Ok, just one more chapter and then you go to sleep”) and is still fun for adults. Or at least I enjoyed it, perhaps it just reminded me of the mystery & adventure stories that I loved as a child. In any case if you liked Harry Potter you’ll probably enjoy this.

It’s available on Amazon in paperback for $7 and Kindle for $2. The Kindle edition that I read had some formatting issues, occasionally part of a sentence would get lost “between pages” so to speak. I don’t know if that was the actual e-book or a problem with my tablet, I just turned the thing 90 degrees every time it did that and was able to see what I’d missed. Annoying, but no worse.

And I guess that’s all I have to say, so I’m off to read the sequel. Have a good night everyone!

About Leo Tarvi

Mostly fictional.

Posted on October 9, 2012, in Daily Post and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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