Book Review: The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag
The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag. This graphic novel is drawn in the more modern styles (like the w She-Ra) The plot is about a boy who lives in a divided task world. Males are shifters, females are spell casters and both stay away from the humans. The main character does not have the ability to shift and tries to use magic. This means he is ostracized for being true to himself. His attempts to do what he cannot and can causes turmoil and then, sorta of saves the day.
A nice story about gender rules and conformity issues.
Like in Jordan’s Wheel of Time series there is a good reason for males not to do spell casting. In Jordan’s works it is because males are too powerful & goes insane it, in Ostertag’s book it is because males either lack the gene that allows it or, in the case of a fraternal twin, the male lacks the ability to control it. In both cases the magic warps into something determined “evil” or “wrong.” Either way it is very disruptive. In Ostertag’s book this is proved by the female twin showing that she can shift as well as cast, but her shifting is poor and not easily controlled. This proves that there is a valid reason for the parents of the main character to be worried about him not shifting.
Does that mean he should not learn spell casting? No. It just means that he should be aware of the risks he will create. It also shows that the educational system these people have is flawed as both sides tend to keep secrets from the others.
A bit heavy handed in the message of being who you need to be, but fails to deliver with any empathy or understanding about why the situation is the way it is and how difficult it will be to adjust it. Perhaps the next books in the series will cover this.
All in all I would give this a 5/10. The plot was decent, character growth was started, but the majority of the characters were one dimensional & the world was not fleshed out.