Mark Reads ‘Deep Wizardry’: Chapter 4

In the fourth chapter of Deep Wizardry, Nita is nearly thwarted, and Kit reaches out to a friend. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards. 


Well, this is a conundrum, isn’t it?

There’s a motif here that’s quite common in fantasy novels: the main character must hide their fantastical world from everyone else in their life. Duane hasn’t kept everything a secret, of course; the moon really did disappear in the last book, and there really was a huge explosion in Manhattan. Yet this book complicates things in a way that I think is pretty damn unique: Nita can’t lie while also keeping this world a secret.

She had recently come to dislike lying to her parents. For one thing, she valued their trust. For another, a wizard, whose business is making things happen by the power of the spoken word, learns early on not to say things out loud that aren’t true or that he doesn’t want to happen.

Thus, Nita has to lie by telling the truth. Here, she tries to mask this in sarcasm, but it doesn’t work as she wants it to, does it? The problem is that Diarine is far too observant to let anything get past her. Indeed, she recognizes how important the day’s outing was to her sister, so she fools her parents into thinking she has a fever, thereby allowing Nita to get out of her familial responsibilities. It’s a great way to achieve this, but you know what? I firmly believe that Dairine knows something. She isn’t just suspicious; she lied to her parents so that Nita could leave the house. That’s an incredible display of kindness, and I also think it’s an admission. She knows that whatever Nita is up to, it’s important to her.

Tom and Carl

I fully expected the remainder of this chapter to take place out in the ocean, so I was surprised that instead, Duane brought back Tom and Carl. Granted, we only hear their voices (and Picchu’s!!!) over the phone, but I found myself relieved that Kit reached out to them for guidance. HE IS SO SMART. Honestly, I probably would have just barged into this and trusted S’Reee, but it’s brilliant of Kit to get as much information as possible before they head out to the deep ocean.

Oh, right, this little adventure/assignment is going to be ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING.

“See where it says ‘Sohn Abyssal Plain’ to the southeast of the Island, about six or seven hundred miles out?”

“It has ‘the Crushing Dark’ underneath that on our map,” Nita said.

THAT’S THE NAME OF IT? Christ, that’s eerie. I just hope they don’t–

“Let me know when you get back,” Tom said, “because that’s where you’re going.”

Ha. Wait, what. WHAT. HOW? HOW CAN THAT EVEN BE POSSIBLE? Won’t they die? I admit that while this unnerved me, I loved the idea that the most complicated and important wizardries were done in such a deep part of the ocean. Specifically, they’ll have to travel to the Gates of the Sea, the canyon on the East Coast that cuts through the Shelf, in order to get to the Crushing Depth. And I was mostly worried about the temperature, the pressure, and the creatures that lived down there, but Tom corrects my understanding of the ocean. Once again, humans ruined everything. (I’m seeing how this is a common theme in this series. Humanity can do terrible things.) How many depth charges are lurking down there? How has the ecosystem changed because of all the waste humans dumped into the Hudson Canyon? WHAT TERRORS AWAIT OUR HEROES? How scary is it that the worst thing Nita and Kit might face is something we created?

This chapter has succeeded in making me even more nervous for the journey to Caryn Peak than I was before. I honestly thought they might all have to travel out into the ocean and then just hover near the surface, but this is a billion times worse.

“Here I am,” Carl said, having picked up an extension phone. “Now, Kit, about the monsters–”


Diane Duane is still offering a massive discount on the first 9 books in the Young Wizards series just to this community, so please take advantage of this deal while you still can:

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Death Note and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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