Mark Reads ‘Deep Wizardry’: Chapter 5, Part II

In the second half of the fifth chapter of Deep Wizardry, Kit and Nita meet their first blue whale. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards. 


There’s just so much care taken to represent this experience in a way that educates the reader about whales but also… these are humans! Kit and Nita are experience whale bodies but they’ve still got whale minds. How do you combine that in a way that’s not confusing but also gives us a sense of wonder for the whole thing.

YOU DO THIS. Like, I’d never sat down and thought about how loud the ocean must be for creatures who live near major ports. But the ocean must be unbearable for them, right? How do they cope with it? Is that why you don’t see whale very close to highly-populated shores??? SOUND? Oh gods, y’all, this is so cool because now I want to go seek out a billion whale documentaries on Netlfix and binge watch them all. This book is making me want to learn more.

For example: Are dolphins largely considered giant jerks of the ocean? How do other creatures feel about them? Is Hotshot a caricature or what most dolphins are like? I love that this book is making me think of these questions, and I can’t imagine another context that would have inspired them. But within this rich tapestry of both characterization and science, Duane leads our main characters closer to their goal. It’s eerie at times since the fear of the unknown permeates the novel. What’s it going to be like in the deep ocean? What if Nita or Kita aren’t able to hold their whale form down there? How will they be able to see??? AT WHICH POINT WILL I START YELLING AND SHRIEKING ABOUT TERRIFYING CREATURES IN THE OCEAN’S DEPTH?

I worry about that because even within the second half of this chapter, Kit has an odd moment. He snaps at Hotshot for making fun of him, but he doesn’t do it because he is personally offended by it. The act felt more like it was an instinctual reaction, something Kit just understood because of the Sea. What else will manifest in him or Nita? What other things will they understand? And what if they can’t control their “natural” reaction? It’s scary, y’all, especially since Kit doesn’t want to become a bully because of this. But what if he can’t help that?

Okay, now I’ve unnerved myself more than I wanted to. THANKS, BRAIN.

Let’s also talk about how cool it is when we meet the blue whale. IT’S SUPER COOL. I greatly enjoyed how easy it was to imagine the deepness in the Blue’s voice, especially in this section:

But that voice, that stately, leisurely, sober, sorrowful voice that sounded like a storm in mourning, that mattered to her…


So, I don’t know what to expect from the Song. That’s a good thing, by the way. Blue warns Nita that her participation in the Song will most likely attract the Lone Power since she and Kit kind of screwed him over. Just a little bit. Combine that with the news that parts of the Shelf are still changing because of the Lone Power, and it feels like a showdown is inevitable. But Duane’s crafted a conflict with so many variables aside from the main antagonist that I don’t even know what I should focus on. The kids retaining their human form? The diminishing amount of time left? The possibility that the whales Called by Blue reject them?

Or how about a more logistical issue? THEY CAN’T JUST HANG OUT IN THE OCEAN FOR DAYS. Right as Duane pulls us further into this world, she grounds her story by reminding us that Kit and Nita are teenagers on vacation who can’t spend all their time away from home. Now I’m worried about that, too. How are they going to reach the deep ocean and get back in time without arousing the Callahans’ suspicion?


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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