Mark Reads ‘A Wizard Alone’: Chapter 1, Part I

In the first half of the first chapter of A Wizard Alone, I WISH I HAD NOT BEEN RIGHT. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.

Trigger Warning: For talk of death and grief/loss.


I’m fascinated by the choice Duane has made to open A Wizard Alone from Kit’s perspective. If my prediction proves to be spot-on – that this book is about Nita’s loneliness – then we’re experiencing it at a distance. It’s an interesting way to open the book, though, because it eases us into this conflict. This opening is hilarious! Duane takes a very common problem that many of us have had to deal with and adds humor through wizardry.

Though I admit that Kit’s struggle dated this book. That’s not a criticism, for the record; it’s just that Kit is on the precipice of a whole new wave of technology that is about to come. Wait until everything  is synced over wi-fi or bluetooth! Wait until you have to deal with a product that simply refuses to pair with another. THAT’S FUN. Or how about out-of-date apps, or being forced into a terrible software update, or being in the state we’re currently in where everyone is starting to move towards USB-C but only a small amount of products use it and most use proprietary cables and there are a MILLION OF THEM and now I’m getting carried away. You get the point. What’s that going to be like for Kit?

It’s fun to imagine, especially since this chapter does wonders for Kit’s character. I’m not even done with it, and I’m so thankful to get such a rich scene with his family. I am especially happy that Kit’s mother is now my new favorite. HER SENSE OF HUMOR IS GREAT, Y’ALL. But above all, I cherish how this chapter opens because it gave me a cushion. There’s so much here to like, from Kit’s father’s pride in his brujito, to Kit’s mother asking about the dog, to Carmela’s rapport with Tom. I’m not saying that it reduces the importance of the reveal of Nita’s mother, but it makes it sting just a little bit less.

It still hurts, though. I don’t know how much time passed between the publishing of The Wizard’s Dilemma and A Wizard Alone, but I finished the former book this morning. I had to sit with the reality of Nita’s mother dying soon for a quarter of a day. I imagine the line about her funeral hit other people much harder, though. It seems so casual, even reading it a second time. But I think it has to be. It didn’t happen to Kit, and in the weeks since Nita’s mother’s death, Kit has found a way to live without it consuming his day.

Nita, on the other hand, is still grieving. It’s a very sad thing to read, but Duane redirects her readers by filtering this through Kit. I found myself thinking about how embarrassing sadness used to feel to me! I have few hang-ups about it because I AM PROFESSIONALLY SAD THESE DAYS, which is honestly a very empowering thing for me. However, I used to have so much anxiety over the very thought of crying in public. So I’m glad this is being addressed because I never saw it acknowledged in anything I read or watched.

So, Tom needs a consultation. From Kit. I barely know how that is possible. BUT HERE WE GO INTO THE UNKNOWN.

Mark Links Stuff

I am now on Patreon! There are various levels of support, from $1 up to whatever you want! You’ll get to read a private blog, extra reviews, and other such rewards. I POST A LOT OF CUTE PHOTOS, OKAY. Think of it like a private Tumblr blog that only SPECIAL PEOPLE get to read.
– I have updated my list of conventions and events for the remainder of the year and much of next year.  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 have been announced here.
- 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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