In the tenth and final chapter of A Wizard Alone, FRIENDSHIP. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.
Look, as it stands, this was my favorite book. It was thrilling, confusing in just the right amount, dense as hell, and, simply put, it made me feel good. I hope the videos conveyed the joy I experienced while reading A Wizard Alone. If not? Then let’s talk about the conclusion of this book, which contains much of what I liked about the work as a whole.
I found it terribly fitting that Kit and Nita gave Darryl his first experience on the moon after everything that happened here. I don’t care: these sequences on the moon will always be exciting to me. I can’t get over how grand they feel. But Darryl asks a question here that reminded me of just how new he is as a wizard:
“Are we really allowed to be up here?” Darryl said, looking about half a mile away, towards where the feet and base of Apollo 11’s lunar lander sat.
Allowed? It seemed like a strange way to frame this, but I understood it later. Wizardry is still an exchange of energy, and this is kind of a waste of that energy. Yet I saw a purpose to it: it was for Darryl, to introduce him to further possibilities of his wizardry and to touch base with him after he escaped the Lone One. I appreciated that Kit and Nita did this for him, namely because it’s a sign that they want to remain friends with him.
It’s also a chance for Duane to give us an update on Darryl’s life, how his parents reacted to everything, and what he’s like after all of this. Again, I am glad that Duane did not have Darryl did remove his autism; the choice is already rewarding, and I dearly hope we’ll see the kid in future novels. Here, Duane remarks briefly on the difficulty Darryl has speaking on some topics, while others come more easily to him. The more emotionally charged a subject, the harder it is for him to form words. Now, this isn’t a portrait of every person with autism, nor do I think Duane is trying to say he is. But his story is so much better without a magical healing, and Duane has left him ripe for so many more adventures. I want a book where Darryl tells his parents he’s a wizard. (Which will have to be far down the line; I do agree with Nita and Kit that he should let his parents deal with one thing at a time.) I want a book where he assist Nita and Kit on an adventure. I WANT SO MANY THINGS, and it is honestly a treat when you read a book and immediately want more stories about a character in it.
And what will the future look like for these wizards? The job will be scary; probably intimidating; it’ll challenge them like it always does; but the beauty of that meeting on the moon is that it is clear that all three of them can now depend on each other. THE FRIEND GROUP GOT BIGGER, Y’ALL. OH MY GOD.
And then there’s Mr. Millman; turns out I was wrong about him, but only by virtue of misunderstanding his knowledge. He’s not a wizard, but he knows someone who is. So… did he always know? Did he know the second Nita walked in his temp office? This reveal makes me want to re-read all of his scenes to see if there were other clues that went right over my head because I WASN’T READY.
The end of A Wizard Alone suggests normalcy of some sort. The tiger is gone from the dream that Nita has of Darryl’s trap, and Kit is back to a life where the weirdest thing in it is whatever Carmela ordered from some intergalactic shopping channel. That’s not to say that the next adventure won’t be weird or upsetting, but we can breathe again. The tension is gone. As Nita tells Mr. Millman, she’s not “cured,” because that’s not how grief and depression works. Which is why it’s important that Daryl not be cured, too! It dilutes the meaning, especially since Darryl and Nita’s parallel stories work much better this way. She’ll always miss her mother, and she may grieve for years; but at least now, she can begin to manage it and to cope with it… without being alone.
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.
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