Mark Reads ‘A Wizard Alone’: Chapter 8, Part I

In the first half of the eighth chapter of A Wizard Alone, Kit transforms, and Nita seeks help. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of depression, dissociation.

Well, Kit’s getting worse. I’m hoping that the distinction Duane made earlier – that Kit simply doesn’t know how to cope with how Darryl sees the world – is maintained throughout this. It’s not that seeing the world as someone who is autistic is a bad thing; Kit has none of the tools or strategies to do it, so it overwhelms him. We watch as he shuts out the world, believing that it does not matter, because Darryl’s world is all that matters.

His conversation with Carl, which opens this chapter, is disturbing. Frankly, we’ve never seen behave this way. His behavior is rude, dismissive, and disinterested, and even I felt awkward as Carl scolded him for not appearing to take any of this seriously. Of course, since this type of exploration is so new, it made sense to me that Carl wouldn’t realize what was happening. Kit’s a teenager, and, as this line suggests, I’m guessing Carl saw this as nothing more than teenage angst and risk:

Now it was Kit’s turn to frown. Possibly Carl read the expression as rebelliousness.

I have to wonder if Tom and Carl work with other local wizards who are far less agreeable than Kit and Nita. It’s possible, right? Anyway, I did not feel great when Kit left Tom and Carl’s house; even when he got home, that glimmer of hope faded fairly quickly. I wondered if Kit talking to his mother might pull him out of the link to Darryl’s world, but Duane does a fine job portraying this “link” as some sort of relentless pull on Kit’s mind. Even Ponch couldn’t yank him out of his thoughts. Kit has a lack of awareness here that’s stunning, mostly because he’s normally such an observant person. It’s that numbness, that sense that the world has been filtered through something and is just wrong, that permeates his perception of reality. And it reminded me strongly of what happens when I hit a particularly rough patch in my depression. It honestly makes me see the world completely differently, and if I start dissociating, then my detached perspective exacerbates this perception. It’s not just feeling like I am not in my body or feeling detached from it; it’s honestly like seeing the world through a whole new filter.

That may not be Duane’s intent, but that’s part of the joy of reading: you can find all sorts of things in it.

LET’S TALK ABOUT NITA AND DAIRINE. Oh my god, DAIRINE IS “PAYING” FOR HER SHOWY ENTRANCE INTO WIZARDY, THIS EXPLAINS HER CHARACTERIZATION IN THIS NOVEL. It’s not just that her mother died, but she feels inadequate in the wake of her power receding. Like, I couldn’t figure out why she didn’t just fix her creaky bed. WHAT IF SHE CAN’T. What if she won’t because she’s afraid she won’t be able to do it? AHHHHH, I LOVE REVEALS LIKE THIS BECAUSE THEY ARE SO FULL OF DEPTH.

Can we also acknowledge the beautiful nature of this exchange?

“It kills you, doesn’t it?” Dairine said. “Asking me for help.”

Nita gave me her sister a very slight smile. “Better it should kill me than Kit.”

STOP IT. STOP IT. (Just kidding, keep going.)

I feel like something huge is gonna happen in the second half of this chapter. I’m so excited, y’all. Well, nervous, too. The way Kit behaves as he just steps into Darryl’s newest world while in his bedroom is kind of terrifying. That link is so powerful and all-consuming now. And I hope that Nita, Dairine, and Ponch can break it sooner rather than later.

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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