In the second half of the fifth chapter of A Wizard of Mars, Kit deals with the consequences of his trip to Mars, but then assembles a group of friends to discover more of what happened. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizard.
I don’t think Kit is off the hook, not by a longshot. It was mature of him to immediately call Mamvish, and I’m glad Duane didn’t do that thing that’s so prevalent in YA where the main character keeps a secret from the adults for an absurdly long length of time. I understood Kit being afraid to face the consequences, but there’s an added layer here: wizardry does not really allow for lying, at least not if you want to avoid serving the Lone One. So even when Kit leaves a message for Mamvish, he has to be truthful as he can. It’s a brilliant dynamic from a writing perspective because Duane cuts through the usual pattern of miscommunication fueling dramatic tension. Lord, this situation doesn’t need any more tension anyway! We still have no idea what those signals will do or if there are other supereggs or if Kit just screwed everything up. That’s more interesting than whether or not Kit will tell the truth, you know?
Plus, there’s now a waiting game at work in the text. Because Mamvish was unavailable means that we don’t know how she or Irina will react to the morning’s events. And because it’s so early, Kit has to wait himself for the other team members around the world to wake up. Even then? It’s not like they can just go to Mars and they’ll have all the answers in a second. There’s still a lot of work to do, and at the very least, there should be wizards placed at the other sites where the signal traveled to.
So I also appreciate that this time is used to build up these characters a bit more. Darryl already appears to have a more sizable stake within A Wizard of Mars rather than a couple cameo appearances like he got in the last book. Ronan is also integral to this story, too, and we get that great scene where he talks about why he hasn’t opened up about being a wizard. AND THEN THERE’S CARMELA, MY ETERNAL QUEEN, THE LIGHT OF MY LIFE. She’s got an arresting presence within this series, and I’m interested to see how she’ll behave once Helena is around. She sounds more forgiving of and open to her than Kit does, but how does Helena feel about Carmela’s adjacency to this “evil” part of Kit’s life? Does Helena even know? Because I imagine that’ll cause some friction as well, especially if Helena still believes that there’s something wrong with her younger brother. How will that affect her? The focus of her arrival will probably be on Kit more than Carmela, but I AM STILL INTERESTED TO KNOW. Carmela is so carefree, and the impression I’ve gotten of Helena is… well, a lot more intense?
There are a lot of interpersonal variables within this story, y’all, and it gives it a wonderful depth. There’s Carmela’s outgoing personality and her open attraction to Ronan, which I enjoy because Duane makes Carmela unapologetic about it without glamorizing the age difference. Plus, she’s a welcome presence within the group of wizards, almost as if she’s a foil to them, or perhaps more of a reminder of the dual worlds that they inhabit. She doesn’t have wizardry, but she sure knows a lot about it, you know?
Anyway: THEY’RE GOING TO MARS. I NEED TO KNOW EVERYTHING.
I am thrilled to confirm that I will be a Guest at CrossingsCon 2017! Badges are now available, so COME HANG OUT WITH ME THIS SUMMER.
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