Mark Reads ‘A Wizard of Mars’: Chapter 7

In the seventh chapter of A Wizard of Mars, EVERYTHING HAPPENS AT ONCE. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards

WHAT IS GOING ON??? I have a loose theory about the events in this chapter, which is barely a theory and more of me clinging to the fact that Duane says in the text that it’s possible this wizardry is reading the minds of the wizards and manifesting itself as… well, I don’t know. That part still confuses me. After the end to the previous chapter, I figured that it was only a matter of time before we got to see if there would be a similar occurrence for Darryl, Ronan, and Kit.


Here’s what I need to yell at all of you about.

And Now… Kiss

Look, even Darryl and Ronan basically ship Nita and Kit. Everyone knows there is chemistry and that the two of them are still avoiding any conversation on the subject. I really think this might be the book where they ACTUALLY talk about it! FINGERS CROSSED.

Ronan’s Wizardry

WHAT IS THAT??? I didn’t even know a wizard could do what he did, but here we are in a world where Ronan can MAKE THE GROUND LOOK LIKE CLEAR GLASS SO THAT THEY CAN ALL SEE THROUGH IT. It’s such a specific wizardry, too, that I’m not sure I can think of many utilizations for it.

Wait. Treasure hunts. OH MY GOD YES. This is what I would use my wizardry for: exploration. Heists. Finding out what’s at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. FINDING ATLANTIS. I need to be a wizard so badly.

The Spike

I might have a (non-original) theory about why the Martian wizardry manifests as it does, but I have zilch on the energy spike that Darryl finds and which bursts out of the ground to do… something. The original superegg sent beacons/signals out to other parts of Mars, and I get that. But why sit under the surface again? What triggered their release a second time? Was it the mere presence of another wizard?

I felt it was more clear (in hindsight, of course) that once this happened, Mars began to transform. Here, it became the version of Mars that had recently been in Darryl’s head after he watched The Angry Red Planet. That’s a real late 50s sci-fi film, and the wizardry replicates it with an unnerving accuracy, from the creatures that appear to the creepy red hue that fills these characters’ vision. But why? Obviously, the wizardry hidden underground was a huge store of power, enough that the spike could create constructs like this. If Darryl is correct and this is the wizardry’s attempt to communicate, then what is it trying to say?

I DON’T GET IT, Y’ALL. The characters from The Angry Red Planet react as they would within the time period, and while I’ve only seen images or clips from that film, I am not sure there’s anything here that is an actual message. Is that bit with the giant amoeba (DON’T ASK ME, THIS WHOLE CHAPTER IS A WILD RIDE) meant to be the actual warning? Does this wizardry not want them to explore Mars? Possibly??? If so… this is a terrible warning, no? Using a fictional version of Mars to discourage people from being on Mars… yeah, that’s not going to work on these dudes at all.


I appreciate that these kids realized how inopportune it would be if one of the two satellites orbiting Mars casually picked up RAT-BAT-CRAB CREATURES ATTACKING PEOPLE ON THE PLANET. Like… that would be very, very bad.


OKAY I CONTINUE TO BE IMPRESSED WITH HIS ABILITIES. I always forget that he can be in two places at once until he reminds everyone of it. But let’s talk about how Duane gives him space within this chapter to deal with being overstimulated while not demonizing him for it. It’s presented as something routine for him, a part of who he is that he’s got coping mechanisms for! There’s even that great line where he tells Ronan and Kit not to treat him like he’s fragile. All he needed was time and some patience. It doesn’t help Darryl if they treat him like he doesn’t know how to live with autism. PRETTY SURE HE’S THE BEST AUTHORITY ON THE SUBJECT.


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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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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