Mark Reads ‘A Wizard of Mars’: Chapter 12, Part II

In the second half of A Wizard of Mars, both Kit and Nita ask the right kind of questions. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.

You know, maybe it’s my own sense of isolation and comfort with loneliness that made me love the emptiness of Mars. This is certainly one of the most haunting parts of A Wizard of Mars, and at times, it’s hard to conceptualize the kind of desolation that exists on a planet that none of us have ever been to. Yet as eerie as it is to think about a place where nothing lives at all, I found it kind of comforting. Like.. yeah, there was a horrible history buried underneath the surface, but this was an uncaring world. Its disinterest in any human doesn’t feel alienating to me at all!

Since I was very young, I was obsessed with the idea of “getting away” from the world. I needed it a lot, and I still value the kind of escapism that comes from disappearing and cutting off elements of comfort. I enjoy living in big cities, and I know that comes from feeling like I lived in the smallest town imaginable. (More so the mentality rather than the size; Riverside really isn’t that small.) Yet I need to be in the middle of nowhere every once and a while, and I think that’s one of the reasons I nearly cry every time these characters go to the Moon. Could you imagine how great it would be if you needed an escape and you could just pop over to the Moon?

Anyway, I had lots of ISOLATION FEELS because of Nita’s scene here. I also really enjoyed that she’s being very careful with this complicated situation and that she’s taking the time to sort through the information she does have. It was because of this that I became practically certain that the Shard that Khretef spoke of was the missing Kernel. It was TOO IMPORTANT to be gone, and it was the last piece of the puzzle needed to free the people in hibernation. Granted, Nita hasn’t realized that, but it’s because SHE DESPERATELY NEEDS TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH KIT. Oh god, each of them have almost all the info, but they’re each missing a few things from one another and WHY DO I FEEL LIKE KHRETEF IS KEEPING KIT AWAY FROM NITA. Right???

Look, I am still concerned, despite that in the second half of this chapter, Khretef is finally way more forthcoming about the violent conflict between the Shamask and Eilitt. Should he have been truthful about this earlier? Yes, of course! I’m not saying he should have unloaded every detail the second he met Kit, but I’ve felt strange about the way he spoke of what happened long ago. So, I’m suspicious, and something else felt very weird to me: Kit realizes just how much Khretef may have influenced his life. That creeps me out! Did Kit develop the interests he did because of Khretef? Was he destined to seek out someone who had visionary abilities, like Aurilelde did, and does that mean that her “soul” or whatever is within Nita??? Kit’s déjà vu was a MEMORY, so… were all his moments of déjà vu based on Khretef’s memories???

This makes me uncomfortable, and it’s not the end of it. Khretef might be telling Kit the truth in this chapter about the Shamaska-Eilith conflict, but, given the ending, I wonder if Khretef was also trying to lure Kit in with this story. He kept him interested in a tale of star-crossed lovers and destiny, all the while moving Kit closer and closer to the cavern where the Shard was. LOOK, I CAN’T IGNORE THIS ANYMORE. I know the end result of this and IT DISTURBS ME A LOT. Like, sometimes, in the same paragraph of dialogue, Khretef will point out their next move and then jump right back into this story without giving Kit a chance to just say no.

Kit is this dude’s Chosen One, y’all. How could he resist a story like that, where he ends up being the savior for these people locked out of time for half a million years? How could Kit resist using Carmela’s dissociator to defeat the constructs guarding the Shield? This whole thing feels designed to appeal to a teenage boy’s sense of heroism, and it HURTS me to realize this. I could be overthinking it all, but I suspect Duane wrote a whole book that’s meant to be thought about a lot, SO WHATEVER.

Here’s where this undid me. As soon as Kit touches the kernel, Khretef admits that Aurilelde’s father put HIM into the kernel, and Kit is apparently gone. Or in the backseat in Khretef’s body. OR SOMETHING THAT HE CLEARLY DIDN’T TELL KIT ABOUT UNTIL HE TOOK HIS BODY.


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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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