Mark Reads ‘Lifeboats’: Chapter 3, Part I

In the first part of the third chapter of Lifeboats, Nita and Kit make their way to the Crossings, where EVERYTHING IS WEIRD. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.

Oh, this is just strange. I don’t imagine that there are a lot of people coming into Interim Errantry without any knowledge of the Young Wizards series. Part of the joy for me is getting to a sequence that involves a familiar image that’s suddenly twisted. For the majority of my time in the Young Wizards series, I’ve spent time with teenage characters. I’ve read stories that centered on a tiny handful of the wizards on Earth. It wasn’t until the fight against the Pullulus that I got a true sense of how many wizards there were, but guess what NOPE, I WASN’T EVEN CLOSE TO KNOWING THE TRUTH.

A number might have helped my understanding, but this chapter really drills that home. Grand Central Station, normally a rather lonely affair as a wizard, is hardly empty. The end of platform 23 has A TRAFFIC JAM! THERE ARE LITERALLY SO MANY WIZARDS THAT KIT AND NITA HAVE TO WAIT THEIR TURN. Even then, it’s just a fraction of the whole, and lord, is it ever a joy to read. We’ve not seen a concentration of wizards like this ever, and Duane has a lot of fun giving us a glimpse at what humanoid wizardry looks like. We see it on Earth with the various wizards who are waiting for the gating to the Crossings. And it was so cool to see so many adult wizards. I wasn’t used to that either!

So, for a purely surface-level reason, this was exciting to read. By the time Kit and Nita got to the Crossings and I learned that eight thousand wizards had come through one gate in THE LAST HOUR. Thousands upon thousands of wizards, and that means there are SO MANY MORE New York-based wizards alone, and that thought just… wow, it makes me so excited. How many more of these wizards are we going to meet in Lifeboats? How many other species are we going to see for the first time, too? A RACE OF CLONES, OH MY GOD.

What struck me most, though, was one specific feeling. It’s that urgency that Kit feels, that sense that this is dangerous now. And unlike practically every errantry he’s been on, there isn’t that introductory period where they have to figure out what it is they’re doing and what they’re up against. Oh, no, they know immediately what their task is: a planet-wide evacuation of a species that is about to be destroyed. Even more complicated is the fact that there’s some cultural issue at work that’s making it difficult for the Teveralti to leave. Which??? What does that mean? That’s the only major mystery at hand, though, and when you pair all of this with the sense of terrible urgency in the Crossings, it’s hard not to feel nervous about everything, you know? Look, they’ve got an actual orientation to attend that’s being run once a half hour. Nita’s aunt was called in. This is such a dire situation that it may require literally every wizard they called upon.

I am so nervous for whatever Mamvish is about to say. HELP.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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