In the second part of the third chapter of Lifeboats, Nita and Kit learn why thousands upon thousands of wizards are converging on one single planet. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.
This is a lot of information, and while the information is necessary, this was dense, wasn’t it? Because the group was so large and Mamvish had asked the assembled wizards not to interrupt with questions, this bit of exposition felt a tad long to me, especially when Mamvish was going into technical detail about certain aspects of worldgating wizardry that I’m not sure the reader needed to know. However, it might not be an issue later if some of this plays a bigger part in the story itself. I don’t know! It’s possible!
At the very least, I know what Nita and Kit will be doing on Tevaral, though they’ll be split up during their time on the planet. Is Duane planning to split the narrative, too? She’s done it plenty of times before, and I’ve enjoyed it. I’M JUMPING AHEAD OF MYSELF, THOUGH. Look, I just need to know why we get to that point that we saw in the opening. Does Kit fail??? Does he discover that he can’t convince some of these people to leave their home? We’re clearly building to that, and this whole scene explains the science of why the Tevaral have to leave and why it must be soon. And for what it’s worth, it’s a fantastic chance for Duane to add a severe sense of tension to this story. So even if Mamvish’s instructions are long, they serve another purpose. Duane is setting out the rules of this conflict. We know that Thesba is about to rip apart, and once it does, the people left on Tevaral won’t have much time left. So Duane establishes a constant with this and with the cold open: Tevaral is going to be messed up.
Yet even the challenge of the worldgating provides another form of suspense. There are so many gates that will be opened and operational on Teveral that the teams of wizards need to be careful to watch out for any sort of failure or problem so that a contagion doesn’t spread from one to the next, setting off a terrible chain reaction that could kill all those near gates or traveling within them. NO PRESSURE, OF COURSE. And yes, I did go watch a bunch of videos about ping pong balls and mouse traps, and they were incredibly entertaining until I thought of them as worldgates imploding and killing people and WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME DUANE.
However, of everything that I learned here, it was the symbiotic relationship that intrigued me the most. I admit that I don’t understand it yet, but I can also tell that this is the point. We’re not supposed to. None of the wizards get it either, and it’s not like any of them have ever dealt with a sort of biological imperative to stay connected to one’s home. I wonder, then, if there really is some sort of unseen relationship between Tevaral and the 10% of the population that doesn’t feel like they can leave. Is something happening here that’s making this happen? How can you convince someone to do something that their entire body is telling them not to do? I’m glad that the wizards are so explicit about consent here, and it’s a good thing that they’re not going to force the Tevaralti to do anything they don’t want to. That doesn’t make this less frightening, either, and it also puts the first chapter in a new light. What if Kit is watching those who remained behind as their world is about to be destroyed? Did the wizards ultimately fail here???
I AM SCARED.
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