Mark Reads ‘Lifeboats’: Chapter 5, Part II

In the second half of the fifth chapter of Lifeboats, Kit makes a new friend… sort of. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.

So, I’m a total fan of the worldbuilding that’s happening in this story, but I must admit: I feel like I’ve hit a bit of a wall in terms of the pacing. I keep feeling like something is about to happen, but then it doesn’t. We’re well over 150 pages into this book at this point, and I’m struggling to understand why this book is progressing at a much slower pace than all the other Young Wizards novels.

Of course, that is in part due to the flaw of reading books in the way that I do for Mark Reads. I only progress through a book in easily digestible sections, and it often takes me a month or more to get through a single book. SO: I could be a victim of my own style, and I do like to admit that when I’m talking about things like pacing or narrative structure. I’m breaking up a book into pieces that weren’t meant to be there!

That being said, I still have to wonder if I’m being fed clues that I’m missing or if this is really is as lengthy as it feels. I have a sense that all the stuff with the sibiks is important for some reason. What that reason is? I have no clue. But there might very well be a significance to the relationship to their Tevaralti. The whole mhilimai suggests that these creatures can imprint on others and develop something like an emotional co-dependence. How will that play out when some of the Tevaralti remain behind? Will these sibiks even be able to understand what’s happening?

There is a lot of adorable and insightful dialogue in the second half of this chapter, too. That’s not surprising, since witty and emotional dialogue is kind of a feature of this series. Kit’s admission to Djam about why he can’t stop staring leads to one of my very favorite sequences in the book thus far. BECAUSE LET ME TELL YOU HOW TRASH I AM FOR THE STAR WARS MOVIES, OKAY. I mean, it shouldn’t surprise any of you given that I have a giant Star Wars sleeve on my right arm.

But I enjoyed that scene for another reason: Kit got to share something he loved—something that had a great deal of meaning to tons of people within his culture—with another group of people, and it helps them all get closer. I love the idea of using a story to build empathy, understanding, and camaraderie. ALSO, WHAT A GREAT TRILOGY FOR THAT. I couldn’t even imagine what a treat it would be to watch two people who have NEVER SEEN AN EARTH MOVIE watch Star Wars for the first time. And they had such a great reaction to it, too!

“But they still tell stories like this? How do they reconcile the two positions?”

OH, WHAT A GREAT RESPONSE. What a great question! Humans are so strange sometimes, but I love that they manage to focus in on this “selective delusionality,” which feels weird to them, but makes a lot more sense to me. This is just who we are. Our species is full of contradictions, and this just happens to be one of the more pleasant ones.

Anyway, something terrible is bound to happen soon, right?

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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