In the second half of the first chapter of Games Wizards Play, Kit receives some big news. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.
If you think about them this way, the stories in Interim Errantry really do work well as a giant transition piece between the last Young Wizards book and this one. I do hope we get lots of Nita’s POV in Games Wizards Play because I do miss her voice, but it’s cool that this feels so natural of an opening after Interim. We open with Kit’s perspective, and we get a glimpse of what wizards do in between errantries. THEY SET UP NIGHTMARE SCENARIOS TO SOLVE IN A SET AMOUNT OF TIME FOR FUN. The best thing about this absurdity is how innately believable it is for these characters. Like, of course this is what some wizards do in their off-time! And of course they have petty fights about the end result of these games!
It’s all so recognizably human, y’all, and I love that even if the details aren’t familiar, the general idea behind this scene on the moon feels like something we all know. I was reminded of the paintball obsession that ran through my town back in the late 90s and early 00s. I only got involved with it because it was one of those trends that the majority of my friends were into, particularly the ones I lived with after I ran away. I always had borrowed gear because I couldn’t afford anything on my own, though I’d chip in for paintballs. We used to drive out to the only place nearby that was just outside the city limits—where it was legal to play paintball outdoors—and set up near a natural bowl formation in a huge park. It was truly a killer location, because those who watched or sat on the sidelines could see the entire game, but it was a wooded area if you were down below.
And for a few months, that’s how we passed the time. We developed an elaborate rule system for how those games went down, initially just making the rule that if you got hit anywhere by a paintball, you were out, and it was a process-of-elimination style game from there on out. I remember my second time playing with the group; everyone else had chemistry, had carefully constructed teams, and one dude volunteered to sit out and let me take his place. I was shot out within two minutes the first round, and just that tiny sting of pain was enough to teach me a vital lesson: do anything to not get shot.
So, in my second round, I immediately ran to a gigantic bush, dove my way inside, and stayed there for NEARLY AN HOUR while only shooting if I thought I could definitively hit someone, usually when they walked right next to me.
Yeah, they didn’t let me play that many times with them. I was a petty jerk, BUT I WON, SO WHO CARES.
I reminded of that sort of carefree competitiveness here, while reading about the scenarios these young wizards devised for a game. I don’t know if we’ll get to see what Kit devises for the next game because the BIG REVEAL in this chapter promises to overshadow everything. (Seriously, this book wasted no time at all.) I want to because this sort of stuff is fun, silly, but also gives a really cool insight into these characters. (Like learning that Matt is more of a rules-lawyer kind of person.)
BUT WHAT THE HELL IS THE IDAA??? Kit has been extended an invitation to assess someone? There are rounds? He might attend and participate in something? IT’S TAKING PLACE ON THE MOON? I mean, that’s definitely why that location scout was there! But is this like… a sponsorship thing? I can only speculate at this point, due to the cliffhanger at the end of the chapter, but it must be something to do with the title of the whole book. But what surprises me about this is that he isn’t asked to be a participant; it’s more like he’s being asked to be a judge, maybe? Or a coach? Something in between?
I NEED TO KNOW OH MY GOD.
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