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A Wizard of Mars (Young Wizards #9)

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  2,407 Ratings  ·  143 Reviews
In the hotly anticipated ninth installment of the Young Wizards series, Kit and Nita become part of an elite team investigating the mysterious “message in a bottle,” which holds the first clues to the secrets of the long-lost inhabitants of Mars. But not even wizardry can help them cope with the strange events that unfold when the “bottle” is uncorked and a life form from
Hardcover, 550 pages
Published April 12th 2010 by Harcourt (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Madeline Knight-Dixon
Jul 16, 2012 Madeline Knight-Dixon rated it it was amazing
A Wizard of Mars, Diane Duane:

I always forget how much I LOVE this series. It may be young adult fiction, but the themes and the scientific content put it way beyond other books of the genre. These aren’t just kids messing around, falling in love, and playing with magic. Or even Harry Potter who’s only fighting one evil. The characters in these books are fighting THE evil, the source of death and everything else horrible in the world. They work non-stop to slow down the effects of entropy on the
Apr 22, 2009 rivka rated it really liked it
So close to 5 stars! The allusions, references, and callbacks to the many versions of Mars were just lovely. Seeing Nita and Kit deal with mid-puberty was fun and sweet, and I especially liked the subtlety of the last bit of that. Watching both of them deal with the aftermath of lost loved ones was all-too-realistic and required a tissue or two.

And the wizards -- both new and from previous books -- were FUN and amusing.

Two things:
* Nitpick: It is Caltech. It is never, ever, ever CalTech. I don'
Feb 26, 2011 Kiri rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I can't help it, I'm a sucker for Diane Duane's Wizard books. I love how she mixes enough scientific veneer into the plot to keep the wizardry both interesting and realistic (enough). It's not just magic -- there's some actual physics involved!

In this story, we're off to Mars with Kit and Nita, and the vistas and tidbits about Martian geology and current conditions are all well researched and enjoyable for an areophile like myself (with nitpick mode firmly OFF). There are fun references here to
May 19, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it it was ok
The wizards' battle against entropy and chaos continues in this, the ninth book of Diane Duane's "So You Want to Be a Wizard" series. Kit and Nita are part of the wizarding expedition that accidentally wakes up the long-sleeping Martians. Kit is entranced by them, but all is not well--they are a warlike people, and plan to colonize Earth!

My summary makes it sound a lot more interesting than it actually is. There are far too many characters and not much plot. The vast majority of this novel is ju
Melissa Railey
Jul 03, 2011 Melissa Railey rated it it was amazing
I've been reading the Young Wizards since I was in middle school and I absolutely love these books. When I heard that A Wizard of Mars was coming out, I rushed to Amazon and pre-ordered the book so that I would have it delivered to my home on release day. And then let it sit in my TBR stack for over a year. I finally picked it up this week and started reading it and have been asking myself the same question all week: why did I wait so long to read this book?

In this ninth book, Nita Callahan and
May 31, 2012 Alexi rated it really liked it
Not Duane's best book ever, but its heart overcomes its flaws. Solidly enjoyable.

The not-so-good: Nita's side of the plot lagged noticeably in the middle third of the book, and the detail heavy narration on every "spell" grew tedious. Then again, I'm not much of a sci-fi fan, so I have less patience for such details in any case. Still, it felt more...cluttered, than it needed to be, with too many characters running around. (Particularly in the beginning.) However, I simply scanned when I got bor
Mar 04, 2011 Julie rated it liked it
Despite the fact they're 'wizards', I have a really hard time calling this fantasy. So it's getting only a science fiction tag from me. Nyea.

As I was reading, I sort of half-remembered what had gone on before. By the time I reached the end of the book, I came to the conclusion that I had missed a book somehow. Possibly two! But now I need to forget enough of the spoilers to be able to go back and read it.

And you should probably start with So You Want to be a Wizard and read them in order. Even t
Jan 10, 2010 Luann rated it really liked it
I thought this was so much fun! I loved all the Mars bits. Duane must have had a ton of fun researching for this one - watching all sorts of old "Mars attacks" movies. She made me want to sit down and watch some! I especially loved the part with the War of the Worlds broadcast, since I read Meghan McCarthy's Aliens Are Coming!: The True Account Of The 1938 War Of The Worlds Radio Broadcast with my library classes last year.

My one complaint with this is that it is far too long! I would have enjoy
May 01, 2011 Emma rated it really liked it
I can't believe Diane Duane started this series almost 30 years ago. It's been interesting to watch her incorporate modern technology into the series, even as Kit and Nita age only about one book-year for every 15 real-world years. I'm glad she started the series in 1982; part of what drew me to the series was the way Nita's manual snagged her fingers as she ran her hands along that library bookshelf back in book 1.(view spoiler) ...more
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Jan 10, 2014 Rachel (Kalanadi) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Thoughts upon rereading: Some parts dragged. Dairine's storyline got barely any attention and had nothing to do with the focus of the story (I very much *want* to know her storyline, but not in this book).

All the Mars references were pretty darn cool. I actually understood them all this time!

And the plot: very good! Glad to see shades of gray introduced with the Lone Power's influence. All 8 previous books have been about direct conflicts, and this one finally breaks the pattern.

And the ending?
May 25, 2011 Candace rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lis Carey
Dec 03, 2015 Lis Carey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf, fiction
Kit has been obsessed with Mars lately, and has been spending a lot of time there. Often that time is with Ronan and Darryl, because Nita doesn't share his fascination with the red planet. Yet there's a real wizardly mystery on Mars: its kernal is missing. This could have real and unpredictable consequences, and there's also the question of why there aren't any Martians. So the boys aren't there alone; quite a few other wizards, including Earth's Planetary, Irina, and the regional Species Archiv ...more
Dec 08, 2011 Scurra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Any series of books that has reached #9 is one (or both) of two things: successful enough to have a readership base to sustain itself / intricate enough to mean that new readers should absolutely not start here. Whilst I have no idea about the first condition (although I imagine it can't just be vanity publishing!), the second is most definitely true. Although the basic plot is sufficiently independent to be comprehensible to newcomers, the universe building is not explained at all, and several ...more
Dixie A.
Feb 23, 2015 Dixie A. rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This book is about Mars. More specifically, about life on Mars. Discovering it, enabling it and defending ourselves from it. Not my favorite book by any means.

A big discovery has been made on Mars. They've discovered an artifact. They don't know what it does, but Kit messes with it anyway and something happens. It sends signals all over the planet and things start waking up. Those wizards who look into it are tested in different ways and Kit becomes possessed. The old Martians want to be restore
Mar 22, 2015 Joan rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark Philpot
Apr 02, 2010 Mark Philpot rated it it was amazing
Diane Duane has done it again. An incredibly well crafted story in the universe she has crafted and evolved over nine fantastic books. For any fan of the series, this is a must read. Anyone new, I highly recommend starting from the first installment.

The painstaking descriptions of the Mars environment really makes everything real - as if this could really be happening and we are oblivious to it. The plot development is a bit like A Wizard's Dilemma and A Wizard Alone where Kit and Nita are separ
Merri-Todd Webster
Apr 03, 2010 Merri-Todd Webster rated it really liked it
This ninth book in the Young Wizards series seemed a little slow-moving to me, but I think fans of the series will be pleased with it. The possibility of figuring out what's odd about Mars and finding or awakening sentient life there comes to obsess Kit and drive a wedge between him and Nita. Pop-culture references abound as Kit and other familiar characters, plus some new ones, explore the mystery and get drawn in. (I was thrilled that the planetary wizard for Earth always travels with her infa ...more
Sheila Beaumont
The ninth book in a terrific fantasy/science fiction series. It's been five years since the eighth installment, but it's well worth the wait! In this one, Nita, Kit and fellow wizards go to Mars to investigate the possible revival of past life there. I love the way the author pays tribute to previous SF writers who have speculated about Martian civilization. Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom on Mars! Well, sort of. It's great fun. If you're a newcomer to the series, don't start with this one. Go bac ...more
Feb 27, 2016 Zach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Someone I know is going to give me flak about giving a 5, but I enjoyed this book.

It was very fun, but it had an air of mystery about it pertaining to the original inhabitants of Mars. It is cool to see how the extra characters in the series have been kept in the story rather than dropped out. Ronan seems to be a little more lighthearted than in the past, but I suppose nearly dying and no longer having the equivalent of an archangel inhabit the back of his mind can do that to a person.

The addit
Jan 27, 2017 Kathleen rated it liked it
I have been waiting for this since Nita's mother got cancer. In a way, I have been waiting for this book since the start of the series. Kit falls to temptation. Wizards are human, and after Nita's trouble, readers could reasonably expect that Kit would face a similar challenge from which his partner would need to rescue him.

This book also gave me something else that I've been waiting for. The Lone One, that source of entropy that wizards must deny to preserve life, never appears. All of the con
Vicki (The Wolf's Den)
Earth has always had an interesting relationship with the red planet. Be it dreams of exploration and colonization, or nightmares of giant space-invaders, Mars seems to have always held a special (and frightening) place in our minds.

And we're not alone. Other species in our galaxy have felt this strange connection to Mars as well. But even their science is at a loss. Looks like it's up to wizards to find some answers.

Problem is, wizards have been looking for answers for over 200 years! And still
Mar 18, 2017 Katie rated it liked it
I'm giving this a 2.5/5 overall.
Feb 15, 2014 Kit rated it really liked it
I just wrote a stupidly long review of this book, which Goodreads promptly ate. Fantastic.
Diane Duane's latest installment is crafted with care, and it is easy to see how seriously she takes the development of her characters from the sporadic nature of her publishing schedule for them over 30 years of writing the series. One of the things I admire most about DD's approach is that she is detail-oriented and writes when it is natural for her to do so, never desiring to sacrifice her characters fo
MB (What she read)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 05, 2009 Victoria rated it it was amazing
I waited a long time for this book, and it didn't disappoint. Once again Diane Duane proves herself capable of adding to and expanding upon this amazing world she's created, in poignant and sweeping style.

Mars, the red planet that has captured Earth's imagination for centuries. And it's also got its hooks into a certain handful of wizards, who are investigating the history of the planet, which is mysterious even by their standards.

But when Kit, involved heart and soul in the Mars project, unwit
Dec 20, 2016 Nevergreen rated it liked it
Muhahahhahaaaa! I FINALLY FINALLY VANQUISHED THIS DEMON! But really, this book took forever to read and I *finally* finished it after a push to self. Only took 6 months......

It's not that it was a terrible book, even in light of my rating for it, it's just I read it over such a long period that mostly had to do with life stuff and less to do about the book. Granted, the book wasn't so interesting that I liked it more then just a little, sadly. It was very character based, which I generally like
Molly G
Jun 29, 2013 Molly G rated it it was amazing
Everything I've said of this series before holds and builds: mature, wise, smart, scientifically literate, original, unaffected, funny, touching, genuine, and pretty darn cool. In this one particularly, love how Duane finally incorporated and handled certain elements common to young adult literate, but in a way totally unlike the tropes because it was done so completely in accord with these characters and this world. Other things excellently done without being emphasized or commented upon: some ...more
Shazza Maddog
Jun 12, 2011 Shazza Maddog rated it it was amazing
There haven't been many books I've read in the past two years which have made me stay up late reading them, just because I have to know what's going to happen. A Wizard of Mars is one of those novels.

Diane Duane returns to the characters of her So You Want to be a Wizard? series in this novel, wherein Nita and Kit are divided through their own actions rather than extenuating circumstances. This is definitely more of a coming of age story for the pair than the previous books, though the storylin
Jan 12, 2010 Swankivy rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, but the first half was dull compared to the second half. I felt like Duane spent too much time making inside jokes, displaying "cute" aspects of wizardry (I don't think I can forgive her for "WizPod," still), and name-dropping about a bajillion previous characters so we wouldn't forget about them before they became completely unimportant to the plot. I did like where it led, though--to the terrifying transformation of Nita's partner Kit into a tool of his previous Martian in ...more
Julie Decker
Sep 01, 2014 Julie Decker rated it liked it
When Kit's fascination with Mars causes him to trip a wire and activate some slumbering technology on the Red Planet, a mystery unfolds that draws Earth's wizards to their sister world. Factions from a long-dead civilization--or are they just slumbering?--take the stage to fight each other once again, threatening Earth and taking Nita and Kit as avatars. Our planet could end up just as dusty and lifeless as Mars is if the war picks up where it left off. . . .

I really love this series, but this
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So you want to be...: Wizard of Mars Ending... 8 11 Nov 13, 2016 12:48PM  
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Diane Duane has been a writer of science fiction, fantasy, TV and film for more than thirty years.
Besides the 1980's creation of the Young Wizards fantasy series for which she's best known, the "Middle Kingdoms" epic fantasy series, and numerous stand-alone fantasy or science fiction novels, her career has included extensive work in the Star Trek TM universe, and many scripts for live-action and a
More about Diane Duane...

Other Books in the Series

Young Wizards (10 books)
  • So You Want to Be a Wizard (Young Wizards, #1)
  • Deep Wizardry (Young Wizards, #2)
  • High Wizardry (Young Wizards, #3)
  • A Wizard Abroad (Young Wizards, #4)
  • The Wizard's Dilemma (Young Wizards, #5)
  • A Wizard Alone (Young Wizards, #6)
  • Wizard's Holiday (Young Wizards, #7)
  • Wizards at War (Young Wizards, #8)
  • Games Wizards Play (Young Wizards, #10)

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“I have to give her what you did, don't I?" she said. "Enough of my personal information for Aurilelde to link to her own... so that the congruency between us is complete, and all this works out the way it should..."
Kit didn't say anything.
...But why wouldn't I? Nita thought. To make all this come out all right. She nodded to Irina. Irina nodded back, turned away.
And only then did it occur to Nita, with a shock, that this would mean it hadn't been Aurilelde who Kit had been so attracted to. It was her...”
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