Lia's Reviews > So You Want to Be a Wizard

So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane
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's review
May 27, 2009

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bookshelves: supernatural-fiction, audio-books, fantasy-sci-fi
Read in May, 2009

I so wanted to give this book five stars. The first third was WONDERFUL. The author was moving in new directions as effortlessly as Diana Wynn Jones. Oh yes, oh yes. I was fascinated.

But once the plot really gets going, I started to get increasingly frustrated. The main character is a thirteen year old girl. But her friend, a twelve year old boy, is the one who does all the action. She defers to him often. And he is the one who has all the answers and abilities once they are in the scary place (yes, the plot starts to fall into some predictable patterns--I predicted quite a few events in the last two thirds of the book).

The book gets rather sexist in this regard. For example, the boy gets hit by a cab and ends up with a really big gash on his leg that is bleeding hard. They bind it up and get on the move, away from certain death. Well, just a VERY short time later, they are running as fast as they can to "get away" and the girl gets winded. And then, after a bit, so does the boy. Yes, he has been able to run more easily than she, even with a wound on his leg, because, I mean, really, just face it, after all, he IS a male. Yes, I'm feeling bitter.

You see, both of these kids end up with some kind of magic wand. The boy's wand save them from certain death a few times. The girl's wand? Just give them light. Yes, she gets a glow stick and he gets a laser gun.

While they are in the scary place, the boy does all kinds of things, because machine magic is his talent. The girl's talent is plant magic. I kept waiting for her to get a nice long stretch of saving the day with her plant magic. Never happened.

And sometimes the plot would get so caught up in itself that it forgot to move. I found myself calling out "get on with it" type remarks during various moments in the plot.


So, really, I terribly frustrated with this book, because I would love to read the first third over and over and over and over, but the last two thirds just made me MAD.

There you have it.

The End.

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Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-6 of 6) </span> <span class="smallText">(6 new)</span>

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Mary I hope you go on to read the second book, which is my favorite in the series. I really didn't see this imbalance, but I can assure you that, if it is there, it is rectified in "Deep Wizardry", where Nita is unquestionably the hero.

message 2: by Lia (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lia Thanks for your comment, Mary. I didn't read the second one, but I'll look for it now that you've recommended it.

G.K. Hansen This is slightly addressed in the NME version too; we see Nita get a little irritated about it.

message 4: by Lia (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lia "NME version"?

G.K. Hansen Wow, I need to pay attention >> The New Millenium Editions; they fix the timeline, give us a little more information on things, and update some technology. They're the basic texts of the International Editions, apparently, with further tweaks. I'm just starting the second one, and they're very elegantly done so far—I have the originals nearly memorized so a side by side comparison isn't hard :)

message 6: by Lia (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lia Good to know. Thanks, Grace.

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