November 21, 2007
So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane
While trying to outrun bullies, Nita escapes to her favorite refuge- the library. While poking through the children’s section she finds a series about careers- “So You Want to Be a…Police Officer, Teacher, Doctor, Wizard” wait, Wizard?! Nita gets the book and finds that it is a handbook on how to become and act as a wizard. Wizards, in this world are a lot different than the conventional view of them in fantasy. They are charged with slowing down the process of entropy- the death of the universe by conserving energy and maintaining balance. In searching for a lost possession, Nita and her new friend Kit find themselves in an alternate New York City ruled by malevolent machines with minds of their own. The world depicted in the book is fascinating, and the plot is a suspenseful and often hilarious adventure.
While physics obviously works differently in this universe, Duane uses scientific concepts in telling the story, so I think it will likely appeal to readers who tend to prefer science fiction over fantasy, while fantasy enthusiasts like myself will find the unusual take on magic to be interesting.
I look forward to the next in the series- Deep Wizardry.