Originally posted on 28 Jan 2023

1 minute read

I confess I’d not heard of Diane Duane until I started seeing people share a lot of her posts on Twitter (despite her authoring the only Star Trek novel I owned as a kid). I liked most of what I saw in the posts, and people seemed to feel she’d written a lot of great stuff, so when I saw that I could pay one price to get almost all of her books, I jumped on the deal.

The most logical place to start when faced with a stack of 33 ebooks is at the beginning. So You Want to be a Wizard is the first book in Duane’s Wizard series, which predate Hogwarts by decades but didn’t receive nearly as much buzz (or marketing/merchandising). Kid wizard books by someone who’s not a horrible bigot? I’m in!

So I read the book and…I didn’t like it a whole lot. The story is fine, but the pacing really didn’t work for me. It felt like it could use a lot more at the front end in particular, spending more time on how the protagonists’ friendship developed as they worked through their manuals. The “we just met but instantly are doing Big Magic and trust each other implicitly!” thing really put me off. Like, a lot.

Eventually I’ll give the next book in the Wizards series a chance, but it’ll be a while. I have a lot of unread books and F/SF magazines on my Kobo and I’m more likely to reach for something else than the follow-up to a book that didn’t do much for me.