Thursday, December 14, 2006

So You Want To Be A Wizard, by Diane Duane

I'm waiting for the next book in the Saga of the Twelve Houses to be available at the library. In the meantime I decided to read this.

So You Want to Be a Wizard is the first in the Young Wizards series, which has been called "the first place to go when you run out of Harry Potter." I didn't think it measured up to Harry Potter at all, and I'm not even that big of a Potter fan. Although I don't idolize the almighty Harry, Rowling's books actually have a lot going for them, especially in their use of symbolism and their rich reliance on folklore and traditional beliefs in magic, including a lot of traditions most of us aren't familiar with.

This first Young Wizards book, on the other hand, doesn't have nearly the depth. I thought the book was kind of boring. The characters were flat and the story not interesting enough to hold my attention. In fact it took me a month to finish it, much longer than a 400-page young adult book should take. The last third of the book picks up the pace significantly, introduces some a-little-too-obvious Christian symbolism, and ends up saving the book. I'm still not convinced this is a series I'll want to stick with, but I'm going to give the second book a shot.

I'm giving this book three stars. It sure seem like I've been giving a lot of three star ratings lately. I'm hoping the next book I read will knock my socks off. And it's probably worth pointing out that this book got a lot of five star ratings on Amazon.

3 Stars

3 out of 5 Stars3 out of 5 Stars3 out of 5 Stars3 out of 5 Stars3 out of 5 stars


Esther said...
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Esther said...

I guess it depends on which book you read first. I read this one long before the HP series existed and loved it. My impressions of the first HP are the same as your impressions of this book.

Diane Duane has added to this series in the last couple of years. I think it is to cash in on the HP craze. I haven't read the newer additions, so I can't comment on them. The first 3-4 books were originally written in the late 80's (I think) and recently re-released.