Reviews for Wizards at War


Booklist Reviews 2005 October #2
Gr. 5-8. The youthful wizards Kit and Nita preceded the trainees of Hogwarts by more than a decade, and they are still clobbering the forces of Death in the name of the Powers That Be. In this eighth volume of Duane's Young Wizards adventures, the Lone One has corrupted the basic structure of reality, causing the universe to expand and all wizards past "latency"--in other words, grown-ups--to lose their abilities, leaving it to the kids to prevent cataclysm. The novel is overlong and densely crammed with bewildering jargon, but the basic plot strands are compelling, particularly one set among a hive society reminiscent of Orson Scott Card's buggers. Even early series fans who have since outgrown Duane's particular brand of pseudoscientific mysticism may be attracted by the cameo appearances of previous books' characters and references to past story lines. The full-cast-reunion aspect prevents this from standing alone, but keep the overall series in mind for Harry Potter buffs whose interests are broad enough to allow them to easily move between Rowling's genteel, mock-Eton fantasy and traditional sf. ((Reviewed October 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring
This grandiose series features teen wizards Kit and Nita (with scores of human and alien colleagues) joining the cosmic battle between the Powers of Light and Dark. Still verbose but somewhat less dry than previous installments, this volume generates excitement narrating the near-destruction of the universe by dark matter and the birth of a new Power, the Unfallen. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2005 September #2
The newest entry in the Young Wizards series is a reunion for the series' fans, though somewhat impenetrable to newcomers. Secondary characters from earlier volumes cameo when wizards fight yet another impending apocalypse. The Lone Power is rewriting the underlying structure of the universe, destroying wizardry in the process. Adult wizards lose their magic, leaving Kit, Nita, Dairine and friends to save the world again. The ultimate danger to the universe (more deadly than the ultimate danger in the preceding volume, which was more deadly than the ultimate danger in the volume before that) is neatly defeated by the youngsters' self-sacrifice and ability to convince aliens that Good is better than Evil. This entry's a solid pleasure for fans of the series, if only for the humorous entry of Kit's sister Carmela as a strong individual character. While the overstretched storylines (anthropomorphized wizardry, the divine ascension of multiple characters) are a far cry from the quality fare of So You Want to Be a Wizard? (1983), they still make tasty literary junk food. (Fantasy. 12-15) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2005 November

Gr 5-8 -In this eighth volume in the series, 14-year-old wizards Kit Rodriguez and Nita Callahan have just returned from an extraterrestrial vacation and are getting ready to go back to school. Meanwhile, Nita's wizardly younger sister, Dairine, and their father have been hosting three alien wizards in their basement. Everything changes when the magical group learns that the universe is rapidly filling with a mysterious dark matter that threatens to swallow all of the stars and worlds into oblivion within a few weeks. It is already causing the adult wizards to lose their powers, and even to forget that magic exists. Kit, Nita, Dairine, and their alien guests, along with Kit's magical dog, Ponch, and Dairine's enchanted laptop, Spot, zip off to scour the galaxy for a prophesied secret weapon-a person or thing that can overcome the impending catastrophe. Although Duane has tried to allow each book in the series to stand on its own, most readers will be lost without having read at least some of the predecessors. Those who are familiar with the series will thoroughly enjoy this story, especially its grand and wistful conclusion.-Walter Minkel, New York Public Library

[Page 132]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2005 October
After a not-so-restful interplanetary exchange program in Wizard's Holiday (Harcourt, 2003/VOYA April 2004), Nita and Kit come home to Nita's sister Dairine and a houseful of wizards on a cultural exchange. If that were not enough, black matter is expanding, warping the universe and altering the very nature of wizardry. As all senior wizards start losing their power, belief in magic, and knowledge of its existence, Dairine's wizard's manual and sentient laptop, Spot, begins spontaneously prophesizing. The wizards, including Irish wizard Ronan, tree-like Filif, and of course Kit's dog, Ponch, travel to Rashah, a planet dominated by the Lone Power, to find the missing piece to the puzzle. The race to find a solution becomes desperate as the universe begins to deteriorate, and in the end Ponch has the answers The latest few books of the Young Wizards series, although engaging, have lacked the apocalyptic consequences of earlier books, but with this eighth book, the universe is on the line. Duane's deft touches of humor-Kit's sister leaves the intergalactic TV guide set on verbose-never overwhelm the rising tension and sense of urgency. The magic system is intricate and logical but still wondrous, and despite the epic stakes and truly universal scale of world, the story resonates emotionally on a personal level. The strong characterization, complex plot, and truly fascinating universe combined with a stellar, heartbreaking, nail-biting conclusion guarantee not to disappoint. It will appeal strongly to fantasy and science fiction fans alike.-Elisabeth Hegerat 5Q 4P J S Copyright 2005 Voya Reviews.

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