A Wizard Alone
by Diane Duane
Harcourt, Inc., 2002, ISBN 0-15-204562-7
A book review by Elisabeth Carey
It's been barely a month since Nita's mother died, and Nita, Dairine, and their father are all still deep in grief and only marginally functional. When Tom and Carl assign Kit to look into a case of a new wizard who has apparently been stuck in his Ordeal for three months--a wizard who's an autistic eleven-year-old--Nita doesn't feel ready to act as back-up. She's still too distracted by her own pain, by trying to keep up at school anyway, and trying to keep Dairine at least going through the motions, if nothing else. On top of all that, she's having weird dreams, of clowns and robots attempting to contact her, apparently asking for help, but who aren't really understandable even in the wizardly Speech. Kit gets drawn in deeper and deeper to the autistic wizard's Ordeal, causing serious worry to his dog, Ponch, who is himself getting very strange even by the standards of wizards' pets, and Nita gets more and more absorbed by the strange creature(s) that's apparently trying to contact her, and eventually everything blows up quite satisfyingly. The last Wizards book, The Wizard's Dilemma, felt a bit as if Duane might be losing interest in the series; if so, she's recovered her interest. Enjoyable.