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Interim Errantry by Diane Duane
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283389,858 (4.09)11
Member:jjmcgaffey
Title:Interim Errantry
Authors:Diane Duane
Info:Errantry Press
Collections:Read, ebooks, Cover done
Rating:****
Tags:_import151118, _Read2016, !authorsite, Fic, SF

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Interim Errantry by Diane Duane

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Three satisfying tales set in the Young Wizards universe. Duane’s first two stories are silly and holiday-themed, and her Halloween one even manages to put a new twist on fighting zombies. The third entry, a novella called “Lifeboats”, is a winning mix of seriousness and humor (like life itself, especially in these post-election days). It’s wonderful to read a story that doesn’t rely on huge spells to save the day, but the smallest and seemingly non-magical of interventions. Though I naturally love the longer novels (and am eagerly awaiting Book 12), I will happily take more of these shorter ones too. ( )
  bostonian71 | Dec 9, 2016 |
Lovely. I had read the first two sections - Not On My Patch and How Lovely Are Thy Branches - when they came out; Lifeboats was new to me. But I read all three this time, of course - Duane always rewards rereading. Not On My Patch is Halloween-themed, and has some lovely bits about the costumes Kit, Nita, Dairine, Tom and Carl choose to wear, and Tom and Carl's haunted house. And some interesting vegetative philosophy - actually, I'm surprised it's taken Nita this long to talk to a fruit and see what it thinks about being used. She has had some discussions along similar lines with trees... The actual battle is lovely - nicely flowing from the previous discussions, and beautifully handled. And Tom's arrival at the end is quite amusing. Then How Lovely Are Thy Branches is Christmas-themed (with a very good reason for skipping Thanksgiving). We get some more info on how Carmela (and Nita) are regarded at the Crossings, the return of a lot of good friends, and a fantastic party (one I'd have loved to go to!). Filip is the center, and we learn quite a lot about him - but also quite a lot about Kit and Nita, and others. And a couple of brats learn a real lesson. Oddly enough there's this big threatening blizzard - which really doesn't have any effect on the party, not sure why it was in the story at all. Then Lifeboats, which isn't Valentine's Day themed but has that as a subplot - it's mostly Kit in this one, with Nita and Ronan, among others, playing smaller parts. Some new friends, and Mamvish passing through at times. And an amazing amount of double entendres and highly embarrassing conversations... the candy hearts were really amusing. And all of this is background to a major intervention in which Kit and Nita are _not_ the stars/center stage/focus - they're helping, in a massive group of at least thousands of wizards. Though it's Kit, and Ponch (sort of) who end up being the key to a solution - more or less accidentally. I've always liked that story; it conveys so much. Now it will have a new resonance for me. Lovely set of stories, definitely worth rereading. And I'm looking forward to Games Wizards Play and seeing how what happened here shakes out in the larger story. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Mar 25, 2016 |
Interim Errantry is actually a bundle of a short story, a novella, and a short novel all set in the Young Wizards universe. These stories were all published independently by Diane Duane, and they are basically extra material for the fans. I don’t think knowledge of any of them will be required for the upcoming tenth book, but I wouldn’t recommend these stories to people who haven’t read the prior Young Wizard books, which start with So You Want to Be a Wizard.

Separate reviews of all three stories follow.

“Not on My Patch” by Diane Duane. ★★★

“Not on My Patch” is a Halloween themed short story from Nita’s perspective. Nita, Kit, Ronan, and Dairine are all going out trick or treating and they run into some mischief. It really doesn’t go much beyond that, although I did love Dairine’s jedi costume.

How Lovely Are Thy Branches by Diane Duane. ★★★★

In How Lovely Are Thy Branches, Carmela holds a Christmas party and invites all our favorite wizards. Carmela’s reason for the party is to finally get Filif dressed up as a Christmas tree, which he was interested in back in Wizard’s Holiday. This was a really sweet story and basically pure fluff. Character interactions were at the forefront.

Lifeboats by Diane Duane. ★★★1/2

Lifeboats is a full 90,000 word Young Wizards story. The planet Tevaral is about to be destroyed by its moon, and a large group of wizards have been recruited to help with the evacuation. The only problem is that a large subset of the population doesn’t want to leave.

Lifeboats is told entirely through Kit’s POV. The other characters do appear, of course, but for the most part Lifeboats is focused on Kit. I was all right with this set up, but I still would have liked more time with the other characters as well. That said, Kit was really the only one who had an impact on the plot, so it makes sense that Duane’s following him (plus this story deals with Kit’s feelings about Ponch).

Diane Duane purposefully wrote Lifeboats to be a different type of Young Wizards story. Instead of a small group of characters working alone, in Lifeboats they are at the periphery of a large group project. Thus, Lifeboats isn’t as climatic as many of the other Young Wizards stories. It is more focused on the emotions of the various characters, particularly Kit. It also gives a different view of wizardry.

The previous two stories were both in the holiday specials vein. This wasn’t as true with Lifeboats, but the story does take place near Valentine’s Day, which gives Duane a handy reason to explore the changes in Nita and Kit’s relationship. In this vein, Lifeboats was a bit more explicit and “teen” than most of the prior stories have been.

Overall, if you’re a fan of the series, I think you’d like this collection. ( )
  pwaites | Feb 4, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 151868825X, Paperback)

What happens between book 9 of the Young Wizards series, A Wizard of Mars, and the forthcoming book 10, Games Wizards Play? Diane Duane answers the question in this volume, collecting together the three canonical works that constitute a "transitional trilogy" between books 9 and 10 -- a 150,000-word extravaganza of untold tales to help keep you going until the tenth book comes out in February 2016. Interim Errantry contains: The novella Not On My Patch, the tale of an unusual Halloween in the Young Wizards' neighborhood, featuring overage Trick Or Treating, suburban zombies, and the Attack of the Killer Pumpkins. The novelette How Lovely Are Thy Branches, a holiday-themed Young Wizards story in which an alien wizard who looks a lot like a Christmas tree gets the gift he wants most -- decorations -- and a memorable party and sleepover party are disrupted by a superblizzard and an incursion of alien ghosts. And finally, the new original Young Wizards novel Lifeboats, the tale of a distant world threatened by unavoidable doom, an intervention that takes thousands of Earth's wizards, young and old, into harm's way, and a Valentine's Day that absolutely doesn't go as planned... So settle down with a pumpkin spice latte (or a hot cocoa, or even just some tea and saltines...) and get ready to enjoy the highlights of autumn 2010 and winter 2011 in the Young Wizards universe!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 26 Oct 2015 18:56:18 -0400)

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