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Wizard's Holiday by Diane Duane
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Wizard's Holiday

by Diane Duane

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Young Wizards (7), Wizardry [Diane Duane] (7)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1181711,405 (4.02)20
While Nita's sister and her dad host three young alien wizards, teenage wizards Nita and Kit travel halfway across the galaxy as part of an exchange program and find themselves again caught up in the dark doings of their nemesis, the Lone Power.

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» See also 20 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
While I enjoyed reading this book, I had some very mixed feelings about one of the two main plots in it. I also got a bit confused by some of the details.

The main idea of the story is that Nita and Kit end up partaking in what was explained to be a sort of wizard exchange program; wizards visit other cultures, and in return, their home is used to house exchange wizards from other planets. However, the math of it didn't make any sense to me. I figured Nita and Kit would go to a home where one or two wizards had left, while an exchange wizard would be housed in each of their homes. What actually happened was that three exchange wizards stayed at Nita's house (none at Kit's), and no one on the entire planet Nita and Kit visited left to be an exchange wizard. The math of the whole process felt sloppy and illogical to me, though admittedly, I've never done a cultural exchange program in real life, so I don't know if it's as neat and logical as I expected it to be or not.

Now, the at-home story about the three exchange wizards that stay at Nita's house with Dairine made sense to me and was enjoyable. I liked reading about the different aliens' physiologies and perceptions of Earth; in fact, I would have enjoyed seeing even more of this, as reading about Earth from an alien perspective is a favored trope of mine. However, I didn't much like Nita and Kit's plot line, at all. They are assigned to this tropical paradise of a planet; unlike humans and most other species, the people of this planet actually rejected the Lone Power during their Choice, leading to complete peace, long life, and a lingering presence of spirits after death. The whole planet felt ideal to me, exactly as I wish Earth could be, but Nita kept feeling this nagging sense that something wasn't right, and that idea that some nameless thing was wrong with what could be considered perfection was really the only thing that pushed the plot forward in the first place (and pretty late into the book, I might add). In the end, they run into the Lone Power (shocked, aren't you?) and It tells them that the Choice these people made stunted their ability to evolve, which It makes out to be much more important than the eternal happiness that they are effectively lounging in. Now, for some reason, Nita and Kit actually agree and immediately begin trying to convince the wizard they're staying with that her people need to give up world peace and long life so that they can stop stagnating (what evolution actually needs to occur when you've already accomplished world peace and long life is beyond me). In the end, it turned out that the evolution that needed to occur was dying and leaving the planet permanently (like we do IRL), and the second that the wizard responsible for this planet accepted this and renounced their Choice, everyone on the entire planet died instantly. What's worse, this was considered a good thing, and Nita and Kit went home feeling accomplished. How messed up is that?

Now, maybe Diane Duane has more religious leanings than I was aware of (with the heavy science influence of her books, I wouldn't have expected that), but as an agnostic who believes there's no way of knowing what will happen after death, it sickens me to think that anyone would believe so strongly in a happy afterlife that they would willingly let themselves die to reach it. These people were capable of living thousands of years in a beautiful and violence-free world and effectively living on a different version of their planet permanently after they "died," as well. They even had proof that their spirits would exist after they died because the dead could still speak to the living to some extent. Yet every single person on the entire planet agreed within what I read to be the span of a few minutes that they would rather give up all that to die and see what's out there. Never in a million years would I have agreed with that decision, but there was next to no dissent whatsoever. And what's worse, this completely undermined everything the series seemed to be saying in the earlier books. The Lone Power is known to be so horrible because it created death and its broader manifestation, entropy, and because it corrupted most civilizations in existence with this poisonous touch. So how can Nita and Kit possibly encourage this death and corruption, especially when not a single soul seemed unhappy with the way things were in this perfect society? It Duane intended to paint the world as a happy-on-the-surface-but-secretly-torture situation, she failed miserably. And Nita also lost her mother a few books back; how she could encourage the death of a whole species without once questioning anything about her decision, I'll never understand.

Anyway, here's hoping the next book is more consistent with the values of the originals. ( )
  NovelInsights | Sep 21, 2019 |
The latest in the Young Wizards series. Dairine, Nita, and their father are all still coping with the death of Mrs. Callahan in a previous book, and not doing it all that well yet. Dairine signs herself and Nita up for a wizards' cultural exchange program, unfortunately without first consulting Nita, their supervisory wizards, or their father. When the truth comes out, Mr. Callahan and the senior wizards ground Dairine. Nita and Kit go off on the cultural exchange program, while Dairine stays home with her dad to host the young alien wizards who are about to arrive in their home. Nita and Kit land in an idyllic world which only ever has one wizard at a time because that's all it needs. Dairine and Mr. Callahan find themselves hosting a friendly, tree-like wizard who puts vegetarianism in a whole new light for them, another, stranger, more mechanicially-inclined wizard who needs to be told that the plates and silverware are not to be consumed along with the food, and a very humanoid wizard who, sadly, is an arrogant, self-important prig. Naturally, both groups have to save the world (the world they're on.) Good fun, but nothing special.
( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
This was a very generic book in the series. Didn't dislike it, but... yeah ( )
  _rixx_ | Aug 30, 2018 |
De twee kinderen, Kit en Nita, gaan op een twee weken durende 'excursie' naar een andere planeet. Gelijktijdig komen er 3 'aliens' tijdelijk naar de Aarde.

Het lijkt er op dat de verhalen steeds beter worden. ( )
  EdwinKort | Jul 4, 2018 |
I read this back when it came out, but remembered very little of it. Reading a retrospective of the series (at online SFF magazine Strange Horizons) made me want to catch up on the last few entries, and this was suggested as a good point to step back in and catch up.

Dairine, wanting to get away from the tense atmosphere that still hangs in the Callahan household after the events of The Wizard's Dilemma, signs herself and Nita up for an exchange program that would send them halfway across the universe... without telling Nita, their father, or any local wizardly authority. She ends up grounded but encourages Nita to go and take Kit with her, the allowance for the transit already having been approved.

Nita and Kit end up on Alaalu, a huge, beautiful world so calm and peaceful that only one wizard is needed for the entire planet... a world still caught up in the consequences of the Alaalids' long-ago Choice. Dairine and her father end up with three wizardly houseguests- centipede-like Sker'ret, burdened with his parent's expectations for the future; exuberant sentient tree Filif; and the standoffish, arrogant alien prince Roshaun.

This one takes a while to get going, with a leisurely but enjoyable first half (maybe as much as first two thirds) split between Nita and Kit traveling to and settling in on Alaalu and Dairine trying to manage her guests' personalities (especially clashing with Roshaun, who is too like Dairine herself for her comfort) and handle a sudden crisis that her guests just might be in exactly the right place at the right time to handle.

My one quibble is that it seemed like there was very little in the way of denouement- I especially would have liked to have seen more wrap-up on the Dairine side. It seems like the next book might pick up very shortly after (if not immediately after) this one, though, so that may be less of a problem if the books are read close together. ( )
  sandstone78 | Jan 1, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diane Duaneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Moore, ChristinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was the Friday afternoon before the start of spring break.
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