A friend/ship mix for Nita and Kit was the second idea I have EVER had for a fanmix – no, really, most of this tracklist is the second entry in my potential fanmixes file. I’ve edited the file more than a few times, but the entry after this is for my fave anime, Full Metal Panic!, which came out in 2002, though I think I discovered it a couple of years after that. But yes, I’m sure I’ve had this particular fanmix on the boil for around thirteen years.
Young Wizards isn’t quite my first true fandom – that honor goes to Agatha Christie, or maybe Doctor Who – but this was the first fandom I found stuff about when I when first ventured into the strands of the World Wide Web (anyone else remember when it was called that?)… sometime in 1996, I think.
Again experimenting with a single-image cover for 8tracks purposes. And I really will get around to actually uploading something any time now (whistles innocently) In this case, I just found the cover of the first book and did some crop, cover, and type. Yes, this is a scene from the book. Not quite as good as riding a zombie dinosaur, but it's still a pretty awesome moment, isn't it?
download the .RAR at mediafire
Young Wizards - the primer
YW is supposedly a young adult series (and yes, I was when I first started reading them!), though it deals with some very heavy subject matter – for a start, a character dear to Nita and/or Kit dies nearly every book, and it’s damn heart-wrenching. Every. Single. Time. There’s also a lot of highly-researched technobabble, usually about physics – it probably won’t surprise any reader that Diane Duane, the author, is also the writer of some of the most well-received Star Trek tie-in novels (including the classic Dark Mirror – which contains a shout-out to the second YW book!).
One of the frustrations of being a fan is that Duane takes SO FREAKING LONG between books. I understand she’s got other stuff to do and other books to write, and she switched publishers between book 4 and 5, but… Hell, book 10 was announced in 2011. It was supposed to be published in 2013. Amazon is now taking pre-orders for a February 2016 release. I mean, seriously! It means that if you read them in rapid succession, there’s a considerable jolt in the early books – while the internal timeline covers maybe two and a half years (when they first meet, Nita is 13 & Kit’s 12, and they’re in freshman year of high school in the most recent books) the original three books were published between 1983 and 1990! But Duane has since released ‘new millenium’ rewrites of the first five or six books in ebook format to smooth out the pop-culture and technological issues, and has spoken on her blog about revamping the whole timeline to fit; for a start, Kit and Nita are now both 13 when they meet, and will be 16 in book 10.
In the first book, So You Want to be a Wizard (still a personal nominee for most awesome book title ever), Nita is hiding from bullies in her beloved local library, and is snagged by what turns out to be the Wizard’s Manual. When she goes looking for a suitably private place to attempt her first spell, she finds another Wizard in the very same situation – Kit Rodriguez. They accidentally wind up transporting a sentient white hole to Earth (it makes sense in context), and are thrown headlong into their Ordeal, which involves getting back the powerful magical book which describes everything in existence. Among other things, they travel into a parallel universe which takes the form of a very scary nightmare version of New York City.
‘Ordeal’, you ask? Well, unlike Harry Potter, wizardry is about more than a genetic talent – you must be offered Wizardry, by the Powers That Be – the beings who created the universe and all within it – and you don’t get the offer unless you have the right kind of personality. Wizardry is basically about fighting the end of the universe, and death itself – technically known as entropy. Once you take the Oath, you have to undergo an Ordeal to prove you’ve got what it takes… and canon states that not everyone survives it. Wizarding missions also frequently involve a direct face-off (for Nita, Kit and later allies anyway) with the Lone Power – the one who created entropy – or one of his cultural manifestations. (I’m sure you can think of a few) This is the main reason for the high body count – every book involves a defeat to a manifestation of the Lone Power, but they all involve a great sacrifice… and it’s usually a life.
One of the really awesome things about this ‘verse is that Wizardry isn’t just a human thing – the very first book introduces feline wizards (who got their own spinoff novels), and the second book, Deep Wizardry, takes Nita and Kit underwater and introduces whale and dolphin wizards… and a truly memorable shark. I spent a long time after this book being very careful about reading anything I signed twice – Nita not listening to advice about ‘don’t forget to read before you sign’?? Has truly dire and absolutely terrifying consequences. Then in High Wizardry, Nita’s irritatingly brilliant sister Dairine impulsively takes the Oath, and sets off on a tour of the universe; she starts by going to Mars and leaving the door open behind her. It features a cameo by the Fifth Doctor Who, and introduces a wide range of alien species. Later recurring characters in the series include a wizard who’s shaped like a giant centipede, and one who looks like a five-and-a-half-foot pine tree (who likes wearing baseball caps).
Nita and Kit, for various reasons, both feel very alone in the world when they meet – both have loving families, but have no real friends in their peer groups. They’ve never had a best friend before, and it opens a whole new world for them both – especially since they (initially) can’t tell their families about how they can talk to trees, take magic portals through time (though it’s a fairly complicated process), and teleport to the moon. Their bond, formed partly under the pressure of their Ordeal, is intense and whole-hearted. They will follow each other to the end of the universe and beyond, and they both know it. Right from the start, Kit and Nita are true partners in every sense of the word except romantic. Nita’s parents finally get worried enough about this at the start of A Wizard Abroad to send Nita overseas for a holiday - though it turns out it’s not entirely their idea, since The Powers have a job for Nita, Kit, and Dairine to do in Ireland.
Other people also have trouble understanding Nita and Kit’s friendship - a running gag from book 2 onwards is people thinking that Nita and Kit are having sex (note, they’re only 13 when it starts!), and Nita and Kit finding this increasingly annoying.
The fifth book (the first originally published in the 21st century) is not only a darker turn for the series, but also a turning point for Nita. In The Wizard’s Dilemma, Nita’s mother is diagnosed with cancer… and it’s very advanced. The Lone Power offers Nita a deal: he’ll cure her mother, if Nita gives up Wizardry in exchange. Unfortunately, it’s right after Nita and Kit have a fight because they’re finally feeling their hormonal insanity like regular teenagers (no, UST is not involved), meaning Nita’s cut off from her partner when she needs his feedback and support more than ever… and no, it’s not a coincidence.
The aftershocks of this carry directly into A Wizard Alone, and directly inspires the setup of Wizard’s Holiday. Wizards At War finally winds up the ongoing sub-arc of the effects wizardry can have on pets – namely Kit’s dog Ponch. A Wizard of Mars is the closest thing to a standalone book as you get in the YW series, but it again features several recurring characters and ongoing subplots carried on for at least four books. (I cannot emphasize this enough: READ THEM IN ORDER!) Kit and Nita finally become a couple at the end of this book… although it’s not so much a huge revelation, more ‘Y’know, we should really start dating’ ‘Yeah, I think so too’. Duane has long promised that Nita and Kit won’t exactly have a pop-culture typical teenage relationship - to quote: “Terms like “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” are merely convenient labels, often more convenient for those outside the relationship than those inside it: and the characters involved are aware of this (as will become obvious in Games Wizards Play).”
I know the song of your heart
Nita Callahan and Kit Rodriguez: partners in wizardry, friendship and other stuff.
A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words - unknown
Full tracklisting with lyrics and explanations
Favourite friend - Snow Patrol
(Nita & Kit never had a true friend until they found each other – & together, they’re invincible)
You're my favourite friend
We rule the world together
With our secret codes
And plans we can't remember
From now on, must be strong
My favourite friend
You're my favourite friend
When I need you
And when I don't as well
You and me – Plain White T’s
You and me, we couldn't stand being normal
That's why we, make a good you and me
We both laugh, at the most random situations
That's the key, baby don't you agree?
You know what I'm going to say, before my mouth even makes a sound
And that's why we make a good you and me
I know from the sound of your breathing, exactly what you are feeling
This is why we make a good you and me
My hero is you - Hayden Pannettiere
When my world goes crazy, you won't let go
When the ground gets shaky, you give me hope
When I try to push you away, you never move
Now when I start doubting, you help me see
There's a strength, and a mind, and a power in me
You believe there ain't nothing I can't do
My hero is you, yeah
My hero is you
Fly me to the moon – Claire (NGE Director’s version)
Kit, Nita, and a lot of other wizards spend a lot of time hanging out on the moon. The view is really, really, awesome. One of the greatest benefits to wizardry is knowing that yes, something is out there and it’s wonderful!
Fly me to the moon
And let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
I will follow you into the dark – death cab for cutie
“Kit, it's been the best.” “See you in Timeheart.” - High Wizardry
Love of mine
Someday you will die
But I'll be close behind
I'll follow you into the dark
No blinding light
Or tunnels, to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark
If Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark
Another heart calls – All-American Rejects (with The Pierces)
Their theme through the majority of The Wizard’s Dilemma – fighting and frustrated and wanting to connect by turns.
Talk to me
I'm throwing myself in front of you
This could be the last mistake
That I would ever wanna do
Yeah all I ever do is give - it's time you see my point of view
Just as soon as I see you
But didn't I, but didn't I tell you
As deep as I need you,
You wanna leave it all
What can I do?
Say it's true
Or everything that matters breaks in two
Say it's true
I'll never ask for anyone but you
But I know what you want is to figure it out
And God knows I do too
What can I do?
Say it's true
I'll never ask for anyone but you
Filter – One
Kit at the beginning of ‘A Wizard Alone’ – how can he be so lost just from not having Nita beside him?
One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do
Two can be as bad as one, it’s the loneliest number since the number one
No is the saddest experience you'll ever know
Yes is the saddest experience you'll ever know
‘cause one is the loneliest number that you'll ever know
One is the loneliest number, even worse then two
A little’s enough – Angels & Airwaves
Kit POV to Nita about losing her Mom - Kit knows he can help, if she’ll only let him.
I, I can do anything
If you want me here
And I can fix anything
If you let me near
Where are those secrets now
That you're too scared to tell
I whisper them all aloud
So you can hear yourself
I'm sorry I have to say it but you look like you're sad
Your smile is gone; I've noticed it bad
The cure is if you let in just a little more love
I promise you this, a little's enough
Some unholy war – Amy Winehouse
Wizards at War
If my man was fighting
Some unholy war
I would be behind him
Straight shook up beside him
With strength he didn't know
It's you I'm fighting for
He can't lose with me in tow
I refuse to let him go
At his side and drunk on pride
We wait for the blow
He still stands in spite of what his scars say
And I'll battle 'til this bitter finale
Suddenly I see – KT Tunstall
“Wait - Neets is hot. How have I completely managed to miss the fact that Neets is hot?”
– Kit, A Wizard of Mars
Actually, re-reading the scene where Kit realises this, the second verse is oddly ironic (Nita has turned herself Gulliver-sized to get two warring peoples to stop fighting and listen to her)! And yes, this is pretty much the very same way that Nita realises it’s mutual. Cue eyeroll from everyone who ever reads this book.
Her face is a map of the world
Is a map of the world
You can see she's a beautiful girl
She's a beautiful girl
And everything around her is a silver pool of light
The people who surround her feel the benefit of it
It makes you calm
She holds you captivated in her palm
Mona Lisa (world comes down) – All-American Rejects
You can sit beside me when the world comes down
If it doesn't matter then just turn around.
We don't need our bags and we can just leave town.
You can sit beside me when the world comes down.
We say and we do
All the lies, the truth
And all I need is next to me.