Recommended DWJ books?

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Sat Jan 8 10:54:35 EST 2000

Sally wrote:

>So, Philip enjoys A SUDDEN WILD MAGIC too? I thought it was pretty good the
>first time I read it, but in the two readings since it's improved to become
>one of my 5 favourites. It has quite strong links with DEEP SECRET and I
>can't really see how you can like one without the other...

Well I seem to have managed with very little effort!  No one else has
stepped forward to say why they liked Deep Secret and not SWM, so here's my
personal take on it.  First of all, I have to admit that I've only read SWM
once, and I know Sally's said several times that it really improved.

I saw the links, or shared elements if you like between the two when I read
SWM, and - first time ever with a DWJ - the elements just pointed out to me
how much the inferior of the two I found SWM.  Drat - I'd better do spoiler
thingies here.


I guess, off the top of my head, I'd say the premise underlying Deep Secret
was that denying magic in a world is very damaging, while that in SWM is
something along the lines of the damage caused by denying the
female/instinctive/sexual.  (That's very rough and ready, and I don't
really know the proper literary terms, so you may have to glide over this a
bit, so as not to be caught up in my inadequacies of expression!)  The
first, in Deep Secret, was lightly touched on , not at all heavy-handed,
and then pulled into the whole fascinating area of the Magids, and what
their role was in the multiverse.  In fact, so lightly done that I didn't
stop to think about it until I was comparing the two books.  The second was
comparatively hammered home, and well, it's the only time I read a DWJ and
went "ho-hum, THAT'S all been said before".

Then the characters.  Mark in SWM felt like such a pale version of Rupert,
that when the explanation for that came, it wasn't enough to satisfy.
Similarly with Zillah compared to Maree.  Maree was such a wonderfully real
character that she engaged us completely. I really *loved* Rupert and
Maree, and found their misunderstandings and misperceptions of each other
completely convincing.  Like Polly in F & H - even when they got it wrong,
their mistakes were completely understandable and right.  But I just
couldn't find any sympathy at all for your one in SWM.  Bringing a young
child on an incredibly dangerous - potentially suicidal - mission just
because she felt so miserable?  Couldn't buy it.

So although there were shared elements, and parts in SWM which worked as
well as the similar parts in Deep Secret, the whole thing ended up
unsatisfying for me.  Rather like cheap nasty chocolate and the REAL stuff
- same elements, not the same mouth feel!

Ok, so this is all only my own feelings on the matter - answering how I
manage to love Deep Secret and feel lukewarm at best to SWM - and it's not
well thought-out at that.  Hopefully someone else will jump in and give
their opinions.  I remember several people saying they didn't like SWM, but
can't for the life of me remember who they were!

hallieod at

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