Length: 320 pages
Notes: This is the sixth book in the Young Wizards series, and I'd highly recommend reading the earlier ones first, as the relationships and settings built up by the previous books are kind of important.
Biggest spoilers have been blacked out, but some of the review is potentially spoilery. Particularly the third paragraph, and the link.
Nita and Kit are two wizards in Manhattan, but to become a wizard is difficult--every wizard undergoes his or her Ordeal to gain wizardry. One wizard, in particular, has been in his Ordeal for a very long time, causing the local Senior to become worried and send Kit in to investigate. Of course, when something untoward like this happens, it's always likely the Lone Power, the inventor of death, isn't far behind.
Usually, I really, really love these books.They're well-written fantasy, they have interesting and well-rounded characters (Carmela is really starting to grow on me) and I love the way Duane makes them fit into our real-live world--you can almost believe that maybe, just maybe, there are people who are wizards around you.
However. The wizard in question is also autistic, and I had some problems with the way Duane wrote this. She was pretty respectful, in my opinion, but (skip) in the end the wizard ditches his autism. First, this compares good (not autistic) and bad (autistic). [Also, I think she is conflating depression and autism.] I direct you to beccaelizabeth's dreamwidth entry here; this quote especially says what bothered me: I am autistic spectrum; you can't take the autism out and leave a me, so I'm not a me-with-autism, I'm an autistic me. It bothers me that A Wizard Alone is basically, as she paraphrases, (skip) a story about swapping autism with wizardry. I know I didn't recognize this the first time I read this, a few years ago.
Otherwise, though the story has definitely taken a darker turn after book 5, A Wizard's Dilemma (not like the first was terribly sunshine-and-daisies, anyway) I otherwise liked the book. 9/10