The Wizard Returns

Sometimes you just have to cut your losses, the Wizard thought as the rolling green fields of Oz dropped away from his balloon.

I think I will add a new category: snack reads. Will you learn something from it, walk away a changed person, gain new insights, be blown off your feet? Nah, but it’s fun/entertaining/delicious.

The Wizard Returns is a prequel to the Dorothy Must Die series (another twist on the going ons of the Oz world and its inhabitants) and a novella, so not too large either. It is as it says on the tin, Dorothy and other familiar characters are mostly mentioned in passing, this is for the Wizard.

Paige uses this as an excuse to give/show more history to/of Oz and the Wizard, and to just go – once more – completely all out on technicolour descriptions on this strange but sort of familiar world. The Wizard is a brat, the monkeys fly, the reader is entertained for a hop and a skip.

The Wizard Returns (A Dorothy Must Die prequel novella), Danielle Paige, HarperCollins 2015

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The Wicked Will Rise

The Emerald City was burning.

The second book in the Dorothy Must Die series. And, as how it usually works with second books/serialized books, the follow ups have to work harder to make the same impact. The Wicked Will Rise didn’t manage to do so.

Of course, with some new sides and characters of Oz added, Paige managed to keep some of the magic and twists introduced in the first book alive, but it isn’t enough to outbalance more of the same for the main character(s). Amy’s brattiness is only growing, and even with the excuses she has, it’s tough to accept. There is a glimmer of potential with more attention for the Ozma character, but that fades before it can become solid.

It’s not a huge letdown, it’s not boring or poorly written, it’s simply not a step up from the first book. Turn all this in a TV show and I’ll be watching (because it could be beautiful and wonderful), but I’m not in a hurry to read book number three.

The Wicked Will Rise, Danielle Page, Harper 2015

 

Dorothy Must Die

I first discovered I was trash three days before my ninth birthday — one year after my father lost his job and moved to Seacus to live with a woman named Crystal and four years before my mother had the car accident, started taking pills, and began exclusively wearing bedroom slippers instead of normal shoes.

Amazing fun. Danielle Page gives the Wizard of Oz story a kick in the ass while adding YA clich├ęs in an original way. This ugly duckling stays an ugly duck, the mysterious possible love interest isn’t that interesting at all. The world of Oz is a blinkering, two dimensional version of the version we know, making all of it creepy like early Tim Burton.

My only point on the anti-list is that the ending is so incredibly open that I would be very surprised if there won’t be a sequel. Everything gets sequels, after all. I would just have preferred to keep all the fun contained, instead of having to remember to wait up for part two.

Dorothy Must Die, Danielle Page, Harper 2014