What I’d Pay: $9 (~3.5 stars)
To sum it up: A young girl from Kansas is whisked off to Oz where she tries to right the wrongs done by a power-crazed Dorothy.
This book was interesting, and I did enjoy it, but it ultimately left me with tons of unanswered questions which was a bit annoying.
I thought the premise of the book was great – a very different take on Oz and the Dorothy tale. The almost non-stop action keeps the book moving right along but more and more questions are raised until at the end you realize you don’t have any answers about anything going on in the book. For instance, at the end of this first book in the series, the reader has no idea how Oz got to be the way it currently is. It’s clear that Dorothy went mad with power, but nothing is really explained about the history of that – did she have magic to begin with? Why does magic make her go crazy but not everyone? No idea. Another pet peeve of mine is dues ex machina – when a book is chugging along and then suddenly something or someone comes out of nowhere to solve everything. This kind of happens at the end of this book, and while the character in question was at least introduced earlier, he did not have an actual role until the end of the book when he swoops in and becomes a huge player. It’s frustrating as a reader since we have no idea how he is really involved or his motivations – just more questions.
On the plus side, the main character Amy was a strong female lead and I appreciated that she didn’t always know what was the right thing to do. There were a few plot “twists” that were pretty obvious to me and so were not really great surprises at the end. But, the biggest downfall was that nothing was really accomplished by the end of the book. As the first in a series, I feel like a book should give you something to hold onto – some clear answers as well as some dilemmas still to be resolved. By the end of this book, I was unsure exactly what happened, which characters were good or bad, or what Amy should even be doing next – and I just needed a little more information. There was some violence and gore, and the tone was definitely creepy and dark.
Bottomline: The idea behind this one was very interesting idea and the book was full of action and mystery, but after investing my time reading the entire thing I wanted a few more answers than I got with this one. Overall it left me feeling depressed, slightly confused, and frustrated since it was just a string of one crisis and mystery to another – and no real information was gained after all that. I may try and pick up the second in the series, but I haven’t made up my mind yet. Got the ebook from the library after a few weeks wait.