Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Wizard of OZ: A SteamPunk Adventure

The Wizard of OZ: A SteamPunk Adventure was an unexpectedly entertaining and captivating story. I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I thoroughly enjoyed my first foray into this new type of genre. I try to be open to good stories no matter what genre they are written in, and the benefit of this strategy revealed such a precious jewel to me in the form of this book.

The story itself is a purely delightful and really cool twist to the beloved original story of the Wizard of OZ. While this twist on the story is not all warm and fuzzy as the original, it still mirrors the original story plot pretty tightly. The changes made to the characters and the land of OZ are substantial, but at their core, they still lend homage to the original storyline.

In this story, we learn how Dorothy tragically lost her mother and how her father was stolen away which is how she came to be with Uncle Henry and Aunt Em, who are of no relation to her. We watch as she does all she can to prepare herself to run away and find her father. She is determined to do what is necessary to rescue her father who was taken to OZ which is a prison that spans an entire country. This massively elaborate prison houses all of the world’s criminals in order to help make the world a safer place.

What Dorothy finds in OZ is far from anything she ever expected. As her journey progresses, she begins to learn things about OZ that she is sure no one on the outside is aware of. Those secrets could threaten the illusion of control that the outside world desperately clings to in regard to this place.

The people that Dorothy meets along the way are multi-layered with a depth of character that she never expected in a million years. They range from being truthful little minions to a highly deadly mixture of deception and split allegiances. The volatility of this mixture is to the point where you at times can’t tell who is telling what seems to be the truth in order to gain what they want while appearing to help Dorothy find her father, and who is just playing a well-practiced part in order to fool those around them while all the while truly helping Dorothy. All of this is enough to make your head spin while trying to keep it all straight as it shifts and turns upside down and right side up all at the same time. There is not a dull moment anywhere in this story which makes the numerous twists and turns so mind-boggling and yet so fun all at the same time.

While the story ends with Dorothy’s journey feeling like it has only just begun, hope begins to germinate in OZ. The question is whether or not that hope will be allowed to bloom into a wonderful new day for OZ or be twisted and warped into a dark version of this new hope.

I am eager to see how the author, who has earned a place on my bookshelf, will continue to shape and mold this very promising and intriguing story. I will be on pins and needles until the sequel to this book is finally released allowing me to find out the fate of OZ and Dorothy herself.  I know that anyone who enjoys discovering a good story will ravenously devour this one and eagerly anticipate the second course of this literary feast.

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