Sunday, January 09, 2011

The latest Oz reading

I just finished Lost in Oz: Rise of the Dark Wizard, the sequel to Lost in Oz which I wrote about here. The original was at least clever, I thought, even if it was a Mary Sue book. This one, however, just takes it all and ratchets it up to extremes. After their adventures in Oz, Joshua, Tamara, and their friends are thrown into an asylum with others who have visited other lands (!), including Dorothy and Alice (!!). Those who had major problems with the electroshock scenes in Return to Oz should definitely avoid this book, because this place is a lot worse than Dr. Worley's. But of course they escape and get back to the altered Oz, which is now a wasteland thanks to the Dark Wizard taking over. The altered Oz also seems to have altered everyone's personalities, because everybody — American, Ozian, you name 'em — seems to be extremely bad tempered, ready to shout at anyone for any reason. An awful lot of characters also slap people around. Yikes! Of course, all turns out well in the end — except for that great big honking cliffhanger in the last two pages, which probably means a third volume. Dudley also seems to be one of thse writers who believe a modern Oz story has to be this great epic, because there are echoes of The Lord of the Rings and the Star Wars saga (particularly The Empire Strikes Back), which a good and true Oz book doesn't really need. I guess I didn't really enjoy this book much, did I?

1 comment:

Marcus said...

How'd you like the fumetti illustrations?

Sometimes I wish I could get the hours back that I spent reading books. Lately, though, I've been reading lots of non-Oz books, like the "100 Cupboards" series by N.D. Wilson (highly recommended) and going back to "Narnia".

Few people can match the success of the original authors. Baum and Thompson were the best in my opinion, and folks can always rattle off lists of modern day Oz writers who are great (cough, cough, Eric Shanower, Melody Grandy, Edward Einhorn, Phyllis Ann Karr, cough). Sadly, there are those who are the BEST Oz writers ever, in the grand expanses of their own little universes.