We're Off To See The Red Sorceress

   The Wastelands Of Oz (Return To Oz Book 1) - Kasey Hill 5/5 Stars


      This isn't the Oz you grew up with, This one is darker, and far bleaker than than the Oz you remember. The interesting aspect of Wasteland is that Kasey clearly has a respect for what Baum has created while taking it into a new direction. There are countless other Oz related books and each has something to offer while trying something unique. Hill has tapped into the magical side of things and for the most part it works. She has a knack for creating memorable characters, but as a guy there were a few scenes that just didn't work for me but the thing is that I don't think Wastelands was written for a male audience. Some of the interactions between Mary Jane and Charlie drove me nuts.  These are well thought out characters but they react to each other sometimes just seemed cheesy and took away from the power of the story.

     Overall, Kasey does a great job of crafting an interesting story with a villain that has ties to not only Dorothy but Oz as well. She has clearly done her homework and brought these characters to life and have given them an update. We know these characters, and to see them older seems a bit weird at first but it's all a part of Kasey's vision, Wastelands is a decent start to the series and it makes you wonder what she has up her sleeve for the next book in the series. If you like dark fantasy or even a fan of Oz this is a worthy addition to your collection, Sure some of the interactions between Mary Jane and Charlie don't seem realistic but maybe it's because I'm a guy and I cringe at the mere hint of romance in the books I read. As a new entry into the Oz mythos it certainly grabs your attention and keeps things moving at a steady clip.

      Wastelands Of Oz is one of those books you pick up and find that you can't put it down. Kasey is a talented writer that knows how to craft a solid story. This is a darker version of the tale we grew up with and it may in fact alienate a few who find that the story is too dark, or maybe too grown up. It's not a novel for young adults, but for the adults who are fans of the other Oz offshoots. I may be a guy, but I still enjoyed the majority of Wastelands. I gave it five stars despite some of the scenes that made me groan out loud. As a whole it's a damn good book that shows you can breath new life into characters that some people may deem sacred and create something new from the pieces that another author already created.