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4.0 out of 5 starsOz kicks butt!
Reviewed in the United States on March 27, 2013
Loved this! Such a great take on a loveable story. I want to see what happens next! Such an amazing read!
Reviewed in the United States on September 11, 2013
We're off to... not see the Wizard persay in our next Steampunk Adventure: So, technically there is a wizard or two in this high caliber Steampunk adventure, they just don't hide behind emerald curtains, or don pointy hats. Wizards in this OZ manipulate the sciences and magic to manipulate the people of the Outcast Zone(OZ) to dally in mischief and mayhem. Some may speculate that this is solely fan fiction, but I would argue against that. Is the marvelous Gregory Maguire's Series nothing but fan fiction? I think not. I personally feel that this is a unique idea that Stuart had, that at the most stemmed from an admiration for the work of L. Frank Baum. From start to finish Stuart engages the reader in a tale of intrigue, action and trickery. I was drawn into the adventure faster than the fastest airship in OZ, and locked into every detail. I found myself finished with book one so fast, I was extremely thrilled that I had book two waiting for me, The Scarecrow of OZ: A Steampunk Adventure (Steampunk OZ 2). Now, I hope that there is a third book on the very near horizon, as I am hooked! Steampunk Quotient = 10/10 S.D. Stuart knows the genre and incorporated it precisely within the characters, setting, inventions, intrigue, and every finite detail of the tale being told. From start to finish there is the Gale family, who personify Steampunk with their talents in the sciences, inventions and physical prowess.Enter into the world of OZ via airship no less and you are greeted by scientific experiments and you cannot forget the automotons. From the lumbering Tin Men, to the more advanced humanoids that are barely recognizable as anything other than human, you will never know who is real and who isn't. Stuart creates a highly detailed series of settings that each delight and horrify in the way they are meant to. From historic, to scientific, to even the fair fashion of the genre, Stuart has a panache for the details. Read more for the rest of the review:
Breaking it Down by the 3 Building Blocks of Literature: A. Characters: Don't expect that the usual suspects will appear as if recreated straight from the classic, do realize that over time you will meet the majority of the usual suspects. Each character is crafted with exemplary attention to details that make them original, and very different from the characters of Baum's classic. No character is left underdeveloped, even if it will not be around for long. I personally love Munch, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man, but one cannot deny the dynamic between Dorothy and Caleb. From sheriffs to wizards, to Nero wannabes and soldiers of fortune the cast that was built almost begs for a movie to be made, at the least a graphic novel. B. Structure and Flow: This is not a fan fiction story so it is not built on the foundation of the original classic. Stuart does a marvelous job of world building and makes the story mold itself into shape steadily and gracefully. There is no doubt that Stuart has a way with a pen and can craft a well formulated story that flows steadily from the page. C. Plot: Get ready for a mystery, that just gets more interesting as the pages flip by. Dorothy Gale is never really in Kansas, and be prepared, there is no Toto for her to moan the fact too, an omission the author admits he made. How can you have Dorothy with no Toto? Never fear, book two rectifies that minor detail. Dorothy faces many odds that go against her from an early age, but one thing drives her... the need to go to OZ, a very personal treasure has been taken from her and she is bound and determined to get it back. To do so requires her to trust not only people, but other wonders of science and nature, as she literally drops into OZ. You guessed it I'm sure, she does drop onto someone, thus replacing their role in the world of OZ. (No Spoilers from me, you know my rule!) Her adventures in OZ are wild, crazy, dangerous, frightening, and beyond her imagination... and frankly even mine as the reader.
4.0 out of 5 starsI do like how I can see many of the familiar characters that I would expect in an imaginative retelling
Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2014
Now to the cover. I do like how I can see many of the familiar characters that I would expect in an imaginative retelling. Including what I would from a steampunk tale. I also see a gun, making me think that this will be much more adult and action packed. I really hope that this will be similar enough for my mind to comprehend Wizard of Oz storyline while being a great stand alone tale.
The first scene, even though I didn't understand why it was important, setup everything quite well. 10 year old Dorothy is a witness to her fathers kidnapping, and her mothers murder. 7 years later she get proof that her father is still alive and is in Oz and so the real adventure begins.
I really enjoyed the fact that Oz isn't some magical far of place that only a couple of people know about. Instead it is a prison, yea a giant jail, Australis Penal Colony, referred to the world over as the Outcast Zone (or Oz). I didn't even put together that this was Australia until about half way through.
Full of great action and intrigue. Even though Dorothy was really hard to like and understand, naive, and dense. I enjoyed the other characters and look forward to learning more about them in the future novels. I really enjoyed all of the similarities to the story of yesteryear. But S.D. Stuart did very well at reinventing almost every aspect of what I thought I knew.
Audiobook submitted for review by the author.
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5.0 out of 5 starsAn Edge of Your Seat Adventure You Will Not Soon Forget
Reviewed in the United States on January 26, 2013
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.