Read and reviewed at author’s request.
This is another book that is totally outside of my normal reading genre. In fact before I read this I didn’t even know what ‘steampunk’ was. The only reason I read it was because had “Wizard of OZ” in the title.
At the risk of offending people, I am going to say this is fanfiction:
From Urbandictionary.com: Fanfiction is when someone takes either the story or characters (or both) of a certain piece of work, whether it be a novel, tv show, movie, etc, and create their own story based on it. Sometimes people will take characters from one movie and put them in another, which is called a cross-over.
The characters from Wizard of Oz are here: Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Uncle and Auntie, the two wicked witches of east and west. But they are not L. Frank Baum’s characters. Dorothy is not a little girl (something I took great issue with in the original story, sending a child to commit a murder?), the Wizard is not a good man (something which was said in the original book), and instead of witches and munchkins and talking animals, you have evil women with motorized carts, clones and mutants.
The Australis Penal Colony is a continent sized prison referred to as the Outcast Zone, or OZ. Over time with the increasing reliance on automation, it has been shut off from the rest of the world, although built to contain dangerous criminals, it is now a dumping ground for ‘undesirables’. It is totally automated and the rest of the world has ‘washed its hands of it’. Anyone who has experience in prisons knows you can’t let the inmates run things, but that is what has happened in OZ. Dorothy has learned her father is alive and in OZ, since her father disappeared and her mother died, she has been in training for this mission, but when she gets into OZ she finds herself on her own facing incredible odds and having to go to the Wizard for help. As in the original book, the Wizard demands payment for his help.
I know some take a dim view of the term ‘fanfiction’, but it’s not always a bad thing, in this case the author has taken characters everyone knows and put them in a completely new story. The idea is the same, Dorothy wants something, the Wizard can give it to her, but Dorothy has to work for it. Along the way she meets people, makes friends and enemies. Of course there is also the steampunk factor, an interesting angle. Even though Dorothy has prepared for this, OZ is like nothing she has imagined and she is learning every step of the way. The action is fast paced, the plot has twists turns and surprises and things that will fool you. It ends with a teaser for the next episode which will be released ….. I don’t know, but I’ll be looking for it.