Sunday, January 15, 2012
Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
Meh. The easiest way to retain a reader is to set your story in an already rich, beloved, and iconic world. Maguire's Wicked Years books are most interesting in that they re-imagine Oz from the perspective of an adult who understands politics. I enjoy going back to a world that I loved as child and being reminded that there must have been some nastiness going on below the surface, so I read this and Wicked. I think I'm done now.
Plot-wise and character-wise Son of a Witch does absolutely nothing of real value. All the characters feel stock, even though only a small handfull appeared in L. Frank Baum's novels. The plot was meandering and largely pointless, each event acting to drive a dull protagonist with an overly fractured personality. It feels like Liir is the center of the universe, though the universe can't seem to flow around him in any one direction for long. The sequence in the Emerald City prison would have made a hell of a short story, but the rest is largely fluff. I get that teenagers feel buffeted about and without direction, but Maguire overdoes it by miles.