Tag Archives: fiction

SCARS ON THE FACE OF GOD: THE DEVIL’S BIBLE by C. G. Bauer – Review

This week I would like to introduce C. G. Bauer, author of Scars on the Face of God: The Devil’s Bible, which was originally published by the now-defunct Drollerie Press in 2008. It has recently been reissued as an e-book, which is lucky for us, because hopefully more people will have the chance to read this well-crafted, atmospheric and completely engaging horror story.

Scars takes place in 1964 when Wump, our feisty main character, is 65 years old and living a fairly quiet life as a church handy-man in the small town of Three Bridges, PA.  Quiet that is, until an accident at a construction site reveals the skeletons of babies at the bottom of a sink hole, and Wump’s past comes rushing back. Wump, you see, has seen one of these skeletons before, back in 1909 when he was a ten-year-old orphan living at St. Jerome’s Home for Foundlings.  Bauer gleefully details this gruesome encounter in his prologue, and the stage is set for the horrors to come.

Wump is surrounded by interesting characters that are crucial to the outcome of the story, and two of my favorites are Leo and Raymond, orphaned boys that live in the same St. Jerome’s that Wump lived in as a child.  Leo is a happy, but slow, boy whose greatest joys are running errands for Wump and pushing his best friend Raymond around in his wheelchair.  Raymond is not only unable to walk, but is blind and mute as well.  As damaged as Leo and Raymond appear, though, we soon learn that they are eerily aware of just what is happening in Three Bridges, and both can communicate in unusual ways.

Wump befriends the new Parish priest Father Duncan, a former pro baseball player, and together they uncover a strange book in the convent library during a visit to see one of the orphans.  The Codex Gigas, or the Devil’s Bible as it is also known, was reputedly written by a monk in one night with the help of the devil, and inside the book Wump and Father Duncan discover the ghastly meaning behind the remains of the babies in the sink hole, involving the birth of the antichrist.  Pitted against the archaic beliefs of the Catholic Church, Wump sets out to stop the evil that seems to be rising in Three Bridges.

Creepiness abounds in Scars on the Face of God, and it’s not all supernatural.  One of these elements is the Volkheimer Tannery, which has been operating in Three Bridges since Wump was a boy. Many years of poisonous chemicals seeping into the ground and air have made Three Bridges a dangerous place to live, evident in the number of deformed and handicapped children that live there. Many families in the town have been affected in one way or another by its poisonous presence, including Wump, whose son has died from leukemia. The malignant pall of the tannery lurks beneath the surface throughout the story, and indeed it plays an important part by the end of the book.

As Good Friday approaches and the church prepares to reenact the Way of the Cross, the forces of good and evil are about to clash head-on.  Wump, Father Duncan, Leo and Raymond, after discovering that there is indeed an antichrist among them, must fight for their lives and diffuse the evil before it takes over.  There are some surprising transformations of several characters, a terrible choice involving Wump’s wife Viola, and Wump’s discovery of his birth mother, not to mention the final showdown that is as good as anything written by Stephen King. The book’s pacing is immaculate, and the dreaded feeling that the devil is about to appear make this a truly scary and unsettling read.

Many thanks to the author for supplying a free review copy.

You can purchase Scars on the Face of God here and visit Chris’ blog here.

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Read Me! THE FLIGHT OF GEMMA HARDY by Margot Livesey

Hitting bookshelves and libraries tomorrow is Margot Livesey’s latest, The Flight of Gemma Hardy.  I am sad to say I’ve never read her before, but that will change because I really want to read this book!  Here’s the description from Amazon:

When her widower father drowns at sea, Gemma Hardy is taken from her native Iceland to Scotland to live with her kind uncle and his family. But the death of her doting guardian leaves Gemma under the care of her resentful aunt, and it soon becomes clear that she is nothing more than an unwelcome guest at Yew House. When she receives a scholarship to a private school, ten-year-old Gemma believes she’s found the perfect solution and eagerly sets out again to a new home. However, at Claypoole she finds herself treated as an unpaid servant.

To Gemma’s delight, the school goes bankrupt, and she takes a job as an au pair on the Orkney Islands. The remote Blackbird Hall belongs to Mr. Sinclair, a London businessman; his eight-year-old niece is Gemma’s charge. Even before their first meeting, Gemma is, like everyone on the island, intrigued by Mr. Sinclair. Rich (by Gemma’s standards), single, flying in from London when he pleases, Hugh Sinclair fills the house with life. An unlikely couple, the two are drawn to each other, but Gemma’s biggest trial is about to begin: a journey of passion and betrayal, redemption and discovery, that will lead her to a life of which she’s never dreamed.

Set in Scotland and Iceland in the 1950s and ’60s, The Flight of Gemma Hardy—a captivating homage to Charlotte BrontË’s Jane Eyre—is a sweeping saga that resurrects the timeless themes of the original but is destined to become a classic all its own.

Part Jane Eyre, part Cinderella, The Flight Of Gemma Hardy is on my to-read list.  Is it on yours?

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Read Me! THE ROOK by Daniel O’Malley – Recommended Reading

Welcome to 2012 and the first “Read Me!” of the year!  If you saw the post of my Top Ten Books I’m Excited to Read in 2012, you’ll recognize The Rook.  It’s described by reviewers as a “supernatural thriller,” which gets my attention right away.  Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

“‘The body you are wearing used to be mine.’ So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.

Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, THE ROOK is a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer.”

And the reviews are pretty good:

“Utterly convincing and engrossing—totally thought-through and frequently hilarious. The writing is confident and fully fledged. Even this aging, jaded, attention-deficit-disordered critic was blown away.” (TIME Lev Grossman )

“The pace never lets up in this entertaining high-action read….First-time novelist O’Malley has fashioned a near-perfect supernatural thriller. The heroine is appealing, the villains all monsters or freaks, and something unexpected happens on almost every page. Don’t start this book unless you’ve got lots of time, because you won’t want to put it down. It’s that good.” (Library Journal David Keymer )

“Impressive debut, a supernatural detective thriller distinguished by its adept use of humor….Dry wit, surprising reversals of fortune, and a clever if offbeat plot make this a winner. Dr. Who fans will find a lot to like.” (Publishers Weekly )

The comparison to Dr. Who sold me! You can visit Daniel’s website here.

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MORTALITY BRIDGE by Steven R. Boyett – Review

If you’re planning a trip to Hell to get back your lost love, the best way to get there is by Checker Cab, because if you live in Los Angeles, the entrance to Hell is probably not where you think it is.  This particular cab driver, however, knows the way and will get you there, if not without incident, at least in one piece.  Welcome to the singular mind of Steve Boyett, where the souls of the dead are feathers, the torments of Hell are worse than you thought, and it just might be possible to save someone with a song.

Mortality Bridge is the story of Niko, an ex-junkie musician whose fame has come from literally making a deal with the devil (actually, an agent of the devil named Phil). After achieving success and some amount of happiness, Niko’s girlfriend Jemma falls ill and dies, and like Orpheus before him, he sets out on a journey into Hell to try to get her back. That’s the short version. In reality, Niko’s odyssey is a long, painful trip through gleefully rendered torment.  As Niko proceeds through the various plains and mountains, rivers and oceans of “The Park,” as its inhabitants fondly refer to Hell, Boyett’s unrelenting descriptions of torture boggle the mind, and like being compelled to look at a car crash on the side of the road, I found myself reading certain horrible passages over and over again.  At one point it occurred to me that once Niko got to where he was going, he would have to go back through it all in order to get out.  (Not to worry, readers, the return trip is fairly swift.)  Niko is aided along the way by a variety of Hell’s denizens, including demons and acquaintances from his past.  On a speeding train we meet Nikodemus, Niko’s own demon, a strangely loveable character who embodies all of Niko’s past mistakes and is now determined to help him get home.

The story moves at breakneck speed from start to finish, punctuated by flashbacks from Niko’s past as he reminisces about his fractured relationship with Jemma, life as a drug-addled musician, and the sudden and terrible death of his brother Van.  But the horror of Hell is tempered by Steve’s mastery of prose.  His lovely, uncommon sentence structure is especially poignant as Niko muses on his past with Jemma:

“…in his heart he’d felt a driven nail of terror because she already loved him more than ever he would her.” 

It is sentences like this that enable the reader to understand how keenly Niko feels for those he has failed. And in the background, like an unsteady pulse, Niko’s music accompanies him on his journey, as references to the blues are scattered throughout the story. (The chapter names, in fact, are all blues song titles.)

I won’t tell you what happens to Niko.  You’ll just have to read Mortality Bridge for yourself.  I will tell you this, however:  it was worth the painful trip to Hell and back just to get to the end.  Niko’s story may end on page 417, but his journey has just begun.

Subterranean Press, 2011. Limited Edition. Cover art by J.K. Potter. Also available in paperback and e-book versions.

More great reading from Steve Boyett (available in paperback and e-book):

Visit the Mortality Bridge website here.

You can visit Steve’s blog here.

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THE VAGABOND KING by James Conway – Review

Since starting this blog, I have had the opportunity to read several debut books by new writers who are publishing their works exclusively for the digital market. Today I am happy to introduce James Conway, whose ebook The Vagabond King is now available.

Written in poetic prose with the blues as a driving rhythmic force, The Vagabond King is a coming-of-age story about a teen whose mother has just died, and his journey to find himself in the wake of this tragedy.  Chris is directionless and discontent at school.  His father is constantly trying to push him to make a decision about his future, one that involves a good job and a steady income.  Their relationship is strained at best, and after his mother dies, it worsens until Chris decides one day to leave home for good.  He seeks out a woman he meets at a bar named Magda, and, although it stretches credibility, he moves in with her and her cantankerous father, a Hungarian refugee with many stories to tell. Chris is smitten with Magda and dreams that “she will take me upstairs and lead me to her broad and well storied bed, the Promised Land, and there she would make a man of me.”  Life at Magda’s doesn’t go exactly as planned, however.  Christ must contend with Magda’s father Mick, who Chris refers to as “the Old Man,” and his tragic stories of his life in communist Hungary and his eventual escape to America.  Magda, a much older woman, seems uninterested in Chris and does not even want him there.  And in the background of every waking moment, the blues plays on Mick’s record player, a scratchy soundtrack reminding Chris that he does not belong.

Before long, Mick gets Chris a job at a printing plant, and he befriends a man named Atman who has his own life lessons to impart.  After several months of this existence, an unexpected tragedy, and a change in Chris’ relationship with Magda, he finally decides to go home and confront his father about a long-buried secret.

Along with Mick’s ramblings of the old days and Magda’s ongoing conversations with Chris about the history of religion, the story sometimes loses focus as Conway slips into what feels more like a lesson on history and philosophy than a narrative tale. Many passages, although poetic, are overwritten and unfortunately take the reader out of the story, and even though it is Chris telling the tale, I can feel the author intruding during these ramblings. Some of the characters, too, feel more like props than flesh and blood people. Magda, for instance, who could have been one of the more interesting characters, felt strangely two-dimensional to me. I actually preferred Atman as a character, who is also searching for his real father.  Although he, like most of the others, has valuable information for Chris, his energy was infectious and his appearance in the story was too brief.

I did appreciate the consistency of the central theme, however, which finds Chris on a constant search for something that will make his life meaningful: his real father, an adult relationship with Magda, and even an understanding of God and the universe. References to “The Vagabond King” in connection with Mick and God give the title meaning and the story focus, and the recurring theme of the blues as a metaphor for life work nicely as a backdrop for Chris’ sorrow and confusion and his eventual acceptance of his mother’s death.

If you like your fiction mixed with musings on philosophy, religion, and the meaning of life, then The Vagabond King just might be your cup of tea. You can purchase it here.

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READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline -Review

So, after reading Ready Player One, it turns out I’m a geek.  I suspected I was, since I’ve always had a fondness for all things geeky. But although I was never really into video games (I do remember, however, obsessively playing a game called “Castle” sometime around 1988 or ’89.  It was loaded on my computer at work and my coworker Dilip and I played it every chance we got), I realize now that it is possible to geek out over reading about people playing video games. If you aren’t a geek now, I guarantee you will be after reading this fantastic debut by Ernest Cline.

Ready Player One takes place in 2044, where a desolate Earth has fallen on hard times that feel very familiar: fossil fuels are all but used up, the predicted effects of global warming have finally come to pass, and the economy has gone to hell in a hand basket. The world is in the midst of the Global Energy Crisis, and Wade Watts, our eighteen-year-old hero, is struggling to survive in “the stacks,” a low-income housing area consisting of hundreds of mobile homes stacked on top of one another, just outside of Oklahoma City. Life is grim, and most people spend their waking hours inside the OASIS, an intricately constructed virtual reality world where every bit of 80’s pop culture has been lovingly recreated.  Here avatars are free to explore the galaxy, play video games, slay opponents, and earn credits by collecting magical objects and winning games. Wade’s avatar, Parzival, like many others, is obsessed with finding Halliday’s Easter egg, which has been hidden somewhere inside the OASIS by James Halliday, the brilliant and eccentric creator of the game who died five years earlier. Because finding the egg first means acquiring Halliday’s fortune and control of the OASIS, Parzival spends his days learning every possible bit of minutia about the 80’s, hoping he will stumble upon something that will unravel the first clue. Pursued by “Sixers,” the identical employees of Innovative Online Industries, who are collectively trying to find the egg and gain power of the OASIS for nefarious purposes, Parzival and his avatar competitors Aech and Art3mis race to find the egg.  But when the danger of the OASIS spills over into Wade’s real life, Wade joins forces with his friends to try to stop the Sixers from getting to the egg first, win the prize, and save the world.

If you think this plot seems overly complex, then you would be right.  Ready Player One is stuffed with so much information that I marveled at Parzival’s (and Cline’s) exhaustive knowledge of the 80’s. (In fact, I’m pretty sure the aforementioned “Castle” makes an appearance somewhere in this book.)  And this review barely scratches the surface.  Dive into the story on your own and you will discover a story driven by frenetic energy, likable characters, and enough suspense to keep you going for the rest of 2011. Add in some social commentary and witty dialog, and you’ve got a winning combination. Will the good guys win? Will Parzival ever meet Art3mis in real life? Will the coin Parzival won at Pac-Man figure into the final showdown? You’ll just have to read to find out.

Ready Player One is a wild and exhausting romp through time and space, and the most fun I’ve had reading in a long time. If you love the 80’s (and even if you don’t), you will find this action-packed trip down memory lane an unforgettable experience. So stop what you are doing right now and Go. Read. This. Book.

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HAZARDOUS CHOICES by Joseph Rinaldo – Review

Joseph Rinaldo’s first book, A Spy at Home, was a thriller about a CIA operative who embezzles nine million dollars from his employer and the repercussions of his actions, and featured an endearing character with Down syndrome.  Hazardous Choices, his second release, also has a main character with Down syndrome, but that is about the only thing the two books have in common. Where A Spy at Home was loaded with over-the-top drama and unlikely scenarios, Hazardous Choices focuses on a real danger that is much closer to home: gang violence.

The story centers around Darnell Jackson, a gang member from Chicago who has been given a football scholarship to Western Kentucky State University. Darnell is trying to escape his violent and hardscrabble life in the gang and dreads the upcoming summer vacation when he will have to return to Chicago and take his place in the Nights of Neptune, a brutal gang that patrols Chicago’s Garfield Park, dealing drugs and trying to keep the rival neighborhood gang, the Warriors, out of their territory. Most of the action, however, takes place in Owensboro, Kentucky, where Darnell bonds with his football team and proves himself a rising star on the field. Coach Ben Rotelli and his family live a comfortable and conservative life in typical small-town fashion.  Ben is the head football coach at WKSU; his wife Caroline cares for their two children, fifteen-year-old Nicole and eighteen-year-old Eric, who has Down syndrome. Life seems near perfect as Ben vows to coach the team to a winning season and Nicole goes about her life as a typical teenager, occasionally getting into trouble. That is until school ends and Darnell is forced to go home to Chicago in order to protect his mother.

Here the tone of the story shifts abruptly as we are thrown into Darnell’s home life in the gang. His summer in Chicago is spent dealing drugs and defending his fellow gang members against the rival Warriors. Shootings are commonplace, and Darnell seems to take it all in stride, although he desperately wants out. As the violence escalates and he becomes entangled in a situation that can only end in death, he lies to his gang leader about killing a Warrior and makes up a story that allows him to go back to WKSU early. Back in Kentucky, life seems far away from the horrors of his home life, but all too soon the two worlds collide in an unexpectedly violent way, and life for the peaceful, hardworking folk in Owensboro will never be the same again.

I have to give Rinaldo credit for keeping me engaged in a story that revolves around football.  He clearly loves the game; football is an important element in Hazardous Choices. For that reason I would never have picked up this book on my own, but I’m glad I got a chance to read it. I loved the shifts between the two worlds, and I thought the serene family life and team camaraderie contrasted well with the darker elements of gang life. The characters in particular were completely engaging. Eric, Ben’s Down syndrome son, was one of my favorites. One compelling storyline has Ben and Nicole learning sign language so that Ben, who is not able to speak, can better communicate with his family.  There are also several dysfunctional characters that keep the story balanced, such as Darnell’s mother Marlena, who lives alone in fear in her Chicago apartment while Darnell is away at school, and has a history of sexual abuse. But Darnell is the real hero of the story as a character trying to overcome a bad childhood and better himself at school and on the football field. Although the book ends too abruptly for my taste, and Rinaldo could have spent more time helping his characters find closure at the end, I felt myself immersed in the story from beginning to end. Rinaldo’s courage to forgo the expected happy ending and take the harder path gives Hazardous Choices a poignant quality that I found refreshing. Whether or not you are a football fan, Darnell’s journey and redemption will not disappoint.  You can visit Joseph Rinaldo’s website here, and purchase the e-book here.

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Read Me! 11/22/63: A NOVEL by Stephen King – Recommended Reading

Finally, it’s here. Seems like I’ve been waiting forever for the new Stephen King book.  Out today is 11/22/63: A Novel, King’s massive (960 pages) epic time travel story, about Jake Epping, a man who discovers a portal to the year 1958.  His friend Al, who just happens to have the portal in the storeroom of his diner, encourages Jake to go on a mission back in time to stop the Kennedy assassination.

Here’s the book description from Amazon: “On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination—a thousand page tour de force.

Following his massively successful novel Under the Dome, King sweeps readers back in time to another moment—a real life moment—when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history.  Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.

Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.  A tribute to a simpler era and a devastating exercise in escalating suspense, 11/22/63 is Stephen King at his epic best.”

If you’ve read this blog before, you know I am a huge Stephen King fan.  I recently waxed rhapsodic about his series The Dark Tower here.  I am happy to see him take on a more serious subject this time around, and paired with the time travel element, I expect this will be a great read. Now I just need to figure out a way to freeze time so I can read it…

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ZONE ONE by Colson Whitehead – Review

Let’s get this straight: Zone One is a zombie novel.  There is blood, viscera, various bodily fluids streaming through the gutters, dead men walking, and heads being blown off right and left.  There is terror and running away and hiding from the dead.  There is a dying world without electricity, ash-covered streets, and bleak prospects for all. But Zone One was not at all what I expected.  And in a good way.

Zone One takes place over a three-day period, as a motley crew of “sweepers” works the buildings of lower Manhattan to clear out the skels and stragglers that pocket the island. An unnamed catastrophe has rendered most of humanity zombies, and the humans left unaffected have banded together in various scattered groups to try to stop the dead.  Our  protagonist, Mark Spitz (whose nickname is explained mid-way through the novel), is part of a small band of sweepers whose job is to look for the remaining skels (the walking, shambling, dangerous dead) and stragglers (the dead that don’t move and are frozen in mid-activity, but are presumably harmless) that are left after an initial military sweep and exterminate them. As they move through the city’s skyscrapers, floor by floor, guns at the ready, the story skips from present to past and back as Mark Spitz remembers the terrifying events of “Last Night” and other significant moments since then. 

Colson Whitehead loves words.  And that love is evident in every paragraph of this book. Fair warning: for some readers, this love of words will get in the way of the story, and for those who experience his wordiness as a mountain too tall to climb and give up before the end, I’m sorry that you will not get the full reading experience of Zone One. Whitehead’s descriptive talents are vast. He can take a seemingly irrelevant experience and turn it into poetry, and he does so throughout the book.  Because the world is ending, these descriptions become laced with a nostalgic yearning for times past.  As things start to go downhill, Mark Spitz remembers with a cynical fondness the better times since Last Night.  Even the grim reality of this ash-drenched world contains moments of small happiness: a brief stay in a toy store with a woman named Mim, a stretch of time living in a farmhouse in Massachusetts with a group of survivors and their fabulously executed kitchen, a woman called the Quiet Storm who leaves messages by arranging abandoned cars in artfully staged installations. Even the sight of his Uncle Lloyd’s city apartment as he trudges through his sweeper duties reminds him of how he used to visit his uncle as a child, and how much he has always wanted to live in New York.  Wish granted. And as the massacred zombies pile up, the body disposal teams are forced to incinerate them to keep the plague from spreading. What results is a constant rain of ash, “the dust of the dead.”  Even in this horror, Whitehead finds poetry.

What sets this novel apart from other zombie novels, however, is Whitehead’s ability to skewer the human condition in the midst of the world falling apart. His wry observations on everything from smartphones to internet auctions serve as a warning: don’t get too comfortable with modern life because sooner or later the world will end. Instead of worrying about climbing the corporate ladder, you will be running from a dead person that wants to eat you.  It’s a standard zombie story allegory: the consumers become the consumed. In Whitehead’s hands, though, the reader can actually step aside from the horror and appreciate the subtle humor.

Zone One is a series of out-of-order vignettes that when patched together form a pastiche of horror. To jump around in time and still manage to tell the tale takes skill. In the case of Mark Spitz, reading his story out-of-order makes a certain sense. The world is no longer functioning, and so the tale becomes fractured. Take heart, readers.  Be patient. By the end you will be able to look back and appreciate the madness.

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Read Me! OUT OF OZ by Gregory Maguire – Recommended Reading

Although my interest in Gregory Maguire’s OZ series has waned since I (tried to) read Book #3, A Lion Among Men, I am still going to recommend the final book in the series, Out of Oz, out this week.  The story that started out sixteen years ago in Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, a book that reached bestseller-dom and was reimagined on stage as a Tony Award-winning musical, ends here, as we finally learn the fate of Oz.  Here’s the book description from Goodreads:

“The marvelous land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. And look who’s knocking at the door. It’s none other than Dorothy. Yes, that Dorothy.

Amid all this chaos, Elphaba’s granddaughter, the tiny green baby born at the close of Son of a Witch, has come of age. Now, Rain will take up her broom in an Oz wracked by war.

The stirring, long-awaited conclusion to the extraordinary bestselling series begun with Wicked, Out of Oz is a magical journey rife with revelations and reversals, reprisals and surprises — the hallmarks of the brilliant and unique imagination of Gregory Maguire.”

I absolutely loved Wicked and Son of a Witch, and I have high hopes for the closing chapter of this imaginative series.  If you have not experienced Maguire’s vision of the Land of Oz, you can catch up and read the entire series in one fell swoop. But please start at the beginning…

 

 

 

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