Sunday, 13 April 2014

Bewitched in Oz (Volume #1) by Laura J. Burns

Arc provided by Capstone Press through Netgalley

My biggest question reading this: To whom is this story destined?
I'm afraid children's fiction is a somewhat vague reference, and with this cover, I was expecting something at least more middle grade oriented, if not YA.
That was my first mistake. 
In reality this story is directed to a public of 9 to 13... but I'm afraid that aiming it at an audience of 12, 13 years old may be pushing it.
In fact, I believe that this tale will be better appreciated by an audience as young as possible.

The story has solid foundations for an adventure... on tv (I can see it!). But I'm afraid that, as a book, it reads somewhat as a draft.
If this were a human being, I would say this is the skeleton.
Now all that were missing would be... the rest: arteries, organs, skin.
Since this is an ARC, a very early ARC, maybe it will be more developed?

I'll admit however that I have been extremely spoiled by so called "middle grade books" that read as a prime example of literary fiction.

In "Bewitched in Oz" the language is very basic, which could be explained due to the age targeted (9??)... but then the characters are supposed to be sixteen, and there are also references to love interests...
I think there should be some sort of rule: If there's googly eyes involved, the readers deserve a properly developed story.
There were interesting props used for setting the proper tone for a magical adventure that takes place in the Lands of Oz: a doughnuts and bubble gum tree (lol)... but, just like the characters, it all seemed very cardboard.

For those obsessed with all things Oz, you'll be happy to know that the Glass Cat, a Rigmarole, one Flutterbudget, some Kalidahs and quite a number of Winged Monkeys are part of this story.

To finish, kids aren't stupid (well, there's cases and cases), so yes, the author could use this phrase as _I guess _ some sort of mantra?

 Friends are always strongest together. 
(this is from an arc, so it can be altered...)

But, since this is such a short tale, I'm afraid that repeating it seven times was a little too much.

It has a good message of friendship and of fighting for what's important, but I can't help feeling that it got a little lost between what is children's fiction and the YA department.
For me it needed a little something more... more spark, more depth...

Pre-order "Bewitched in Oz"

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