Age: 23

Pages: 77 / 406; 19%
ISBN: 0060987103

 The Reason for the Reaping: The musical of the same name is coming to town. In true nerd fashion, the book will determine whether I should go. My checking account will also have a say, but that’s another conversation.

As I Lay Summarizing: The future wicked witch, Elphaba, is born with green skin in Munchkinland. And the baby “I’ll kill you, my pretty” is acting weird (but not wickedly) af.

The Line That Killed Me: “‘Ye are as if spawn of dragon womb, ready to suck on teats of fire!'” (15). Death by incinerated mouth.

Best Character: Nanny

Why [As] You Like It: Maguire has a good grasp of writing about setting and landscape. The characters of Munchkinland and the greater Oz are placed very firmly in a credible and somewhat fantastical land. There’s no place like Oz; there’s no place like Oz….

Why I’m Gone, Girl: Everything else. Maguire is trying way too damn hard with this. The future wicked witch is a baby, and he’s trying to make her seem strange and foreboding, to little effect. Weird political undertones about the yellow brick road (insert scary ghost noise) and religious tolerance seem contrived. In general, it’s over the top and sloppy, and rather than enriching the iconic story, he seems extremely constrained by it.

Last Line, Last Chance: “…-dence that she possessed them. Elphaba looked like something between an…”

Will I turn the page, or toss it into Mount Doom?

Not so much, Maguire. I do really want to know how Elphaba turns wicked, but maybe I’ll watch the musical instead. It’s a no-go for the novel.

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