Please note that this book will spoil events from books one through three. So if you haven't read those books, skip over this review.
My general feeling once I finished this book was eh.
I feel bad for saying this, but the charm of the first two Oz books has worn off of me. I had issues with book three but this one really did not gel for me at all. Maybe it's because two new characters sucked. A lot. And I was glad to be rid of them.
Yes. I am totally calling out a children's book right now for being just an okay read.
First we have Dorothy still running around like a mini-tyrant. I think her bossy nature got a bit grating in this one for me. We also have Dorothy running back into the hum-bug The Wizard.
I feel like everyone had amnesia from book three onward since everyone just ignores the fact that the Wizard kidnapped Princess Ozma when she was a baby and gave her to the witch Mombi. Why does everyone just forget that fact? Instead The Wizard is still seen as this great powerful person who actually just knows magic tricks and is no more magical than an empty water bottle. I was sick of The Wizard at the end of this book.
Except for Zeb, the other two new characters, Jim and Eureka were plenty awful. At one point we actually get a trial scene with Eureka being accused of something monstrous and Eureka was just like: "oh who cares?"
Jim was just nasty and awful to my favorite character Saw-Horse and I was never so happy when he got the paw-down from The Hungry Tiger.
The main plot of Dorothy and crew trying to find their way out of the constant jams they find themselves in really make no sense since we realize from book three she already has a way to get out of trouble. The fact that it took Dorothy so long to remember she had a way to get everyone to Oz safely just made me shake my head.
I realized the other day that Dorothy is a straight up TSTL heroine in these books, and it makes me sad. Additionally, I feel like Ozma has been regulated to just being the most beautiful ruler ever and not really thought of as being smart either. The other characters really don't grab me, and the entire Land of Oz seems to be run by really attractive and not terribly intelligent people.
Usually I found myself enchanted with the other creatures, characters, and settings that L. Frank Baum writes in these books. I mean we meet an entire land that is made of glass. The people are actually walking talking vegetables. I felt nothing. Instead this time I found myself getting bored of it about halfway through. We travel to a land where eating a certain fruit makes you invisible. I shrugged.
I had plans to try to finish all 14 Oz books, but I think I will pass.