The first volume in The Oz Chronicles recalls both Stephen King’s The Stand and L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz.
When 13-year-old Osmond â€œOz” Griffith wakes from an illness on the floor of his closet, he discovers the world overrun by man-eating monsters, the Takers, and it’s largely his fault. In an effort to make things right, he gathers a band of survivors (a baby, an aged mechanic and a talking gorilla, among others), and sets off down his version of the yellow brick road, leading to the Atlanta Zoo. Along the way, he learns that his destiny was written by Steve, a boy from his past. Afflicted with Down Syndrome, Steve created new worlds, replete with battles between good and evil, in the comic books that served as his sole refuge from the teasing of Oz and his friends. Steve’s untimely suicide leaves only the comic books as clues to vanquishing the Takers. Oz, suffering from guilt that he possibly caused Steve’s death, must learn to accept responsibility, not only for his actions in the past, but for the future of civilization as he knows it. The lively narrative will capture the imagination of young teens, especially boys, who will enjoy the more horrifying aspects of the story. The plot is clearly defined, and the action never flags. The narrator’s voice, however, is uneven, as Oz often transitions from the mind of a growing adolescent to full adult consciousness in the same paragraph–a minor complaint, though, in an enjoyable tale.
Hopefully, Book Two is on the way.