There are five books in this series:
- Book 1: The Wizard in Wonderland
- Book 2: Dorothy Through the Looking Glass
- Book 3: The Wonderful Alice of Oz
- Book 4: The Marvellous Neverland of Oz
- Book 5: Peter of Oz
I need to admit upfront that I have only read the first four. I gave it my best effort but gave up at the end of The Marvellous Neverland of Oz. I had waded through the confusion of Dorothy from Kansas meeting up with Alice from Oxford in the land of Oz, Wonderland and/or the Looking Glass World, but when Peter Pan arrived from Neverland I gave up. I am a fan of the original books which are all classics and it’s heartbreaking to see the characters so misused in this series of books.
The concept for the books arose when a friend’s daughter muddled up Dorothy from Oz and Alice from Wonderland. Author Ron Glick, who has written other fantasy series, took up this idea and added in more characters from Frank Baum’s other Oz books, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.
The tale starts out with Dorothy seeking the Wizard who has disappeared from Oz but, through some misplaced magic, she ends up in Wonderland while Alice is transported from Oxford to the Emerald City in Oz. Glinda, the Good Witch, and Princess Ozma, are concerned the Wizard may have again betrayed them and Dorothy is very upset when she hears how he usurped the throne of Ozma’s father and gave the princess to the Wicked Witch Mombi.
There seems to be no end to the number of characters the author crams into the stories: three more Wicked Witches; the Mad Hatter; the Hare; Betsy Bobbin; the Sawhorse; the King and Queen of Hearts; the Red and the White King and Queen; the Cowardly Lion; the Tin Man; Peter Pan and Tinkerbell; plus the Cheshire Cat, who has a behind-the-scenes role as the evil genius.
If you haven’t read Baum’s other Oz books then you may, like me, struggle to sort out who’s who and who is doing what. In an attempt to overcome this confusion Glick spends an inordinate amount of time explaining who everyone is and their back story, often repeatedly as new characters arrive in the story and need to be told what’s happening. This is boring!
Having read four of the five books in the series, one would expect to have a good idea what the point of the story is or what the author is trying to say. Not so with the Oz-Wonderland series. The characters are brought together, they perform some actions and they part, only to reform in a different combination to perform some other pointless action.
Glick has self-published these books and I’m not surprised, as no publisher would wish to put their name to the series. On a purely technical level the books are riddled with typos, malapropisms and clunky dialogue. The four I read would have benefited greatly from an editor’s blue pencil.
Reviewed by Jan Kershaw
Rating out of 10: 5
Distributed by: Self-published and available through Amazon Australia