Review: Ozland by Wendy Spinale

Ozland by Wendy SpinaleOzland
Wendy Spinale
Scholastic Press
Published on April 24, 2018

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About Ozland
With Everland and Umberland both destroyed, the survivors have taken refuge in a small village tucked within the shadows of the Bloodred Queen’s castle. Doc has found an actual cure for the Horologia virus, while Gwen, Pete, and Alyssa begin plotting the assassination of the queen with the help of Gail, an excellent huntress. But killing the queen won’t be enough. The world has been destroyed and its needs a ruler to set things right again. A ruler who is good, kind, and fair. Someone like the former king of Germany. But he’s dead … or is he?

There’s a rumor that the king has been hidden away in a secret land, where only the worthiest can find him. Desperate to end the war, a plan is hatched that could put everything right again, only before it’s set in motion, the village is burned to the ground, all survivors taken prisoner to the castle. Except Gail.

But is one girl enough to find a long-dead king, kill the wicked queen, and save the world?

My Review
Out of all three books in the series, I felt like this book is the furthest from any kind of retelling or story inspired by another tale (The Wizard of Oz in this case). I still enjoyed finding out what happened to characters from earlier books like the Lost Boys, Gwen, Lily, Alyssa and Maddox, as well as meeting some new characters, like Gail, the huntress and Ginger, the warrior.

There were moments where I would think, ah, that’s an element from The Wizard of Oz. Ginger seemed a little bit like a Glinda the Good type of character, for instance. But for the most part, Ozland picks up where Umberland leaves off and sets up a huge battle against the Red Queen, hoping to find a way to free the world from her tyranny.

I think of all the books in the series, Everland is still my favorite. I liked the younger characters with their pithy lines and comedic relief. Ozland is a bit darker and much more serious. The romantic entanglements are already well-established, so there’s no new tension in that arena. I still enjoyed reading it – but mainly because I wanted to see how the author would use The Wizard of Oz in this dystopian story world and because I wanted to know what happened to Pete and Gwen and the others.

Ozland on AmazonRecommended for Ages 12 up.

Cultural Elements
Major characters are white (English or German). Lily is Indian.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
None.

Romance/Sexual Content
Brief kissing between boy and girl.

Spiritual Content
None.

Violent Content
Flying hybrid monkey-slash-machines attack Gail and her allies. Soldiers whip Doc and Lily. One scene describes a character being burned with acid, others being shot and stabbed in detail.

Drug Content
None.

Ozland on Goodreads

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.

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