I really liked this book. I think it was clever, engaging, and I liked that it was an unfamiliar take on a familiar story.
Full disclosure: I am a rabid Wizard of Oz fan. I have read all of the original 12 and some of the ones after, and I own most of them. I even have a tattoo that includes Oz references. So it was natural for me to check out this new form of a story I love so much. But when you really know a story, it can be hard to hear a distorted version of it.
This book does not have that problem. There are enough neat references that a fan of Oz would understand and appreciate, but the story stands on its own and isn’t even really about the events of the movie or original books. This story mostly takes place before those events, and shows us “the real story” behind the Wicked Witches, the Wizard, and other characters we know from the original stories. This keeps it from feeling like a “wrong” version of the story, though it does take great liberties with the world you’re used to from the movie.
There are adult themes, and the feel of the book is nothing like “The Wizard of Oz”. I wouldn’t recommend this book to children younger than high school, probably. Its an easy enough read for adults, but includes political and adult themes that make it not a super-fast book.