The Wicked Will Rise

The Emerald City was burning.

The second book in the Dorothy Must Die series. And, as how it usually works with second books/serialized books, the follow ups have to work harder to make the same impact. The Wicked Will Rise didn’t manage to do so.

Of course, with some new sides and characters of Oz added, Paige managed to keep some of the magic and twists introduced in the first book alive, but it isn’t enough to outbalance more of the same for the main character(s). Amy’s brattiness is only growing, and even with the excuses she has, it’s tough to accept. There is a glimmer of potential with more attention for the Ozma character, but that fades before it can become solid.

It’s not a huge letdown, it’s not boring or poorly written, it’s simply not a step up from the first book. Turn all this in a TV show and I’ll be watching (because it could be beautiful and wonderful), but I’m not in a hurry to read book number three.

The Wicked Will Rise, Danielle Page, Harper 2015

 

Telegraph Avenue

A white boy rode flatfoot on a skateboard, towed along, hand to shoulder, by a black boy pedaling a brakeless fixed-gear bike.

What an incredible load of ‘manpain’, good gracious. I know that a (main) character doesn’t necessarily has to be likable, but the amount of self-pity combined with a very flowery prose (not a comparison-possibility missed) makes Telegraph Avenue (an American¬†High Fidelity) tough to work through.

The main characters come in pairs: old friends and music store owners Nat and Archy, old friends, wives of the music store owners and colleague-mid wives Gwen and Aviva and Titus and Julius. The second is Aviva and Nat’s son, the first is Archy’s son, returning to him after fourteen years of no relationship. Gwen doesn’t know about him and is carrying their first child together. Besides that there’s a big competitor threatening the music store, something happens during a delivery and Archy’s no good father returns to just add to the mess.

It’s not like there’s nothing happening, nor that the things happening are badly written. It’s just that all of the adults, with more weight on Archy’s side and less on Gwen’s, are so incredibly full of self pity and anger and a paralyzing lack of motivation that it pulls you down in a dark hole of frustration. Where is that machine that you can use to kick fictional character ass into gear?

Telegraph Avenue, Michael Chabon, Harper 2012