Imagine, if you will, a linear accelerator for fiction. Say someone took The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, put them in the machine, and slammed ‘em together. Sifting through the results, you’d find The Battle For Oz, Jeyna Grace’s exciting adventure published by Inkshares. The novella is a quick read, and is helped along by swift pacing and simple description that relies on a (perhaps faded) recollection of worlds you remember from your childhood. There’s a certain shock factor to the brutality and gore that appears now and again in the story, reminding you that this is not a children’s fairy tale, replete with fairies though it may be.
That vicious Queen of Hearts, down but not entirely out after her altercation with Alice, sets her sights on a new conquest: Oz. She breeds horrifying monsters and uses them to take over the Emerald City, enforcing with a cruel hand, and crushing her opposition utterly. In an act of desperation, Dorothy, now in her late teens, is summoned to save the day. Dorothy finds she can’t fight this foe alone, though. She needs help from someone experienced with fighting the Red Queen.
In The Battle for Oz, the characters we remember from the original fairy tales have all been given some upgrades: they’re weaponized. Lion is a general, Scarecrow is a Wizard, Hatter’s got a magic hat of some kind, the list goes on. These fighters clash in an epic battle, culminating in the (supposed) defeat of the Red Queen. Everything in its right place.
The epilogue offered up an interesting morsel which left me much more interested in a sequel than I’d have been otherwise. After the battle ends, the epilogue indicates that the vile Red Queen finds herself in Germany around 1938. That’s a story I’d be interested in reading.