I spoke a bit too soon when I gave my opinion on Wicked. The first half was brilliant, but the other… perhaps too abstract and slow. It was as if, with the end approaching, the author simply threw up his hands and said, "This has gotten out of hand, now how do I kill her?" I really became attached to Elphaba because she was smart and had a big heart. Her life was tough, and her beliefs were mocked as paranoid, though all along she was spot-on. I was sure, after all her suffering that eventually something wonderful awaited her at her end of the rainbow.
Uh… not so much.
From a gratification standpoint this novel completely failed. Obviously there are many out there that love this from cover to cover, but I for one will not read any more of Maguire's novels. He hammered this poor girl relentlessly. Ok, for a short while she found a ray of happiness, but that was simply used to make her life even worse than it was. Even her friends were a disappointment, her family too. In the end I was well beyond depressed; I was disgusted.
In the first half Elphaba was in college. It wasn't easy being green, but she had finally made some good friends and was enjoyed for her wit. She was approached with an offer that could have made for an interesting second half, but the offer was barely a factor in the upcoming events. Later Elphaba found the Grimmerie, a book of magic from another world. Cool, I thought, this could get interesting! Nope. Another non-factor. In fact, nothing interesting happened whatsoever in the second half unless you enjoy watching someone you love wither and die from a terminal disease.
And the ending! What the hell? I'm convinced that the author got lost and had to wrap things up. What a total disappointment.
I remember once that a blog-buddy Janie read a short story of mine and told me to rewrite the ending because from a satisfaction standpoint it let her down that the protag had been dreaming all along. She wanted me to make it real instead. If I were a proof reader, my advice would be to live up to the promises made in the opening chapters. Let her be just a little bit capable.
It reminds me of an expression from an eighties ski movie, "We were small but we were slow."
This steaming kettle boils down to one word: bummer.