Author: Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die #1
Date: April 2014
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The New York Times bestselling first book in a dark new series that reimagines the Oz saga, from debut author Danielle Paige.
I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero. But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?
Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still a road of yellow brick—but even that's crumbling.
What happened? Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.
My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas. I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. I've been trained to fight. And I have a mission: Remove the Tin Woodman's heart. Steal the Scarecrow's brain. Take the Lion's courage. And—Dorothy must die.
When I first heard about the sick and twisted retelling of the famous Wizard of Oz story, I have to admit I was very interested. A friend read the book, devoured it really, only to tell me to skip the story. She didn’t recommend it at all. She didn’t care for any part of it. That certainly didn’t stop me! It actually pushed me even more to read the book. My friend and I will always be friends and I will do anything for her, but our taste in books differs (I usually really like to read what she can’t stand and vice versa).
I picked up a copy of the first book in a magical series where Dorothy is not the innocent young lass we have all come to known and adore, and Oz is a terrible place. Our hero is Amy Gumm, a sort of average girl from Kansas (shock) who has a life that is not without its problems. Her Dad has died, her Mom is not fit to be a parent, and Amy is being picked on at school. One day a tornado hits her trailer park and takes her and the trailer to Oz (another shock). Amy is immediately pulled into the strange and disturbing Oz where nothing is like what she remembers reading. Witches are evil, everyone is forced to smile, and everything you do is a crime. Amy learns quickly to trust no one. Everyone has their own agenda, even the animals.
The author did a really good job with the character development throughout this story. Amy learns that the only way to restore Oz to the way it used to be is to kill Dorothy. Dorothy must die if Oz is to survive. Amy started out as a shy, timid girl who didn’t think she could make it in this bizarre Oz, then becomes a bad-ass soldier that is willing to try whatever it takes to defeat Dorothy. Even if that means putting her own life on the line.
What I didn’t like about the story is how quickly the ending happened. It felt like everything was rushed and thrown at you. I put the book down feeling puzzled and confused, wondering what just happened. The ending didn’t really answer anything at all but it did make you want to pick up the second book in the hopes of answers being given.
Overall I enjoyed this story. I felt it was a fast paced tale that held my attention and kept me wanting to know what happened. Like I said, the ending threw me but did hook me in to wanting to read the second book in the series. For that I say well done, Ms. Paige. I cannot wait to see how you follow up this story in the next book.