I am not lost…

April 13, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: DOROTHY MUST DIE by Danielle Paige

Okay, so I’ll admit. I’m a huge fan of Wicked, both the musical and the book. I’ve seen The Wiz, both on stage and the movie. I haven’t actually seen the original Wizard of Oz movie all that often, and nor have I had a chance to read the books. But I love the story, and the characters, and the whole lot of it.

So…when a book called DOROTHY MUST DIE shows up on the shelf near me…it’s gonna demand some attention.

Big red text. Classic blue gingham dress. Silver slippers. (Yesssss, attention to detail.) If you ever wanted a primer on how to effectively design a book cover, look no further.

I’m a big fan of re-imaginings, particularly in fiction. Maybe it’s my background in fanfiction. Maybe it’s my love of “what if” questions. I don’t know. But just from a glance on the back, I know that this is a whole new take on the tales of Oz and our dear heroine from Kansas.

Amy Gumm is the other girl from Kansas. She’s a part of our normal world: where the books and movies of Oz exist. She knows the story as well as we do–it’s just a story. But then a tornado comes through and swipes Amy away from her fairly uninspiring life…and plops her down where all the tornadoes in Kansas seem to drop unassuming young women.

Oz. But this isn’t the Oz she knows from the stories.

This Oz is dark and jaded, not the bright and Emerald-City-shining we’re made to believe. The yellow brick road is crumbling. The Munchkins are hiding–or worse, enslaved. Magic is being stolen from the ground itself. Glinda can’t be trusted–and the Wicked Witches might be the only chance anyone has left. So what happened? Dorothy. So fate (or a power unbeknownst to us at the moment) has pulled in a new girl from Kansas to set everything right. As the back of the book says: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart. Steal the Scarecrow’s brain. Take the Lion’s courage. And then–Dorothy must die.

Wheeee! Drama! Action! New characters in Oz! Familiar names! Aaaaaah!

This book did not disappoint in any way. It’s exactly the upside-down look at Oz I was hoping for from the cover. The Revolutionary Order of the Wicked is fascinatingly complex, and I’m enthralled by each character and what their backstory might be. (I want more about Nox. I want a BOOK about Nox. Please.) Dorothy, Glinda, the Wizard…all present, all terrifying in their own right, and all setting up for what could be a really fantastic ride.

I’ve seen some complaints on Goodreads and the like that a lot of people were unhappy with the ending to the book. I suppose I can see why…? My qualm with the ending was “wait…wait, you’re ending it there?! BUT WHAT HAPPENS?! HOW CAN YOU STOP THERE?!” It’s a good, classic cliffhanger. It’s a first book done properly. It sets everything up and then pulls the rug out from under us. It did exactly what DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE did, and I loved it then just as much as I love it now. It absolutely makes me want to get the second book and see what happens.

The book isn’t blow-the-pants-off-of-me amazing, but it’s a solid work and one I enjoyed a great deal. I’ll definitely be checking out the next book…or books, I think; I believe it’s a trilogy. Fun fun fun.

Rating: **** (Recommended)

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