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 the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.
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.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!
I'll be honest; I have never read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, but I'm familiar with the movie. Very familiar. Crazily obsessed at a young age, and watched it every day familiar. Fans of the classic will likely enjoy this novel, but you do not need to be a fan to like this re-telling. It is dark, sinister, violent, and sad. The world of L. Frank Baum that Danielle Paige tweaks is powerfully told, completely different, yet somehow eerily familiar.
This story was really good; I rate it at 3.5 stars because, although very rich and imaginative, it dragged in the middle for me. Gobble up this novel, I did not. It took me several days longer than normal to read.
Blah blah blah, Amy travels down the road, meeting people along the way, which makes the novel have a very Wizard of Oz feel. She eventually meets Dorothy (who is a great character in this re-telling, incidentally), who throws her in prison when she learns that Amy came to Oz in the very same way she herself did. Dorothy feels threatened, and must eliminate anything that stands in her way.
See, when Dorothy came back to Oz, she became corrupted by magic. Through a series of events, she was able to climb to the top and reign over all the land, hoarding magic and punishing anyone that double-crossed her heinously. Very fucking heinously.
(The other major characters from the franchise are also in this novel, and they are also rather amazing villains, especially the Tin Woodman. Again, I cannot stress how vile and terrible the villains are in this novel -- you'll have to read it for yourself.)
Amy eventually escapes from prison with the help of a group of people, the Order, that are united under one goal: to kill Dorothy, at any cost.
Amy... was flat, for me. She was what most people would consider a kick-ass heroine, but she reminded me very much of Tris from the Divergent series, who I didn't really like. If you liked Tris, I really think you'll like Amy. There is also slowly developing love interest, a boy from the Order she joins, named Nox, who also did nothing for me. This is the first novel in the series, however, so perhaps I will grow to like both characters in the subsequent books.
Overall, I highly enjoyed Dorothy Must Die except for the problems I detailed; the beginning and end were very good, but the story lulled in the middle when Amy trained with the Order.
Published April 1st 2014 by HarperTeen