Friday, June 19, 2015

Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Title/ Author: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Genre: Fantasy, retelling
Rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis: 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 bluebirds. 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 yellow brick road - 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.


Thoughts on the Overall Book: I never was a fan of the Wizard of Oz, so this book immediately caught my attention and my expectations did not disappoint. I always love new twists on old stories and this is definitely one of the more unique ones I have ever read.

Cover--Yea or Nay: I like the cover. It's obvious what the book is about and it's just simple. The title though, is what seals it for me. Instant interest spiked ;)

Characters: Amy Gumm was a sympathetic, and pleasing character to read about. I instantly felt sorry for her, and also appreciated that, while she was put into a very bad position, she wasn't a brat about it even if she had every reason to be. I truly understood her want to get out of where she was, even if that place was a ruined Oz. She was a character who grew to be even better than what she started out to be, and I really enjoyed seeing her grow up in this story and gain more confidence. I really liked the supporting cast in this story as well. Seeing the traditional Oz characters was fun, especially in their new roles in this story. The 'Wicked' witches were enjoyable to read about and I liked Gert, Mombi and Glamora very much. I also really liked Nox, but then I can't help but love the sort of quiet, reserved male characters, especially since I didn't view him as actually brooding so much as just showing little emotion due to his position. The portrayal of Dorothy was frightening to say the least. But I loved her. She made an awesome villain, and I could actually totally see this happen. Power corrupts, right? She was a really awesome female baddie though, and even better for the fact that she actually acted on her threats. The Lion, the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow were seriously creepy too, especially the Scarecrow. I totally approve of the new versions of them. We didn't get to see a lot of the Wizard, but what we did see of him, I did like his portrayal, even if I'm not sure how exactly I feel about him yet.

The Romance: A little bit of a crush between Amy and Nox, but there's really no time for it, so it wasn't really even enough to form an opinion on. I wouldn't mind them getting together, but I hope it continues to not get in the way of the plot.

Writing Style: I really enjoyed Amy's narration, and this book was really awesome visually. It's obvious the author did much research into the Oz books to be able to create a twisted almost post-apocalyptic version of this world, and it really works. I was able to picture everything perfectly, which I love in fantasy novels, this was one that while I read it, I actually pictured it as a movie (which would be awesome!) so that's always a good thing. Really though, even if I hadn't liked the characters (which I did!) I would have still enjoyed this book for the descriptions of this new version of Oz alone.

Accuracy/ Believability: Not really applicable. I haven't read all the Oz books so I can't say much on that end, but I can still tell that the author got things pretty accurate and I do believe this totally could have happened, making it a believable alternate universe sort of story.

Problems/What bothered me: Didn't really have any problems. This was just one of those books you go on for the ride.

Conclusion: 4 stars. I really enjoyed this book, and I look forward to reading more! The ending was a super cliffhanger, so I will be tracking down a copy of the sequel as soon as possible.

Recommended Audience: Girl read, ages 16 and up due to some content (mostly just language). Whether you like the original or not, I think you would still appreciate this book.


  1. I've only read the first book, which I was given for my eighth birthday, then reread as an adult when I received a review copy illustrated by the wonderful Michael Hague. I enjoyed it all over again. The female characters were all strong, not bad considering how long ago the book was written, and by a man. This book does sound like one worth reading, though. Really, there has been quite a lot of Oz-inspired fiction and film and musical making over the years. The first I read, years ago, was A Barnstormer In Oz, by Philip Jose Farmer, I think, and it was about Dorothy's son(or grandson? It HAS been a while). He finds that Oz is not exactly the way he had been told.

    1. This is definitely a book worth reading if you appreciate Oz and the characters. A little different, but that's not always a bad thing either. Let me know if you get to read it :)