BOOK REVIEW: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Dorothy Must DieDOROTHY MUST DIE (Dorothy Must Die Series #1)
By Danielle Paige
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 1st April 2014
Format: Paperback (480 pages)
Source: Own Copy

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.… (Goodreads)

DividerDorothy must Die was a book that I picked up while on holiday, purely on the striking cover and the interesting premise. In some ways, the book does live up to what it promises on the back page, but it was not without its faults.

The book’s opening was strong, with our protagonist Amy having to deal with the jungle that is High School. Her nemesis at High School was not your usual Queen Bee, for while Madison is higher up in the social hierarchy than Amy, she was also a teenage mother to be and she ends up in an alteration with Madison that results in her suspension.

Amy’s home life isn’t much better, with an absent father and her mother more interested in drinking alcohol and going out, than her daughter; you can see why she would rather get out of Kansas. Much like Dorothy, Amy gets swept up in a Hurricane and lands in an Oz very different from the musical version she is used to.

Reading the first third of the book, I was very mush reminded of the film Oz the Great and Powerful, with the land of Oz in the grip of a tyrannical dictator. However, this is not due to any “Wicked” Witch, but instead by the former saviour Dorothy and the “Good” Witch of the North Glinda.

Paige has managed to create a real feeling world and I could picture the land of Oz clearly. She managed to make it seem both familiar but also very distorted, so that it had its own distinct identity. This really is Paiges great strength for she carries this really well over to the characters we know and love from the original movie and stories. It is almost like looking at this world through a distorted pane of glass.

Where the book seemed to fail, for me anyway, was the middle of the book. This is after Amy has been freed from Dorothy’s prison and ends up with the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked after being freed by Mombi. This is all part of some sort of pre-destined plan or higher calling as Amy is the only one who can kill Dorothy.

While we do get to see the members of the Revolution and each member is an interesting character, Amy’s training was very cold to me. It left no impact, for it felt cold, at least to me. The only part of Amy’s training that I found interesting was the confrontation between The Cowardly Lion and The Revolution members. The outcome of the battle was surprising and both sides took loses, though the most surprising was the loss that the Revolution took.

Thankfully, the last third of the book made up for the rather slow middle and the palace intrigue really did keep on my toes. Amy had been cast adrift in the palace, not knowing who her contact was or when she should carry out her task of assassinating Dorothy. By being an observer, I got a much better feel of life under Dorothy’s reign and lets just say it is starting to make the Wicked Witch of the Wests tenure much more appealing. Paige really does show case how power can corrupt and in Dorothy she really is corrupted.

As the book neared its climax, Paige managed to pull a few more little twists and the final couple of chapters really did feel as though they came out of the blue. She has tempted us with a few little morsels, which all but guarantee’s I would want to read the next book. (Which I already have sitting on my TBR.)

As for the characters, Paige does a good job in fleshing most of them out, especially Amy and the female members of the Revolution. As with most of these type of stories, you find that there are many shades of grey with the characters.

I think of all the character, including Dorothy and her enterouge, the character I felt the least connection with or kept waiting for the big reveal, was that of Nox. Nox appears to be the only Warlock or Wizard of the Revolution and I think he is supposed to be the romantic love interest for Amy, but I never did warm to him and he was a bit to brooding for my tastes. This may change in the later books but for now I didn’t care for him.

For me the strength of character definitely lay in Amy, Jellia, Glamora, Mombi and Gert and I hope that the Revolution of the order will succeed.

Though the book started off really strong and ended on a cliff-hanger, that ensures that I will read the next installment of the series. Yet the middle made little impact on me and even now all I can remember is that Amy spent some time with the Resistance Group, in order to prepare for her task to assassinate Dorothy. Despite this, I will still read the next book in the series because the cliff hanger gives the promise of a great story.

3 star





1 Dorothy Must Die
2 The Wicked Will Rise
3 Yellow Brick War

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