Dorothy Must Die
Dorothy Must Die #1
author : danielle paige
pages : [hardcover] 452
memorable quote : Be brave. Be angry. Don’t trust anyone.
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 really wanted to like this book. For the most part, I end up enjoying retellings of fairy tales and things like that and I had hoped that this retelling of the Wizard of Oz was going to be no different. The first section of the book started out perfect. I enjoyed the characters and learning about Amy in her natural setting. I was already rooting for her before she got to Oz! Unfortunately, as soon as she got into that other world-a place almost completely torn apart by none other than Dorothy-things began to drag and I realized that this book was suffering what several do these days. The author was clearly pushing more material into Amy’s journey to lengthen it enough to justify Dorothy Must Die turning into a series.
It’s very, very bad if the things you speak about in the synopsis, the list of steps that Amy needs to take to defeat Dorothy that are written so beautifully on the back of the hardcover edition of this book, never happen in this book. In fact, in the last twenty or so pages, information is crammed in at the last minute because there was apparently no time to more easily integrate that in Amy’s adventure while she was journeying around Oz. She learns what we, the reader, have already known since we decided to pick up the book, if we happened to read what was written about the novel on the back cover.
I will have to say that there were some aspects of this creepily re-imagined Oz that captured my imagination and fascinated me in the worst way. Things in that land have gotten twisted because of Dorothy, which was an interesting concept in itself, but all of her fiends have been warped in different ways as well.
Dorothy Must Die makes many assumptions that you know about Oz, either from the movie or books. Honestly, I don’t know too much more about it than the average person probably does, and more than once I had to try to figure out whether characters were supposed to be legendary figures or if they were Paige’s creations. Horrific, terrifying details couldn’t overrun all of the flaws in this narrative. I won’t even go in detail about how I ended up disappointed about Amy (and the mind-numbing detail we hear while she has a job as a maid. I don’t want to read that much about cleaning)! Like so many YA protagonists, in just a few short weeks she’s magically (not literally, because the magic of Oz has nothing to do with it) able to cast her own spells, fight expertly with knives, and do . . karate moves? There were a few times when it was mentioned she did things like spinning kicks. Did someone ever teach her that?
I probably won’t be recommending this book to anyone, even Oz enthusiasts.