Review: Dorothy Must Die

18053060Title: Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)

Author: Danielle Paige

Rating: ★★

Provided 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 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.

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:
Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart.
Steal the Scarecrow’s brain.
Take the Lion’s courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

Review: Amy Gumm has many similarities to Dorothy Gale: she is a Kansas girl, and she has been swept away in a tornado to be delivered to Oz. The difference is the Oz both girls land in, since Amy arrives into a land sucked of its resources to fuel its ruler. With the mentioned similarities present, Amy is soon bound to an Order with the goal to rid Oz of Dorothy so the balance can be restored; it will be Amy’s job to kill her.

After my relatively ambivalent reactions to the prequel novella and this book, I have to wonder if this series is for me. The premise is something that is sure to grab all readers, especially those of us who have grown up reading or watching the film version of The Wizard of Oz. But unfortunately, the expectations are never quite delivered. Dorothy continues to act like the petulant child we were exposed to in the prequel novella No Place Like Oz. She has become more of a tyrannical villain since then with her ridiculous rules and punishments, but I still feel as if I am constantly waiting for someone to give her a much-deserved spanking. It is clear her thirst for more and more magic has destroyed the land she loved so much, which is why she needs to be taken down, but the path to get there is so drawn out it is almost ridiculous.

So much of this book could have been edited away. Those around Amy constantly tell her she cannot trust anyone. Nothing is ever straight forward because she never has any questions properly answered, and this became a big problem because it meant she was never able to do much with her mission. The synopsis of the story details what Amy’s mission must be: she has to take out Dorothy’s loyal friends so she might get to the tyrant-in-charge… Yet Amy does not even have a chance to do this until the last chapter of the book because she had no idea it was necessary! I expected to see her accomplishing these deeds far sooner and it makes me wonder if the rest of the books in the series will follow this method. Will Amy be around plenty of people with power that never tell her anything so she might spring into action? Is every book going to be overly long with a tiny bit of action at the very end for the result of another character killed off? A single character dead in each book will take way too long…

I like the setting of Oz and I am curious about many of the characters along with their respective loyalties — since it seems as if everyone is not telling the entire story — but I am not sure I can fully feel immersed in this series unless some things change. There needs to be more of a spark! I’d advise to read this with caution; there are some interesting aspects and there are many elements to frustrate.



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