Monday, September 29, 2014

No Place Like Oz by Danielle Paige Review

Title: No Place Like Oz
Author: Danielle Paige
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Dorothy Must Die, prequel novella
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: An enchanting start to a promising series--where Dorothy is the villain destroying Oz, no less!--I thoroughly enjoyed No Place Like Oz, and I can't wait to start Dorothy Must Die!

I bought this book and reviewed it.

I love fairy tale or classic retellings; I always have. What's so intriguing to me about this subgroup of literature is its ability to put a different spin on what we consider traditional books. Modern settings can be used to refresh a reader in a classical story, such as the example used here, The Wizard of Oz.

Dorothy Gale--yes, yes, that Dorothy Gale--is unsatisfied with her life in Kansas. Bored, frustrated, and isolated, after seeing the magical, colorful land of Oz, Dorothy just longs for.. more. Suddenly desperate to escape to Oz on her sixteenth birthday, she gets her wish. She is back in Oz, the place where she was a star. But things aren't exactly the same.. And just maybe, neither is Dorothy..

What I enjoyed:
-I loved the premise of this novel--Dorothy breaking bad!--it was really different, and that alone intrigued me and endeared me to this novella
-The pacing of this novel was breakneck--I couldn't put it down!
-Dorothy Gale, the sweet little farmgirl you thought you knew--I loved the way Dorothy was so nuanced, and I liked watching her turn into the bad guy--it was weird and creepy, but in a good, refreshing way
-Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, plain Kansas folk who get swept up in Dorothy's mad quest for power
-The Tin Woodsman, The Cowardly Lion, and Tin Woodsman--I enjoyed the way the author really seemed to make them flawed--it was part of what made the story so compelling
-Ozma, the fairy princess who has the misfortune of being in Dorothy's way--I really enjoyed her, and her complex, love-hate relationship with Dorothy
-Glinda, the witch who brings Dorothy back to Oz
-I loved the ending of the novella--it was amazing, and now I can't wait to read Dorothy Must Die!

What could've been better:
-I wish more had been said of Paige's interpretation of the character of Ozma

Overall, I really, really enjoyed No Place Like Oz! A darkly refreshing take on an American classic! Next on deck: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige!

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