Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige Review

Title: Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Dorothy Must Die, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A rich, dark retelling of an American classic, I really enjoyed Dorothy Must Die, for the most part. But the insta-love really put me off the other aspects of the story at times.

I bought this book and reviewed it.

What was so appealing to me about this book wasn't even just that it retold a timeless classic--it was that it depicted a darker, scarier Oz. Ever since reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire, the child in me has been stomping her feet--give me an Oz like that, and I'm sold! And for her part, Paige did the entire series of books justice, but with a more adult spin. Highly recommended.

Amy Gumm is a nobody. So much of a nobody that no one in her hometown of Flat Hill, Kansas, even likes her. Angry, desperate for change, and furious at the hand life deals her, she gets her wish. Amy ends up in Oz. But it isn't all sunshine and rainbows like it seems in the books or movies.. Oz is dying. All of its magic is being sucked up by a dangerous, psychotic despot--a despot named Dorothy. Thrust into a world of dangerous magic, frightening creatures, and a war on the horizon, this nobody has to find the strength inside her to make her own magic.. Or Oz may be completely destroyed..

What I enjoyed:
-I loved the premise of this novel--Dorothy breaking bad and destroying Oz!--and that alone sold me
-The dark, frightening, and yet still magical setting of Dorothy's Oz--it was delightfully creepy, in a Tim Burton kind of way
-The pacing of this novel was breakneck--I couldn't put it down once I started
-Amy Gumm, the young woman who wants nothing more than change, and gets way more than she bargained for in the process--I really enjoyed her character development, and I look forward to seeing where the series is going
-Dorothy, the terrifying, power-drunk monarch who crushes what is left of Oz with an iron fist--what made her so scary to me was her ability to switch moods (and practically personalities) in the space of two seconds
-The Tin Woodsman, The Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow, all twisted to grotesque versions of themselves--all three of them were really frightening, in different ways
-Ollie and Maude
-The witches, especially Gert and Glamora--I really liked the way the script was flipped in this novel, when it came to villains and heros
-That constant question--what is one willing to sacrifice in the name of what is right?--it was kind of creepy the way all the moral lines were blurred
-The ending--I can't wait for the rest of the series!

What could've been better:
-I didn't really like Nox at all, even as he began to soften--his constant arrogance and pestering annoyed me greatly--even as a love interest for Amy, I didn't really like his character
-It bothered me immediately, the way Amy was instantly attracted to Pete, and Nox, later on--it distracted from the other nuances of the story, a lot

Overall, Dorothy Must Die was a dark thrill ride--I really enjoyed it! I look forward to more from this author! Next on deck: Catch Me When I Fall by Vicki Leigh!

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