Series: Dorothy Must Die #1
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-04-01
Length: 480 pages
Reviewing Paperback from My Book Shelf
Reading Challenges: 2018 Take Control of Your TBR, 2018HW
The New York Times bestselling first book in a dark new series that reimagines the Oz saga, from debut author Danielle Paige.
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 a road of yellow brick—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. And—Dorothy must die.
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige is one of my all-time favorite retellings of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It isn’t quite a retelling, but more a continuation of Baum’s classic. Amy Gumm lives in a modern-day Kansas before a tornado sweeps her away to Oz. Her whole life Amy has read the story and wished for an escape like Dorothy’s. Now that she has it though, she realizes Oz isn’t what the books told her it was. The reason why is Dorothy.
I really liked Amy. She is a girl who has had her fair share of troubles in life. Her father left her and her mother without a backward glance, leaving them poor and barely able to make ends meet. A car wreck left her mother a drug addict, and Amy basically had to raise herself. “Salvation Amy” is what they call her at school, a cruel nickname. Now in Oz, she is being touted as the only one that can save the Ozians from Dorothy’s wicked reign. Amy struggles with this concept of being a savior. What is good or wicked? Those lines are blurred for her in Oz, and she finds that she is losing who she thought she was. This internal struggle coupled with the action of the book make for a great read!
The plot follows Amy as she travels to Oz and discovers what has happened there. For Amy, her knowledge (and our own) ends when Dorothy returned to Kansas at the end of Baum’s classic. But Dorothy found a way back to Oz, and her want for Oz’s magic corrupted her and her friends: the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Lion, even little Toto and Glinda. The Oz of this book is in disarray, the citizens oppressed, and the good has become wicked. It’s an interesting twist on the classic. I love that instead of a retelling, it’s a continuation. I liked (even if I was a bit horrified) how the author portrayed my favorite characters and twisted them. It made for an interesting, fast-paced read.
Overall I really enjoyed this book! I liked Amy, and I rooted for her as she struggled with the concept of good and wicked. I will admit that the beginning of the book moved slowly, however once Amy arrives in Oz the action picks up. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys YA fantasy and the Wizard of Oz.