Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1) by Danielle Paige (2014)
YA Fiction | Fantasy
“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 bluebirds. 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 yellow brick road – 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.”
pooled ink Review:
(Okay first of all I love the cover art for these books! It’s actually so perfect.)
Dorothy Must Die is a twisted continuation of the Oz after the fairytale we were all told. This story isn’t quaint, jolly, or enchanting. Rather it is quirky, dark, and dangerous with a punk-ish hue and plenty of sarcastic humor. People are murdered, tortured, drained of magic, and “trailer trash” Amy Gumm from Kansas must decide whether to run, die, or become the dagger for a revolution. If you were hoping to read a rainbow sparkled tale full of skipping, delightful friends, and plenty of tra-la-la-ing then I’m afraid you’ve got the wrong book. Things got seriously screwed up after Dorothy returned. We grew up hearing about her trip over the rainbow but now our faces melt in horror and shame as we witness Part Two of the tale of Dorothy from Kansas. The tale of when she came back.
The villains train a hero so their fight may go on. Although they are technically wicked even they understand the important of balance:
It’s always been the Good versus the Wicked. Magic can’t exist without Goodness. Goodness can’t exist without Wickedness. And Oz can’t exist without magic. -Gert
It sort of makes me think of the movie Megamind (2010) where the villain finally wins…and then finds himself utterly bored and conflicted until one day he suddenly finds himself raising up a hero to fight and becoming sort of good himself. You can’t have good without bad nor bad without good. Dorothy was good but she has long since soured and in turn the wicked witches of Oz have found themselves forming an alliance with the honorable goal of saving Oz. But can the wicked truly have honorable intentions? Do they really want to save Oz or just steal back its magic? And can Dorothy really be so far gone? How could she have become such a monster?
Don’t get too attached to anyone because this isn’t the Oz we all remember. In this plague-infested nightmare anyone could be slaughtered, you’ll never know who’s next.
The idea was creative and fun, I found myself breezing through the book easily. If it were ever to be made into a movie then Tim Burton could be the only logical choice to direct it.
The plot felt original even if it simply turned the beloved story topsy-turvy until it frowned squashed upon its head wondering how the heck it got that way. Amy is so different from Dorothy (both the sweet girl from before and the atrocious diva she is now) and her sarcastic wit really kept the story from falling dull. Plenty goes down in this book and at its conclusion we realize that it was just the beginning.
While very light on the romance, there are plenty other pressing matters to keep the story busy and moving along. It was interesting to be given this alternate side of the Ozians we all knew and loved. Overall a very fun, but whimsically dark read.
Dorothy Must Die draws its readers in with familiarity and then kicks them in the gut by dousing them with the twisted reality of Oz since Dorothy slayed the Wicked Witch of the West. Oz once more in peril summons up another girl from Kansas for Round Two, except this time who is wicked and who is good? An entertaining showdown devoid of mercy or light, you’ll be dying to know the answers.
Purchase here: Dorothy Must Die
Meet Danielle Paige!
Danielle lives in NY. Before turning to YA, she worked in television & was nominated for several Daytime Emmy’s. Dorothy Must Die is her first novel.