The opening scene in DOROTHY MUST DIE is absolutely compelling and does an excellent job of making readers feel strongly connected to the heroine. Throughout the novel, the writer continues to touch base with the heroine's emotions and deliver them in a way that will resonate strongly with readers. Secondary character development is hit or miss, but the twisted versions of Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Dorothy will scare readers into turning the pages faster just to see what happens next.
The settings are exceptionally well executed. From the small town trailer park to the surreal, gritty version of Oz that exists now that Dorothy is in charge, the setting is atmospheric and dark and feels like a palpable force at work within the story. Readers will love seeing this re-imagined Oz with its darkness, its magic, and its twisted ways.
The ending, while potentially frustrating for readers who love to have their stories tied up neatly, leaves readers wanting the next book immediately. This is a series that will resonate with readers who love dark, gritty, and different, and those readers are going to snatch up every book the instant they become available.
What Left Me Wanting More:
There were moments in the narrative where the lovely weirdness of Oz seems to take over the plot to the point that the reader gets a bit lost as to what exactly is going on. The pacing starts off strong but then slows tremendously once Amy reaches the castle. There is still a great deal of tension, especially when the Tin Man or the Scarecrow come on scene, but there are also a number of moments when a very simple decision would solve the entire problem and coincidence seems to get in the way. Readers who want characters that see the obvious and act upon it may find that frustrating.
Finally, without spoiling the ending, I will say that the book ends up feeling like one long set-up for what will surely be an action-packed and exciting sequel. With so many missions on Amy's To Do list, the ending felt abrupt and anti-climactic. Readers who want every book in a series to carry its own weight with plot resolution and action may want to wait until book two is released before dipping into this series.
Deliciously dark and twisted, DOROTHY MUST DIE is a slow-moving atmospheric story that lays the groundwork for an action-packed sequel.