Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)

 
4.0 (3)
 
4.2 (2)
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dorothy.jpg
Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
April 01, 2014
ISBN
978-0062280671
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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 the yellow brick road, though—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. Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

Editor reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
3.7  (3)
Characters 
 
4.3  (3)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (3)
Follow The Yellow Brick Road.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
DOROTHY MUST DIE is set in the same place as the children's novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Most people would immediately recall the classic tale of another world with bright colors and forget the Kansas of brown, white, and gray. The books aren't set in the same time. In fact, Dorothy Must Die comes after the time Dorothy comes back to Oz. Unsatisfied with her ordinary and plain life back in Kansas, Dorothy seeks more power and magic. She, with Glinda (Good Witch of the South) who has turned evil, rules Oz in a very wicked way.

This brings us to Amy Gumm. The sole narrator, she speaks of her terrible life as an outsider in Kansas. (I'd never actually read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but I watched the movie adaptation.) She has some similarities with Dorothy, but after her arrival in Oz, nothing is ever the same. Oz is different, and it has become a much more darker version of itself. She is a full character, who discovers her true self in a magical world. Trained by many Wicked Witches, Amy becomes a rival to Dorothy and her fight is just the beginning.

Her journey through Oz is shocking, and the moving and swifty plot comes with twists and surprises. Nothing is what it seems, and the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, the organization Amy works for and allies with, has its own dubious goals. Amy plays a game of espionage and lies and magic. With every bold move she makes, the closer she dances with death. The storyline moves quickly, and adventure is promised and delivered without hesitation.

Nox is Amy's love interest. They are both trained by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and they share many similarities. The chemistry is there, though Nox's alliance with the Wicked Witches bring drama. Still, there is potential in their relationship.

Princess Ozma is one of the most interesting characters of all. Not the Wizard, who manages to be an actual wizard and not a fake one. Not Amy. Not Dorothy, who is vain and spoiled beyond normal means. Not Nox. Princess Ozma has a certain depth about her, and she is the heart of Oz. Young and charming and slightly insane, she brings a third party, a new card, to the table. She is an entertaining and deadly card of ace, in her own right. She can be worth eleven or one.

In conclusion, DOROTHY MUST DIE is an adventurous book with hidden agendas, magic, and a girl-turned-warrior/assassin. The writing style of Danielle Paige is smooth, and the fighting scenes are amazing. The first book has set everything up in preparation for the sequel. Never before has a retelling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz been so interesting.

Rating: Four out of Five

Source: Library
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Dark & Different
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What I Loved:

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.

Final Verdict:

Deliciously dark and twisted, DOROTHY MUST DIE is a slow-moving atmospheric story that lays the groundwork for an action-packed sequel.
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An excellent retelling with a twist. I will definitely be keeping up with this series.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What I Loved: After hearing all the buzz about this book and seeing that it was a Wizard of Oz retelling/spin-off, I knew I had to give it a shot. For the most part, I was pleasantly pleased with this book. Paige’s writing is great and I loved this spin on such a classic story. Taking such iconic characters and putting such a dark and twisted spin on them was just genius and I really loved being able to visualize them as well as this world in a new light. Having Dorothy as a bad guy and seeing Oz turn into such a desolate and depressing world?! It definitely sparks your curiosity.

Left Me Wanting More: I will admit that there’s a bit of a lull after the beginning, going on towards the middle, where nothing much happens, but I didn’t mind it all that much and once things picked up after that, it was awesome. I also didn’t like how I was left with quite a few questions. Sure, we need the slow build, as this is supposed to be a trilogy, but there were times where I was like “just get on with it already”. After learning about Amy’s various missions that she needs to complete before killing Dorothy, I really think she could’ve at least accomplished one of them in this book.

Final Verdict: I really liked Amy’s character. Being in her head was pretty great. She’s had a rough life and I liked her inner sarcasm and spunk, despite how scared and clueless she might have come across on the outside. Overall, this was a fantastic book and introduction to a series. I’m definitely looking forward to continuing this series.
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User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.2
Plot 
 
4.5  (2)
Characters 
 
4.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (2)
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DOROTHY MUST DIE
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Danielle Paige creates Dorothy’s unhappily ever after in this spectacularly dark retelling. To say I’m impressed is an understatement. Turning good and wicked on its head, the world of Oz is a wreck, and a power-mad Dorothy is to blame. The fairy tale turned nightmare that is Oz and its inhabitants is done perfectly. The rich descriptions allowed me to picture everything so clearly in all its twisted brilliance! The shaping of the world and reimagining of the characters is genius. I thoroughly enjoyed being introduced to the original characters, as gruesome as they’ve become – a vicious Toto, an evil Glinda, the Tin Woodman and his nightmarish police force, the Lion and his hunger for fear, and the Scarecrow and his horrendous experiments. And, of course, the horror that is Dorothy and her rule over the kingdom.

Then comes the other girl from Kansas – Amy Gumm. Her character is spot on. She’s courageous, and loving, and smart, and I really enjoyed her. Amy lands in Oz in a similar way Dorothy did – carried by a tornado – but in a trailer instead of a house, and with a pet rat instead of a dog. I adored these little touches that reflected the original story, and they continued throughout. The rebellion is quick to recruit Amy to their cause, believing she fell out of the sky for a reason. Dorothy must die, and the Order believes Amy is the one to kill her.

I thought the book was fantastic. I had no idea where the story was going and I had no idea who to trust. Every twist and turn was super exciting, building to a powerful finish that left me desperate for more.
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An Amazing Retelling, But Hard to Get Into
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
THE RUN-DOWN
When a tornado goes through the trailer park where Amy lives, she's taken to the land of Oz. Only, it's not the happy munchkin land seen in the books and movies. It's a much darker, messed up place. Dorothy is not the farm girl anymore and has taken over Oz.
Oz is a mess and the only way for things to return the way things were, is to kill Dorothy.
And Amy is the lucky girl to do it.

MY THOUGHTS
This book was one of my most anticipated books of the year and, along with that, there's so much hype surrounding the book, but this book kind of disappointed me. I did like this book, but I expected so much more!

The first issue that I had with this book was how quickly Amy grows used to Oz. Almost right away the tornado takes Amy to Oz, and I was okay with that, but I got the feeling that Amy was okay with this way too early. At first, she believes that she's hallucinating/dreaming because she's in frexing Oz, what else would you think? But she quickly believes that,yes, she's actually in Oz. I just would think that it should take a bit longer to believe that you're in the actual land of Oz, but I guess that's just me.

It also took me awhile to get into the story and connect with any of the characters, but this is probably more my fault than the book's fault. I just happened to have read a majority of this book in public places and/or places that I had difficulty concentrating in, so that might have been why I had a difficult time getting into the book. I was, eventually, able to get into it and connect with the characters (probably when I wasn't reading in nosily public places or trying to read standing up). When this happened I was able to enjoy the story and I actually ended up really liking it! I found the screwed up world of Oz oddly intriguing! So, in the second half or so of the book, I really did enjoy it. But I did have an issue with the fact that the whole book was a lead up to Amy killing Dorothy and then... it doesn't happen. It just kind of disappointed me, since that was the whole point of the story, but I guess there would be no sequel if Dorothy actually died.

To be perfectly honest, there wasn't much action in this book. It was mostly Amy in training and Amy waiting. That was fine, although it did get dull, I did enjoy it but I kind of wish there was...more.

IN CONCLUSION
The only reason why this book didn't get a higher rating is how disconnected I felt throughout the book. which is, that I said, mostly my fault, so I'll probably have to reread this sometime. I will definitely be reading the sequel! I did enjoy this book enough to continue! I also get the feeling that what I what, more action, will be in the sequel!
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