Title: Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige
Publisher: Harper Collins
About: 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.
So, let’s talk Dorothy Must Die. I’m a huge Wizard of Oz fan and I usually love retellings so I really thought that I was going to be totally on board with this one. I turned out to be totally wrong – shocking, I know. This book was reaaaaaaaaaally long. And the pacing wasn’t great either. Also, it’s a series? I wasn’t expecting that.
I felt absolutely no connection to the characters. They would be introduced and then they would disappear (whether it was via death or just plain old leaving). I could tell that I was supposed to be rooting for Amy and Nox, but I really felt nothing for them. If their time together had been a little bit more fleshed out it would’ve helped a bit, but there were weird time hops that did nothing for their story. We would get to an established point, say when Amy gets to the witches, there would be a little bit of the training that was going on and then a throwaway sentence like, ‘It was that way for a few months until…’ It happened when she was at the castle too. I get that it wouldn’t be interesting to read about her cleaning the palace floors for months on end, but there are better, subtler ways to make that jump.
Another big issue I had was that I just couldn’t see this villain as Dorothy. I’m so all for flipping these classic stories on their heads (for example: in Tiger Lily, Wendy as villainous rival felt very organic to me), but this Dorothy, who wears blue gingham everything – I’m talking mermaid dresses, bathrobes, EVERYTHING – and ruby stilettos, I’m just not feeling. She’s written as a caricature of generic evil lady and it didn’t work for me. It could have been done very differently, staying true to who Dorothy is at her core and had someone else pulling her strings the whole time (which is SPOILER ALERT implied at the end anyway) and there wouldn’t have been this disconnect. I think what I’m trying to say is there’s really no reason for this story to be based on The Wizard of Oz.
I unfortunately will not be continuing this series, which is a shame because I was really looking forward to it before I read it.