Amy Gumm is a young girl from Kansas who finds herself swept up in a tornado and dropped into the land of Oz. Of course she’s familiar with the famous story of Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz … who doesn’t know it? But Oz looks different. There’s still a yellow brick road, and Munchkin’s, and flying monkeys, but the road is crumbling, the monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion, and the wicked witches just might be on the ‘good’ side.
Amy learns that things have changed, and not for the better, because of Dorothy. Dorothy, it seems, found a way to return to Oz and she’s taken control in the most wicked of ways. Those who aren’t with her are summarily executed, and so Dorothy has a large, but more scared than willing, following.
And such dictatorship control has led to the creation of the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked – a resistance group that has now recruited Amy because they are convinced that Amy is the only who can kill Dorothy, and in order for Oz to return to its former glory … Dorothy must die!
I’ve read many (not all) of the books in the Oz series by L. Frank Baum and I’ve wondered why more people haven’t written new books and stories set in this world, so when I saw this series in my local library, I was very interested in giving it a read.
Author Danielle Paige has done some homework and created a new, awfully dark, story with many of the characters we’re already familiar with (mostly from the film).
Despite the ruin we find in this world now, and the evil control held by Dorothy, it is fun to visit this world. Paige has done well to show us the changes and have us longing for the world we remember.
The big hurdle, however, is the characters.
None of the characters resembles those we’ve met through the original books or the classic film. We first have to accept this very divergent Dorothy (which I never really bought into), and then the blind following by the Tin Woodsman and Scarecrow and Lion, and a Lion who rips the arm off a servant (in front of a crowd) with his teeth.
The story is interesting (if you like dark fantasy), but really it could have been about anyone because we don’t have much here that resembles our known characters, other than their history.
Looking for a good book? Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige is pretty good dark fantasy but only barely average as a story set in the land of Oz.
I borrowed this book from my local library.
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Dorothy Must Die
author: Danielle Paige
series: Dorothy Must Die #1
publisher: Harper Collins
hardcover, 452 pages