Review: Dorothy Must Die

I must give a warning: if you have a lovely, positive picture of Dorothy from the land of Oz in your head, I suggest you look away now. And don’t read this book.

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige takes a whole new approach on the land of Oz – one that isn’t seen in the likes of The Wizard of Oz or the broadway musical Wicked – and tells the tale of ordinary Kansas girl Amy Gumm who, after sitting idly in her trailer, is blown away to the land of Oz.

Sounds familiar, don’t it?

Romeo, Dorothy... same thing.

Romeo, Dorothy… same thing.

The land of Oz that we know it isn’t exactly the same; for starters, the good guys are the bad guys and the bad guys are kinda good but not entirely heroic. Confused? Well, for example, Dorothy isn’t a cute braided little girl with a modest gingham dress and a dough-eyed look anymore; she’s, well, an evil witch to be blunt. And a bit of a ganga, if her description suggests so.

The fact that Paige explores this part of the story – “the other side of Oz” I guess you could say – is the first thing that drew me to this story, and boy did it live up to my expectations. This was one of those “I can hardly put you down” books and I kept reading on and on into the night. I believe I finished this novel in about two or three days and when I finally put it down, declaring it finished, it was well into the morning. The twists and turns – and the “oh no you didn’t” moments – surely made for a delightful story.

This novel was easy to follow and the descriptions that Paige used painted a pretty clear picture in my head. I could easily imagine Glenda waving her wand around, a sickly up-turned smile on her face courtesy of “perm-a-smile”, and I could see the evil-turned-good flying monkeys as if I had seen one casually in the past few days.

Paige’s own take on the characters from Amy’s perspective were interesting to say the least, and it was rather exciting to see how Dorothy’s three companions – the scarecrow, tin man and cowardly lion – turned out. There were a few characters introduced into the story that I wasn’t previously aware of so I’d be lying if I said I were interested in them; I was more curious to see how the characters I knew as a child turned out.

A part of the storyline I thought was a bit how ya goin’ was that Amy, an ordinary girl from Kansas, was all of a sudden trained into being this warrior trained with magic and other swordfighting. I know she was “the chosen one” and all of that, I just find it a bit difficult to grasp that fact. A transformation that quick and that random? Hmmm.

Wid-o-meter
Storyline: 8.2/10
Style of writing: 8/10
Overall: 8.1/10

This book wasn’t a let down from my expectations and I’m glad I “accidentally stumbled” into the book store and then “accidentally wandered around to look at a few books on the shelves”. I can’t wait to “accidentally buy the next installment of the series” to see what happens next in the land of Oz.

Amy vs. Dorothy. Round two. It’s on.

– by Noah La’ulu

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