Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Posted March 29, 2014 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 15 Comments

I was lucky enough to get to read an ARC of this that was sent to the Barnes and Noble where I work part time by HarperCollins.  I was extremely excited to read it because I had been hearing so much about it on other blogs, as well as from Epic Reads, and then the fact that I am supposed to be moderating a discussion panel with the author in May.  Unfortunately, I will not to get to keep the copy of the ARC, because I have to pass it along to the other librarian who will be helping me moderate the panel.  Guess I’ll just have to buy an actual copy of it.  Not sure where that money is coming from at the moment, but I’ve got a month before the author will be visiting.  Anyway, on with my review!

If you haven’t heard about this, as the title might give you a clue, Dorothy is now a bad guy.  She’s come back to Oz and seems to have gone to the dark side.  She wants all the magic for herself, she’s taken over Emerald City as a princess, and has enlisted her friends, the Tin-man, the Scarecrow, and the Lion as her advisers/security.  But as with other story re-tellings, we learn that some of the story may not be quite as it seemed.  Glinda the “good” witch has also become a bad guy, as one of Dorothy’s friends.  The Tin Man is a bit different than pictured as he now has sharpened weapons as part of his tin suit.  The Scarecrow is a bit evil with his experiments that his brain wants him to do, many to only help himself.  And the Lion is pretty evil as well.  He takes the fear of others to increase his “courage”.  The main character of this book however is not Dorothy.  It is Amy Gumm.  Amy also comes from Kansas, but has had a much different upbringing than Dorothy.  She lives in a trailer park with her mother.  Her mother who has emotional problems, as well as drug problems.  The kids at school are horribly mean to her, and when the popular girl, who is also pregnant, punches her at school, Amy gets kicked out.  So Amy walks home, seeing the skies get dark and stormy.  After a fight with her mother, who is leaving for a “tornado” party, the tornado does hit the trailer park, as you would expect from the old adage.  And Amy soon lands in Oz.  A much different looking Oz than she’d seen in the movie.  You see, Dorothy is mining all the magic from the land so that she can hoard it at the Emerald Palace for herself.  And taking the magic has made huge holes in the land, as well as turning it brown and gray, and dead looking.  She is met upon arrival by a very handsome boy with intriguing green eyes.  But he is very mysterious, and while he gives her the directions to follow the yellow brick road, he then disappears.  Amy sees an abandoned Munchkin village along the road, but all the Munchkins are out helping Glinda mine the magic.  One Munchkin ends up helping Amy on her travels.  Other creatures along the way are different than expected, such as the flying monkeys.  Which are now under Dorothy’s command.

Amy must now decide what to do, and who to trust.  She will be arrested for trying to save a creature.  She will see a new friend be destroyed by Dorothy’s minions.  So she knows Dorothy is not a good guy.  She is approached by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, which includes one green familiar looking witch named Mombi, another witch named Gert, and a witch named Glamora, who is a twin to Glinda.  Also, a boy named Nox, handsome in his evil looking way, but at first not a fan of Amy’s.  They have said that Amy is the only one who can defeat Dorothy, because she has come from the same place, Kansas.  She will train with them, but still doesn’t know if she can trust them.  Amy will infiltrate the palace as a servant, to see what she can learn to help with the plan.  While there she will find out just how evil the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man really are now.  She will meet the Wizard, who is also back.  But can he be trusted either?  And back at the palace she will see the mysterious boy who greeted her, and also meet Ozma, the true princess of Oz.  She must decide who to trust, if Dorothy really must die as she’s been told, and if she can really play a role in saving Oz from losing its magic.

A really fun, original read.  One thing that kept me hanging on every page was what would be incorporated from the original story/movie, and how it would be changed, or used to fit this story.  Now, I will admit that I’ve never read the books.  So of course Dorothy’s shoes should be red in my mind.  This book talks about them being silvery.  Any of you who have read the book, is that true?  Or is it one way the author has made it her own story?  Questions I had about how old Dorothy would be in the story, and why she came back, etc.,  I am currently getting answered as I read the prequel There’s No Place Like Oz.  I’m glad in a way that I waited to read the prequel until after, although as I’ve not finished it yet, I don’t know that it would have ruined anything for me to read it before.  I’ll let you know when I review it.  All that said, this is a great book, you need to get your hands on it.  And know, it will be a series, as the ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, and we’re kind of left still not knowing who to trust for sure.

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15 responses to “Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

  1. Kym

    I'm so glad you did a review on this book. I've been dying to read it since November. I relieved a few teaser pages when I went to YALL Fest in South Carolina but I had no idea what to expect in the rest of the book. I'll be buying this ASAP.

  2. I've never read the original, but as far as I know, the shoes were silver. They were also silver in the Broadway and movie musical adaptation, The Wiz. They were only ruby red in the Judy Garland film, as I recall.

  3. I love fairy tale respins (okay, so Wizard of Oz isn't *exactly* a fairytaile…but close enough) and Oz has a special place in my heart (after doing a dance production for it) I will have to check this book out!

    • I tried really hard to not give anything away, but still make it sound good. I'm glad people are liking my review, and I don't think you'll be disappointed when you read it!

  4. Danielle Hammelef

    I recently got this book and have hesitated to read it, but now I want to move it up on my TBR. Yes, the original slippers are silver, not red–my SIL is a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz.

    • Lisa Mandina

      The series was good, the first book especially. Hopefully you’ll give it a try and enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks for visiting!

  5. John Smith

    I like the funny title, but it’s hard for me to picture Dorothy ever being evil. Maybe her little dog, Toto, is, too!

    • Lisa Mandina

      It was a really interesting take on the story! I didn’t think I could either, but it is well thought out. Thanks for visiting!

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