Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Book Review: Dorothy Must Die
I'm going to start by saying something that may not make me the most popular person: I am not a fan of The Wizard of Oz. I'm just not and never have been. Sure, I've seen the movie a few times, but was never really into it. I haven't read the books, and have no desire to. When I first started hearing about Dorothy Must Die, I was 'meh' about it. The premise sounded interesting, but not interesting enough for me to add it to my TBR pile. But then I saw a tweet with a link to the first few chapters and decided to read it. Awesome decision, self! I loved it! Then I eagerly awaited the rest of the chapter releases and found myself needing more, so I pre-ordered it. I haven't pre-ordered a book since Harry Potter, so you know this was a huge book in my mind.

If you haven't read a synopsis yet, here's one from Goodreads:
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!

Intriguing, right? Definitely not the Oz we all know from the movie/books. I loved this version of Oz. It's not sparkly or colourful. It's dark, and gritty, and full of dark magic. Magic that is literally being sucked from the ground for Dorothy's own personal use. People have moving tattoos, the flying monkey's talk, and some have cut off their own wings so they can't be controlled by Dorothy.

Enter Amy Gumm, the other girl from Kansas who arrives the exact same way as Dorothy, but who finds herself in not quite the same predicament. Amy was a bit annoying at first, but she eventually grew on me. She started off very whiney and kind of bratty, but I found myself liking her as the story went on.

There are a lot of characters in this book. The ones we all know are there, but there are lots of new ones, some of whom make up the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. Gert is a seemingly crazy old witch, Glamora is Glinda's twin sister (Glinda is part of Dorothy's entourage), Mombi is another witch who seems to be hiding things, and Nox is a mysterious orphan and one of the only male members of the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and therefore, Amy's love interest.

I don't even really know how to review this book without giving anything away. The Order is badass, Dorothy is super evil and creepy, walking around in tight dresses and forcing her minions to wear PermaSmile (aka Oz's botox?) and changing night and day to suit her needs. She is the worst kind of crazy because I think she genuinely thinks what she does is normal. She sees herself as a princess after all.

The Order has given Amy one mission - to kill Dorothy, so Amy enters Dorothy's palace as an undercover maid and of course, all sorts of things happen. Not limited to a moving picture that can show you whatever you want to see, the Scarecrow's terrifying lab where he literally reconfigures people, and the weird maze in the garden. Oh, and Pete who Amy meets when she first gets to Oz who seems to show up in not-so random situations and has more to him than what we find out in this book.

I'm so glad that there's at least two more books planned because I need more. More action, more answers, and more Oz. This book will appeal to those hardcore Wizard of Oz fans and those like me who aren't really fans. Just don't go expecting the Oz we all know. Though, with a title like Dorothy Must Die, I don't know how you can expect to find the Oz from The Wizard of Oz.

If you're not convinced, go here to read the first twelve chapters. I bet you'll be hooked after.

5 out of 5 stars based on Goodreads rating system.

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