Series: Dorothy Must Die # 1
Published by HarperCollins on April 1, 2014
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.
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!
When you hear the title, Dorothy Must Die, and you picture pretty Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz with her cute pigtails and sweet gingham dress, you know you are in for a twisted ride. In Dorothy Must Die, the characters and the world we know and love are flipped upside down and turned inside out. This Dorothy is a power-hungry, murderous psychopath. She does still have the cute pigtails and the gingham dress, though. The Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion, and even Toto bear little resemblance to their more famous counterparts. Let’s just say that you would not want to cross their paths in Kansas, in Oz, or anywhere.
Amy Gumm is the “new” Dorothy. She’s a poor girl from Kansas, friendless, picked on, and burdened with a mess of a mother. She’s alone in her trailer when a tornado strikes, and she finds herself transported to Oz. Amy knows the story, and she recognizes the yellow brick road, the Munchkins, and the flying monkeys. But something seems…off. This Oz is completely devoid of the brightness and wondrous magic of the other Oz. Instead, Amy immediately finds her life threatened, and she’s forced to decide if she should trust the witches she identifies as “wicked.” There are no easy choices here, and the wrong one will likely result in Amy’s death.
I loved Amy’s introduction to Oz and her gradual realizations of the horrors in this world. Dorothy is a gleeful sadist, and her henchmen – the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Lion – are every bit as terrifying. They are clearly the bad guys, but most of the other characters are difficult to pin down. There are those who want to overthrow Dorothy, but are their motivations purely selfless? It’s critical that Amy’s instincts are on point, but we don’t know whom she should trust any more than she does.
The only weak part in the story was when Amy begins training to take on Dorothy. Up until that point, I was having so much fun exploring all the horrors of Oz, and I was disappointed when the plot slowed down. But when Amy is finally sent on her cloak and dagger mission, everything kicks back into high gear.
Don’t get too comfortable while reading this story, because Danielle Paige has lots of tricks up her sleeve. Just as I was starting to enjoy one character – one who I assumed would play a major role in the story – the character is melted into a gooey pile of blood and skin and bones. Did I mention Dorothy Must Die is dark? And bloody? And violent? And seriously imaginative? I’m already hooked on this twisted world.