Title: Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die Trilogy
Date Started: November 17
Date Finished: November 21
Format: Hardcover from my local library
The best way, I think, for me to describe Dorothy Must Die is to point you towards Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland that came out back in 2010. This is the story of what happened after Dorothy went back home and not everything is how we remember it from the book and the movie.
Amy Gumm is your usual girl from Kansas. She’s from a small town, she’s dirt poor, the circumstances never go in her favor, her mom has been different ever since the accident and she is basically on her own. She’s been wanting to get out for years, but it isn’t until the day of the tornado that she decides to actually do it, but the money she’s been saving for her whole life is gone. Her mother took it and left her alone as a tornado is coming towards their trailer home. Amy is stuck inside when the storm hits and she feels the home being lifted by the winds.
When she comes to, she’s not in Kansas anymore. A man named Pete helps her out of the trailer home before it goes over a cliff and welcomes her to Oz. She thinks she’s just dreaming, but that’s until she looks down and sees the road. He tells her that the road – the yellow brick road – wants her to go to the Emerald City. This mysterious stranger disappears and Amy travels down the road taking in the iconic Oz on the way. But it isn’t the same from what she’s seen in the movie and read about in the book. Oz has changed. The town of Munchkinland is almost destroyed. Glinda the good witch isn’t so good anymore. In fact, that’s the lesson that Amy has to learn. Good is Wicked and Wicked is Good. And the characters she’s come to know aren’t who they used to be.
Dorothy is now the ruler of Oz, and she rules with an iron fist. If you piss her off even in the smallest way you are punished severely for your crimes. The Tin Man is now a coldblooded killer. The Scarecrow experiments in his lab, creating monsters. The Cowardly Lion is no longer afraid, even though he feeds on people’s fear to make himself stronger. And as for the Wizard…well…we’ll get to that later. Amy is taken to the Palace and imprisoned for crimes. The only way she gets out is because the mysterious stranger sends a witch by the name of Mombi to her. Mombi though is part of a resistance that’s trying to kill Dorothy and they take Amy in and train her to do the task. Once she is ready, the group sends her into the palace where anything can happen…
I was really skeptical about reading this book. I’ve only read one ‘retelling’ of the Wizard of Oz and that was Wicked last year. I didn’t like it, and wasn’t sure I was going to like this one either. But damn, I’m glad I gave this book a chance. To think that Dorothy somehow becomes a magic obsessed dictator is quite interesting. Her fellow friends becoming the opposite evil version of themselves was also different too. And like I mentioned above, the Wizard was as always a hard character to figure out. But I think the thing that drove my curiosity the most was the back of the book.
REMOVE the Tin Woodman’s heart.
STEAL the Scarecrow’s brain.
TAKE the Lion’s courage.
And then – Dorothy must die.
Only you can make Oz a free land again.
Most of the time blurbs on the back of the book are usually covered in the first 50-100 pages or so, but not with this one. In fact it wasn’t until the end of the book, that this blurb was even mentioned. I guess I should have known something had to go down – this book is part of a trilogy after all – and I’ll admit I’m definitely counting down to when book 2 shows up.
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This book made turns that I wasn’t quite expecting it to make, the only one I was expecting I was really happy they threw in there. But my question is, why isn’t Amy questioning what the witches said about Nox? How they created him? Guess that’s something to wonder about in the next book.
Bookshelf worthy? I’m a collector of (good) retellings, so if I had the room, yes.