Who here has grown up reading stories of an Oz that’s wonderful, beautiful and full of genuine happiness? Ok I haven’t but I did see the movie and I loved the retelling of the witches’ story in the musical Wicked. Anyways the Oz in the children books and the Judy Garland movie is not the Oz that is found in Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die. Here Oz has become a dark and twisted due to the return of Dorothy who over the years has become both power and magic hungry.
Meet our protagonist, Amy Gumm. Amy is an ordinary, modern day, pink haired teenager from Kansas whose mission is as the title suggests; to kill Dorothy. Personally I found prefer Amy’s character over Dorothy both the original Dorothy as well as this retelling’s version. And while I was a bit frustrated with how she kept on disregarding the warnings of others to do what she felt was right, I slowly came to accept that this was part of who she was. And in the end it does pay off for her. Another thing that increasingly annoyed me was how ill prepared Amy was in her mission, it felt like she was practically thrown into her mission by those who supposedly “trained” her when she clearly wasn’t ready for such a big task. In addition I was shocked at how vague her instructions were and this in the end had its consequences.
When it comes to the world building, Danielle Paige has done a fantastic job remaking the land of Oz as her own. It was interesting to see how each of the once familiar Wizard of Oz characters were now adapted in this retelling. As a warning though there are some gory parts in this book though given the title it should come as no surprise to the readers. However these are few and they are usually in between the action scenes which are fast paced, exciting and magical of course as it is set in Oz. And while I could have done without the element of romance, (maybe it’s just me but I enjoyed her interactions with the witches more) it thankfully was only a minor part in the entire book so it did not distract too much from main plot and Amy’s mission.
Dorothy Must Die is a thrilling, creative and dark take on a classic children’s novel series that is filled with political intrigue, espionage, and magic. It is also a tale of coming to terms with who you are and accepting yourself. I can’t wait to read more in this series, and strongly suggest that all YA fans pick this book up.
If you like this book, you’ll love: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.