Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Review: Dorothy Must Die - Danielle Paige

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige, published by Harper Collins on 3rd July 2014

Goodreads synopsis:
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...

This book left me feeling giddy with joy!  It's a wonderfully imaginative reimagining of what happened after Dorothy saved Oz and helped to ensure that the Tin Man got a heart, the Scarecrow a brain and the Lion his courage.  I love The Wizard of Oz.  I've seen the musical countless times and my heart always feels lighter after I've watched Judy Garland skip along that yellow brick road.  I'm also a huge fan of Gregory Maguire's Wicked books, so anything to do with Oz lore and I'm your girl.  I adored every page of Dorothy Must Die and I never wanted it to end.  This is a book which I will be picking up to read over and over again and it's one of my top reads of the year.

The main character Amy Gumm is swept away to Oz by a tornado, only to find that everything she had assumed about Dorothy and co from the books and movies is completely wrong.  Dorothy is sucking the magic out of the land and the boundaries between good and wicked have become blurred.  Amy doesn't know who she can trust and soon finds herself becoming embroiled in the politics of Oz as she is recruited to be the girl who will kill the famous Dorothy.  Wow, if that plot doesn't make you want to immediately run out and the door and grab yourself a copy of this book then I don't know what will.  The storyline was amazing and brilliantly combined so many of the elements of Oz that were familiar to me, while at the same time, turning everything on it's head.    

There are some truly wonderful characters in the book.  I loved Ollie the monkey and the kindly witch Gert who is a member of the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.  I also thought Amy was fantastic and such a likeable heroine.  Prepare yourself though for finding out what Glinda is really like and get ready to run and hide when the Lion, who is now quite frankly terrifying, arrives on the scene.    

I was enthralled in the story from start to finish.  I can't believe Danielle Paige left readers hanging at the end where she did but this has only fuelled my desire to read the sequel even more.  There is also an e-book prequel novella called 'No Place Like Oz' which I will definitely be buying. 

Fans of Oz MUST get their hands on this book.  I can't recommend it highly enough.  The writing is lush and original and the narrative just carried me away.  I now have a desire to dye my hair pink and get a plucky rat sidekick.  Sheer brilliance in a book! 

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