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!
Goodreads | Author | Amazon
Source:ARC provided by Amazon Vine for my honest review
I’m a big fan of dark twists on old favorites. Just look at that cover and title – DOROTHY MUST DIE. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. I’m sorry to say that while it delivered on the dark and gruesome, it fell short in almost every other way for me.
It started off great. Amy Gumm is living with her alcoholic, pill popping mom in a trailer park. She’s bullied at school. Life sucks and then a tornado hits. When Amy is first whisked into Oz she’s kind of happy about it. It’s a way to escape her horrible life and enter into a world that she’s seen over and over as a means of escape on her TV screen. Except this isn’t the Dorothy of the movies and Amy has to face down far worse than her neglectful mother.
Once I made it through the first few exciting chapters, I realized that I didn’t like Amy. Kansas Amy is complex, troubled and flawed. Oz Amy is constantly questioning (& I do mean constantly…almost every action is followed by a paragraph of questioning if it was the right or wrong thing to do) and thrown from situation to situation so fast that I couldn’t really connect with her or the characters she meets along the way.
I loved the perversion of an evil Dorothy and it was all explained quite well. Things are dark and evil in Oz. Amy must find people she can trust to defeat Dorothy. But every time Amy meets a cool new character –Indigo, the Munchkin, Pete, her rescuer, Ollie the wingless monkey – the story seems to turn and then she’s with new people. All interesting…but they weren't given enough page time to interact and develop.
The romance landed like a lead balloon. I have no idea why it was even in there at this point in the series. It was instant, unexplained and angsty for no reason IMO. Not awful but not compelling either.
This story is very descriptive and fascinating, although it felt very similar to the world of Harry Potter at times. There’s a lot of build up without a lot of reward to the reader at the end. At just over 500 pages, I would have hoped for more.
Oh well…this just wasn’t for me but not horrible. I think a lot of people would enjoy it. You can check out my friend Wendy’s review on The Midnight Garden here. She had a few of the same issues but enjoyed it overall. And you can read the first 12 chapters on Epic Reads to see if it’s for you.