Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die Series Book One)

Official Synopsis

"I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when our 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 bluebirds. 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 a yellow brick road-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."

Review: Three and a Half out of Five Stars

I went into this with really high expectations. Probably because I usually love Wizard of Oz spinoffs so much...

This book got so much hype from Epic Reads that I was sure it was going to be good. The summary and book made it look super exciting too. Then I got the actual book.

I liked it. It wasn't bad, but I'm not going to go tell people to read it. It's a rather lackluster first book in a series. 

World and Plot: Dorothy Must Die takes place in an AU of Oz where Dorothy has been made princess and her three friends are all ruling members as well. Dorothy and Glinda have been sucking the magic out of Oz for themselves, the Scarecrow sucks out people's brains to inject them into his own, the Tin Woodman (who is no longer just the Tin Man, I guess) is a bloodthirsty leader of the guards, and the Lion literally drinks people's fear. 

Nobody is happy. Woe is Oz. There are those who wish to rebel and those who wish to just get by and go with the flow. Orphans and broken families are everywhere. But nothing is changing until our girl wonder shows up.

Reoccurring Themes: Morality, Trust, Rebellion, Sorrow, Power

Reaction: Sigh. I hate when I get really excited for a book and then 

I feel like this was more of a good idea, bad execution kind of thing. It made the book sound super interesting. The actual story? Meh.

Amy Gumm is introduced as a bullied teenager who lives in a trailer park in Kansas. She proceeds to talk about how much her life sucks. She talks about it so much. There's a lot of telling, not showing. I like my heroes to complain only a certain amount. She crosses the threshold.

A tornado sweeps up her doublewide into the sky and whisks her away to Oz. We land on the edge of a cliff and are saved by the mysterious Pete. He says a bunch of vague things and leaves. Amy stumbles around with her pet rat and meets Indigo. Indigo (the infodumper) lets us know how much Oz sucks. 

Next Amy and Indigo decide to join forces to find the Emerald City. They follow the yellow brick road while avoiding everyone. They come across a wingless monkey that tried to escape enslavement by cutting off his wings. Amy rescues him. This gets the group caught by the evil Tin Woodman (just typing it is awkward. HIS NAME IS THE TIN MAN) and his henchmen. The monkey escapes, Indigo dies, and Amy is taken prisoner. Indigo's death was not all that upsetting. Mostly because she had about a page of character development then was turned into goo.

Dorothy is furious about Amy being from Kansas and orders her to be killed. Before her trial Amy is rescued by a witch named Mombi. Mombi is the leader of the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, or just the Order for short (HMMMMMMM. I feel as though I've heard of something called the Order before. *cough* Phoenix *cough*).

Amy now has to join the order because when Mombi rescued her she bound her with a spell. The other members of the order include Gert, a wise yet sketchy old lady, Glamora, Glinda's twin (yup, never heard of her either), and Nox, the love interest.

Amy goes through a training montage where she learns magic from Gert, how to fight from Nox, and how to be a lady from Glamora. This is all so she can infiltrate the palace and kill Dorothy. The Order doesn't really trust her fully, so they never tell her their plans. This is a reoccurring theme from everyone in the book.

Amy and Nox have a hate but really poorly disguised romantic relationship. It was alright, but nothing over the top wow. 

The Order decides to try and kill the Lion when he gets too close to their hideout but Gert gets killed instead. This kicks the plan into motion and Amy is stuck inside the body of one of Dorothy's handmaids, Astrid.

Amy as Astrid gets to watch Dorothy be awful to people, hang out with her rat, and talk to Pete once in a while. This goes on for only a little while before Amy runs into the monkey she rescued earlier. She decides saving this monkey's sister is more important than her cover. 

After the rescue the palace is looking for the betrayer and the head maid takes the blame because she was working for the Order. At the ball the next day the Order puts magic wards around the castle and has Amy attempt to murder Dorothy. Before she can the Tin Woodman intercedes and attacks. Amy pushes Dorothy and herself off the tower window in an attempted murder/suicide.

Dorothy gets her magic shoes to save her though. Amy gets saved by her monkey friends. They bring her to the Wizard. He tells Amy that in order to kill Dorothy she must get the Tin Woodman's heart, the Scarecrow's brain, and the Lion's courage. Also it turns out Pete is actually Ozma, the true ruler of Oz.


Amy does a lot of moral debate in her head that gets old. She is conflicted over whether killing Dorothy is the right thing. She is conflicted about trusting anyone. Everyone also tells her not to trust anyone. It gets to be a bit irritating.

I'll probably pick up the next one just to see where the series goes from here. It wasn't my cup of tea. I struggled to like Amy a lot of the time, or anyone really.

It's hard to talk about what's wrong with it without trashing it. It did have it's good moments. They were just few and far between. I never got a sense of direction of where the book was going. Everything was just jumbled together jumping from one thing to the next.

No quotes jumped out at me either, so sorry...

Would I recommend it? No, not really. Mostly because I've got so many other books I think are way better.


  1. I was really looking forward to Dorothy Must Die. I hope I'd enjoy it since I as well really loved The Wizard of Oz growing up.


  2. I thought the pacing was off, just too slow in the beginning and too fast at the end. Amy, and all the other females characters for that matter, were very stereotypical leads. Also, why would they put all steps to killing Dorothy on the back of the back?! This seemed like more of a prequel to me. I wasn't the biggest fan either, even though I wanted to be!

    1. That's pretty much how I felt! I was really looking forward to it and it was such a let down.

    2. I love Wicked!!!! Why is there a wicked picture? This book has nothing to do with Broadway's favorite best friends, Elphaba and Galinda/Glinda! If you loved the Wizard of Oz you should watch Wicked NOT Dorothy Must Die!!!