Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
If you are someone who treasures your image of Dorothy as a sweet innocent stay far away from this series because she’s turned into a power hungry, magic thieving tyrant, and it’s going to take another girl from Kansas to set things right in Oz. I often love classic tale updates and this eye-popping twist on the familiar story absolutely thrilled me.
Inspired by Baum’s inventive series and the iconic Judy Garland movie, author Danielle Paige has created a wonderful ironic humored, tough/vulnerable narrative voice in Amy Gumm, a teenager living in a trailer park with her formerly loving but increasingly checked out mother, who’s battling depression with the “help” of alcohol. Amy has been suspended from school because a pregnant popular girl tried to beat her up, but she’s used to being the brunt of bad jokes--cosmic and otherwise--so she’s more upset that her mother is heading to the town’s bar, leaving her alone in their trailer with a big storm is brewing. The resulting tornado sweeps Amy and her snippy pet rat Star over the rainbow and into an decimated Oz that looks nothing like the magical kingdom Dorothy saw on her first trip.
Towns have been destroyed, the landscape has been strip-mined for magic, and while no one Amy meets is willing to tell her what’s going on it soon becomes clear that Dorothy is behind the devastation. Magic confers power and after tasting it Dorothy has gotten greedy, a fate Amy must avoid if she hopes to help restore Oz to its former glory. But it’s a confusing situation because good and evil have flipped so the terms are now meaningless. Glinda, the Tinman, the Lion, and the Scarecrow have followed Dorothy down the yellow brick road of corruption and become truly terrifying--nightmare material--but Amy meets some intriguing potential allies including Indigo, a goth tattooed Munchkin, Pete, an enigmatic boy with wild green eyes, Ollie, a now wingless winged monkey, and an assortment of evil witches trying to put aside their natural animosity to work together. Sort of. And the Wizard is here too, but it’s unclear what side, if any, he’s on.
Everyone believes Amy has landed in Oz to kill Dorothy and remove her from Ozma’s throne, everyone that is except skeptical Amy herself, who is understandably reluctant to become assassin. Plus she’s a powerless nobody back in Kansas, nicknamed Salvation Amy because of her worn out clothing, so how can she be expected to play a major role in the Oz rebellion? But as Amy gets herself into increasing perilous situations she discovers her “crappy” upbringing and the independence it forced her to develop serve her well as she tries to develop her fighting skills and channel the Oz magic that is all around her. With a rich setting, great characters, zip-line paced suspense, and deft touches of humor Dorothy Must Die leaves me eager to read its sequels.