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 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.1
Amy Gumm is like any other relatable teenage girl growing up in a trailer park with a mother with addictions and a high school bully who is pregnant. If that’s not enough Amy is left alone in the abandoned trailer park when a tornado rips through Kansas. Amy awakes to be saved by a strange boy with emerald green eyes to find herself in Oz. she can’t help but laugh and assume she is either dead or dreaming but the munchkins and the yellow brick road feel a little too real for her liking. We all know the story as much as Amy does, but the Oz Amy has landed in has changed to the extreme and Dorothy is to blame.
The famous characters from the beloved tale that we all know and love are back but with a sinister twist. Dorothy has come back to Oz and she is harvesting every last drop of magic to use for herself. With new and improved ruby pumps, Dorothy rules through fear and death causing many people of Oz to submit to her torment or remain in hiding.
When Amy, the mysterious girl from Kansas arrives in Oz by tornado, a group known as the Order of the Wicked recruit her to their cause. To conquer Dorothy and take back Oz, the wicked must rise and Dorothy must die.
The title and the concept are huge selling features for this novel and kudos to Danielle Paige for tapping into this market and harvesting every last penny out of the idea she can with a collection of novels and novellas to cash in on.
In case you missed the sarcasm in the first paragraph, authors must always try to make a unique, engaging and relatable character. Amy’s relate-ability comes from her lowly circumstances and expectations to never amount to anything. But like any good heroine in any novel, she quickly finds her way out of her crummy situation, gains magical powers and sets off on a journey in a magical land to kick some magical butt. I had difficulty keeping it together when her bully at school turned out to be a trashy glossy pregnant girl…really? Moving on. We land in Oz. Things are messed up and crazy. Dorothy who in reality is about 85 years old is kept young and beautiful as a whinny teenage girl who flaunts her assets in skimpy gingam dresses and towering ruby heels. Her old friends are still around but with very obvious adjustments. The Tin man has made some Tin adjustments and is in charge of a regiment of tin soldiers many of which were created by the Scarecrow. The Scarecrow is now a mad scientist who spends his time injecting liquid brains into his head and experimenting on people and creatures to create abominations. And our cowardly lion is now a bulking giant mass who feeds on the fear of others which increases his size.
Obviously it is a unique twist on an old favorite so props for thinking about this one but it lost steam very fast and without the catchy cover and fan base of Oz fans I’m not sure this would have made it as far as it did. The plot of the story is as the title says Dorothy Must Die but halfway into the story Amy Gumm just so happens to have the perfect opportunity to do just that but where would we be if the story was that short and sweet? We would have more money for better books and more time on our hands, that’s where. Amy avoids killing Dorothy because the Order of the Wicked have a plan and she doesn’t want to ruin it. So she loses her opportunity and is left isolated until the Order reveals their plan is to kill Dorothy! Insert crickets. Yo, Wacky witches? That was the plan the whole time! Ugh. So then the plan goes into action. People die and things become horribly messed up and now we have to deal with more books.
It was a fun little jaunt back into Oz and we all had fun with the wacky little twists and turns around the yellow and poison brick road but I’ll be taking the next tornado out of Oz and ending my journey with this series right here. I was further perturbed by the comparison of the series to that of Cinder by Marissa Meyer which was an amazing must read series and not a gimmicky tease. If you loved this series I would love to hear from you and your reasons why you were able to drag your battered and broken body over the yellowed cobbled stones of Oz and survived to tell the tale.
- Book summary courtesy of Danielle Paige’s website.