Series: Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige
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.
"Simple. You're going to kill her." She looked right at me and said, "Dorothy must die."
My childhood does not associate The Wizard Of Oz with happy memories, when i was a kid i hated The Wizard Of Oz, the munchkins gave me the heebie-jeebies, those three with the lollipops? What were they called? The lollipop club? Creeped me out! Then the Wicked Witch with her flying monkeys, freaked the crap out of me! But i still watched it, and it still gave me nightmares, between the munchkins, the flying monkeys, the Wicked Witch and the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang i had a right cast of terrors. So after experiencing a childhood filled with night terrors courtesy of the cast how could i possibly refuse another trip back into Oz, down that yellow brick road?
"Auntie Em, Auntie Em, it's a twister!" Sorry to tell you, this isn't a quote from the book and neither Dorothy or Oz are what you remember. Gone is the sweet as sugar, cheery girl who dances with munchkins and only dreams of going home, no longer is Oz filled with the joy of laughter and doesn't carry songs in the wind. Any ideas you have of Oz and Dorothy, leave them at the door because Oz has changed and so has Dorothy.
If i hadn't read the story, i wouldn't believe that she had ever lived on a farm. She had shed that girl long ago and replaced it with a poised, haughty princess.
Amy Gumm, is just trailer trash from Kansas, bullied and a loner known to the other kids at school as 'Salvation Amy'. Living with her no good mum, who has been a hot mess for years and makes Amy's already shitty life even worse. Amy is miserable, bullied at school and unhappy at home all she does is dream of leaving Kansas at the misery of her life. Little does she know her wish is about to be granted when a twister sweeps into town and dumps Amy and her mum's pet rat Star straight into Oz.
When Amy arrives in Oz she meets Pete, a mysterious boy who Amy strikes up a strange friendship with, he arrives though out the story at random times but doesn't give Amy the answers she craves. Honestly at first i though Pete was the intended heart throb but the only way i could imagine him was as Peter Dinklage, even though he's supposed to be a teenage boy, the image just wouldn't go, so i rolled with it.
Amy doesn't have to spend long in Oz before she realizes this is not the Oz wrote about in the stories, on in the films. There are no singing munchkins ready to greet her, no friends ready to skip down the yellow brick road, there's no laughter, no singing, nothing. The munchkin towns are deserted and flying monkeys are tied to trees as punishment for the crime of 'sass'. The tree's don't talk, and the 'happiness decree' is only really in place to ensure Dorothy's happiness.
This wasn't the Oz that i had read about or seen the movie. It was as if someone had drained out some of the technicolor and introduced some serious darkness.
It isn't long before Amy has a run in with the Tin man, and he definitely isn't how he was described in the stories, she soon finds out that each of Dorothy's most loyal companions are all warped and corrupted and not at all what they are like in the book. The Tin Man has a force of Tin soldiers that the Scarecrow created with his brilliant yet evil brain in his disturbing laboratory where he creates and experiments on living beings to try aid Dorothy's cause. The Lion who once feared all the creatures and beasts of the forest now controls them all and feeds off the fear of his victims. Does nothing in Oz remain as it was before Dorothy began her reign?
Dorothy is hungry for power, she's had a taste for magic and she liked it. Dorothy and Glinda (the 'Good Witch') are mining all of Oz's magic, using the munchkin's to do the work they are draining all of the magic from Oz as bringing it to the Emerald City to feel their need for power. Only Dorothy and her 'friends' are allowed to use magic, any one else found to be using magic will be punished accordingly. She's hated and feared more than anything in the realm of Oz, in her reign of terror she has corrupted the good and warped Oz in to a dark and dangerous place.
Here stands Dorothy Gale, it read. She who arrived on the wind, slayed the wicked, and freed the Munchkins.
Oz has always worked off balance, the Good and the Wicked, even they have changed roles under Dorothy's reign, with Glinda the most powerful good witch on her side the Wicked Witches are forced into hiding and forming a revolution. Amy is recruited by the Revolutionary Order Of The Wicked to help them defeat Dorothy, they believe that as she too came from 'the Other Side' she is the only one who will be able to kill Dorothy once and for all. And so they begin training her, Glamora (Glinda's identical twin), Mombi, Gert and Nox all do their part in training Amy to become an assassin.
Nox has been part of the order from a young age, they saved him as a child from a village that has been ruined by Dorothy and her minions, he is now the best fighter the Wicked have and they entrust Amy's training to him. Though out Amy's training the two strike up a very slow burning attraction, and it is lovely. Nox gives me butterflies, i swear he seriously is that delicious. I seriously love the two of them together and the fact that their relationship is very slowly developing, never once did it take from the plot it only ever added depth and loveliness.
"It's a Magril- a bird that' native to Gillikin Country. It spends half it's life as a beetle, and when it's an adult, it goes to sleep for a year and wakes up as this majestic creature."
"Kind of like a butterfuly."
"Kind of like you," he said. I didn't have an answer to that.
At the beginning of the story i seriously disliked Amy, she was such a whiner! I remember thinking to myself 'i hope we see her develop into someone amazing' and we did, it was such a brilliant transformation, from the weak, insecure, bullied girl she was to the confident fighter she became. I started off pretty much hating her, to really liking her and seeing her develop and come over all of her insecurities and issues make me like and connect with her so much more.
This story really was delightful, i enjoyed it so much! It is alot more plot based rather than romance or anything else, but that really didn't matter at all. The setting and the characters were both fantastic. The characters were all nicely rounded and i mean it's Oz, it's already an incredible setting but the warped version Paige created made a delicious twist on a classic tale.
The story is action packed and full of curve balls, that will keep you on the edge of your seat and cheering for the Wicked in their fight against the Good. The ending was a cliffhanger which has left me thirsty for another round of Oz and the other girl from Kansas.
"People of Oz!" she yelled. "Dorothy's tyranny has lasted long enough! It's time for us to rise up! It is time for us to reclaim the magic that is rightfully ours! My fellow Ozians-in times like these, the Wicked will rise!"