30 June 2015
Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
I will say, I have never really been the greatest fan of the Wizard of Oz. I never saw it as a young child, and by the time I did finally see it I had reached the age where I wasn't all that impressed by the special effects or scared of the flying monkeys. Still, I am a sucker for a good fractured fairy tale, and I've read a lot of hype about this novel (I was even wait listed to get it from the library even though it's now over a year old).
Though this may be an unpopular opinion, I was not a big fan of this novel. Amy is stuck in a life no one would wish for. As if living in Kansas isn't bad enough, her mother has basically checked out on life since her father left and her mother was injured in an accident. Amy is almost the topic of ridicule at school, since she is of the Trailer Park type, and even gets in trouble for punching a pregnant girl (ahhh, you just gotta love teen moms) when the pregnant girl accuses her of trying to steal her baby daddy away. Talk about teen drama.
Needless to say, when Amy's mom ditches her and leaves her in the trailer alone while the tornado comes (I didn't realize tornadoes had almost as much warning as hurricanes did, but apparently they do), she sees it as a bit of vacation. And when her trailer is whisked away, and she lands in Oz, she isn't tapping her heels together saying, "There's no place like home." Once we get to Oz, I actually rather like the plot of the story. Our affable Dorothy has become a power crazed, magic grabbing anarchist, leaving Oz a very unhappy place. Amy gangs up with a few repressed citizens of Oz to try to tip the scales against Dorothy and her power crazed gang (the lion, the tin man, and the scarecrow).
Unfortunately, Paige's execution of the plot is less than stellar. Tallying in at just over 450 pages, this book is long, rather boring, and a bit tedious. The only character who has real potential for development is Amy herself, and I don't see it in this novel. The other characters (including a flying monkey who no longer has wings and a pet rat who hitchhikes to Oz) are too fantastical to need personalities, and it leaves a large disconnect between the reader and the story.
I feel like Paige might be able to salvage the series with the next novel, and it leaves room for more action is she can cut away a lot of the fat in the plot. But if it is anywhere near as long as this novel, I'll probably pass. Unlike Amy, I'd rather be home, doing something more productive with my time.