Dorothy Must Die, as the cover indicates, is a YA story set in the world of L. Frank Baum’s Oz. However, Dorothy is not the main character of this novel, that would be young Amy Gumm, trailer-park dweller and an all-around down-on-her-luck type of girl. Amy’s story begins in Kansas, with a terrible addict mother and a really big tornado. Amy finds herself in a strange place after the tornado rips through her town and makes her way through a dilapidated version of Oz you might only see in your nightmares. It appears Dorothy has let all her power go to her head, and Amy is recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked to assassinate Dorothy and save Oz. Dorothy’s old friends are forces to be reckoned with as well, including a vicious Lion, ruthless Tin Man, and the Scarecrow, who rivals Dr. Mengele of Auschwitz fame with his grotesque experiments.
I wanted to like this book, and there were some things I did like. Paige did a great job redeveloping Oz into a dystopia and kept the characters accurate, even if they were a bit more demented than the originals. It definitely made sense with the plot. The story had a lot of promise. I would say that my favorite part of the book was actually the beginning. Amy’s life was mega dysfunctional and how she coped helped make her a more sympathetic character.
The violence/gore was a little in-your-face for a typical YA, but for people who are born and raised on Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and Dexter, this will be right up your alley! Despite the promise that the overall premise initially showed, I felt it was weakly executed and left me rather disappointed with the ending. I didn’t get the results I was expecting. And even more frustrating, it made me feel like it was a really big set up for book 2, which you now have to wait around for.
Overall, it was a decent book and worth a read if you’re interested in the world of Oz. I am curious to see what book 2 has to offer.
Karly Kirkpatrick would stay home and read all day if it were possible. When she’s not reading, she’s teaching stuff, writing, at the movies, or traveling. You can find out more about Karly at www.karlykirkpatrick.com, or look her up on Facebook or Twitter (@karlkirkpatrick).