17/10/2014

Review: Dorothy Must Die {Danielle Paige}



Written by Danielle Paige

Amy Gumm never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where winged monkeys are executed for rebellion and the yellow brick road lays crumbling. A place where good witches can't be trusted, and the Wicked could be the saviours of everything. What happened? Dorothy. When Amy gets swept up by a tornado, ripped from Kansas and thrown into Oz, she's recruited by the Wicked. And they have one very simple mission: Dorothy must die.

When Dorothy returned to Oz she twisted it into a hellish place where her word is law. And Oz under Dorothy's reign is a decaying wasteland, sickly grey and blotched with black. Danielle Paige carefully paints the world so each gruesome description adds another water-coloured swatch to the picture, creating an image oozing with death and dystopia.

What's more, Dorothy's beloved friends have been moulded into grotesque versions of themselves: the Scarecrow uses his brain to torture and mutilate, creating armies of patchwork creatures; the Tinman's heart is so devoted to Dorothy that he is willing to do anything it takes to please her; the Lion's new courage has turned into a lust for blood and brutality.

But with all that potential, I couldn't get over how annoying Amy was. When we were following her along the yellow brick road I could forget as I stayed enamoured with the descriptions of Oz. But when she joins the Order, she spends her time in their base and so there was no magical prose to distract me from how frustrating she was.

The Wicked witches were also disappointing. I wanted their characters to actually be wicked, so that it would add to how twisted Oz had become. But these witches were good people and there was nothing deeper to their characters. It felt like a missed opportunity.

I also had an issue with the Order's plan to kill Dorothy. Why was Amy so special? Why could only she kill Dorothy? The Order are adamant that a random teenager who doesn't know any magic and doesn't have any fighting skills has a better chance of killing Dorothy then them? Them being trained Witches and Wizards skilled in magic and combat. Why? Oh, because Amy is from Kansas and so obviously she thinks like Dorothy. The logic was kind of ridiculous. And the fact that Amy starts training and just happens to be innately powerful once she learns how to use magic felt very Mary Sue.
 
I loved the gory descriptions littered through the pages, showing an Oz both diabolical and desperate to be saved. If the characters had been more developed and unique – less like recycled versions of people I've read about so many times – this could've been a stand-out read. As it was, it wasn't mind-blowing. That being said, the ending was great and there was a nice twist which left me intrigued enough to want to check out the second book at some point.

"There's no place like anywhere but here." 

 
Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart
https://twitter.com/allie_LBBhttps://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8969137-allie-little-birdie-bookshttp://instagram.com/allie_LBBhttp://www.pinterest.com/allie_LBB/pins/http://outofkoolaid.tumblr.com/
 

34 comments:

  1. Oh no...HC just hooked me up with a copy soooo....perhaps this one goes to the bottom of the TBR so important things like Blue Lily and Mara can be prioritised ;)

    Frustrating protagonists are just the worst. I just can't empathise with them because I'm so distracted by how irked I am by them. Plot holes and Mary Sues will probably end me and the two of them together in one book? Definitely a big no no. Thanks for the fabulous review, sweets! You've saved me a lot of precious time :DD

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    1. And you've just read Blue Lily so YAY FOR PRIORITIES. I'm so going to twitter spam you now and demand your feels!

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  2. The witches and Amy's annoyingness sounds like elements that should have been positives not disappointing. Sad day

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    1. Yeah, I felt let down by the lack of Wickedness. Still, the descriptions were great!

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  3. I have heard so many great things about this book that I really want to read it. I am a little sad you didn't love it more but it is understandable at the same time. I knew when I bought it that it would be one of those reads that wouldn't be for everyone. I am really hoping I like it though.

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    1. It's not a bad book at all, I just wanted it to be a bit more dark and, because the witches weren't 'bad' it wasn't as sinister as I wanted it to be. I hope you like it!

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  4. Aww damn, I was hoping for something amazing, especially with the reviews I've seen, but dang, I'm sorry this was disappointing for you hunny, such a shame.. but I'm glad in a selfish way, because now I can avoid this more :P

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    1. LOL. I'm still intrigued to read the second book, so it shows it wasn't all bad!

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  5. Fantastic review, Allie! I certainly agree that this could've been a stand-out read. I really enjoyed this when I read it earlier this year, but looking back now, I can see more of the faults. Especially in the characters. Like you, I loved the idea of Oz, but was disappointed with the execution.

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    1. I thought Oz was done well, but the characters let it down. The melting scene with the apples was awesome though! Very gruesome.

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  6. I was always on the fence about this book, leaning toward no. Now, I think I am pretty sure it's going to be a pass. I hate the idea of an annoying protagonist, and I definitely cannot handle "convenient" plots. Thanks for a great review!!

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    1. Oh, I'd hate for you to pass on it because of me. Honestly, it's worth a read, don't feel put off!

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  7. Dangit. Wicked witches who aren't wicked enough?! I mean, that's NOT OKAY. I want real evil when I'm reading about witches. *nods* I'm sooo nervous to read this because I've read a lot of reviews that say it's kind of "meh" in places and it's huge (which I have a phobia about). But I'LL GET TO IT, MY PRETTY, IF IT'S THE LAST THING I DO.

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    1. WE NEED WICKEDNESS. You and I thrive off of evil characters we love to hate. Maybe because they remind us of our evil alter-egos? :P

      It's actually not big! Well, my copy wasn't. It was . . . average-size? It wouldn't make a great weapon when we reach the apocalypse

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  8. I've heard some wonderful things about this book, but knowing that Amy is so frustratingly Mary-Sue and perfect is a HUGE turnoff. And you're totally right, how can she be the chosen one simply because she comes from Kansas. Seriously, wtf! Still, I've enjoyed watching Wicked, so I'm all up for a good twist to the much beloved tale. I will get around to this one day...but probably not soon. Thanks for your honest review xx

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    1. I'm hoping the 'chosen one' thing will be explained in book 2. Because if it's not I won't be impressed!

      I loved Wicked! That's the main reason I wanted more from the witches in this. Unfortunately it didn't happen :(

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  9. The whole concept sounds really interesting. I love when fairy tales are retold in a twisted version.I hope I'll be able to get a copy soon, I think it would make a great halloween read.

    P.S-I am a new follower by the way.Your blog is really pretty.

    Mishma @ As the page turns

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    1. It'd definitely be good for Halloween – one scene in particular is pretty gruesome!

      (I'm glad you love the blog! <3 Thanks for following!)

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  10. Awww, I actually did love this book because the twisted version of Oz was wonderfully imaginative. I can totally see how Amy is the Mary Sue character though, heroic and everyone wants to help her. You highlighted the best and worst part of the book - great review love!

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    1. Ohh, I'm glad you loved it! I liked how twisted Oz was, but there were some things that I couldn't get my head around. I think I wanted Dorothy to be less cliché and just in general I wanted more darkness? I'm a hard woman to please haha

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  11. I can't believe you just read this one Allie! I think I gave this one about three stars, even though I was so excited for this one I felt like it ended up seeing like a really long prologue. The real plot (that's hinted at in the synopsis of the book) is only really set up in the end for book number two so that was a major issue for me. That being said, like you, I enjoyed the scenery and change of pace to the whole project. Lovely review Allie!

    P.S Did you hear Danielle Pagie's comments yesterday on twitter about Katherine Hale? I'm not a hundred percent sure If i'll be reading her sequel now.

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    1. Yeah, I thought that about the synopsis too! I was like . . . uhm, that's not even the plot here? That's why I edited it slightly for my review, because I felt like that synopsis was totally misleading. It was just a lead for book 2.

      No, what did she say? Going to 'stalk' (HAH) her twitter now and see

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  12. I want to read this book so bad!! It is definitely on my TBR list.

    I have nominated you for an award. I hope that you have fun with it but no pressure. Check out my post: http://beansbookreviews.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award/

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    1. I hope you like it when you get round to reading!

      (Thanks for the nomination, but this is an award-free blog. Appreciate it though!)

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  13. I completely agree with everything you've said here Allie! :D I too found myself engrossed in the grim and bleak setting of Oz, but I found the characters a bit disappointing and one-sided. Their actions - to me at least - were so predicate, and I was kind of disappointed none of them had any interior motives or what not. (All the good guys from the original story were bad, and vise versa, which makes it a bit predictable).

    Anyhow, thanks for sharing and, as always, FABULOUS review! <3

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    1. Yeah, the whole thing was very predictable and just a little less thrilling than I'd hoped. That being said you-know-who turning out to be YOU-KNOW-WHO was a little twist I didn't see coming!

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  14. I've heard the exact same thoughts from other bloggers. They loved the twists but hated Amy. I don't know how to feel about this one. On one hand, I want to read it because it's a "retelling" but on the other I don't want to get frustrated at Amy. I feel like I may rate this book even lower than everyone else. Down the tbr it goes xD Great review, Allie!

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    1. I think it's definitely divided bloggers! I just wanted Amy to be a let less typical and a little more unique. I hate reading about a character I've already read about a thousand times :(

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  15. The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies and I ended up loving the imaginative tale. I liked Amy in the beginning, she has that sass going on and seemed like she had herself together and wouldn't be pushed around... I don't know where it started to go wrong but she started to irritate me too. But lucky for me the world building lured me in and I loved it. I hope book two ties up those loose ends though.

    The thing with Twitter and the author supporting Hale,I just can't commit to reading the second book at this point, as much as it kills me not to. It's the principal of it now.
    Incredible review Allie, I always adore your reviews, so brilliant and really concise <3

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    1. Shamefully, I haven't seen the original film. It's one of those things I rarely admit, for fear of being judged :P But I've read the book and I've seen plenty of adaptations, all of which I've LOVED.

      Amy had great sass and determination, but there was so much about her character that I couldn't get past. Like her inability to listen, or her miraculous ability to be an awesomely powerful witch even though she had hardly any training. It's just a little odd!

      OMG YES. The Hale thing. I saw that and . . . well, now I'm debating about the second book. And the way she said she was kidding after? Hmmm, doubt it

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  16. Great review. I have been trying to decide whether I want to read this book. On the one hand, the Oz element and evil Dorothy aspect made it really appeal to me. But on the other, it's a Full Fathom Five book and I don't really want to support them and the contracts they make authors sign. I don't know. I'm torn. It doesn't sound good enough to justify paying the money and supporting a publisher that I really don't agree with. I might borrow it if I see it at work, that would make me feel less guilty ;) haha

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    1. The evil Dorothy thing was what I was most looking forward to, but alas, Dorothy was just another excuse to slut-shame and had no true depth :)

      FFF books are . . . blah. I hate supporting them too. I think this is my first FFF book though and I think it'll be my last, because I'm hearing more bad crap as the days go on. It's hard to balance what I'm intrigued to read with not ever wanting to line the pockets of certain authors or publishers

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  17. I've been debating picking this one up for a while, glad to hear it's gory, haha, and that ending was good! Since it wasn't mind-blowing, maybe I'll wait until the next book comes out! Thanks for the awesome review!

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    1. There's one scene in particular that's VERY gory (and all the more awesome for it!).

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