Sunday, 17 August 2014

Book Review - Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Series: Dorothy Must Die #1
Original Publication Date: April 1st 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre(s): Fantasy, Retellings, Magic
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted
Pages: 464
Goodreads | Book Depository

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.

The entire concept of Dorothy Must Die is so very awesome! I've never read or even heard of a Wizard of Oz retelling before, so I was very excited to get this book for my birthday - and look at that cover, isn't it beautiful? It's even lovely underneath the dust jacket!

See? I told you so! Now, lets talk about Amy. While I did enjoy Amy's character, I thought she could be a bit selfish and shallow at times. Especially regarding Nox. Although she was adamant she didn't have feelings for Nox, her jealously betrayed her. Other than those small few facts, I think Amy's character development was okay for the first book in a series (trilogy?), I'm sure she'll mature more in the next book.

Nox, Glamora, Gert and Mombi were interesting characters, but they all felt rather one-dimensional to me and they didn't have a lot of range to their personalities.

The plot was very interesting, and although I think it could've been a little bit more condensed, it was overall very enjoyable. I loved learning about what had happened to Oz, even though it made me sad. I do think that the novel could've been shorter, or the pacing could've been a bit quicker, as by the end of it, I was skim-reading the pages just because it felt as though I had been reading for a lifetime.

I really enjoyed Paige's writing, and I think her execution of the concept was very well done. I don't think this novel could've been written by just anyone. For a debut novel, I think Paige has done and exceptional job, and I don't think it could've been written much better. I feel as though Danielle deserves an award, or at least some applause.

Overall, Dorothy Must Die was a wonderful start to a series - I can't wait to read book two.

What is your favourite retelling?

Until next time,


  1. Lovely review! I've never been a fan of the original 'Wizard of Oz', but this concept has definitely grabbed me.
    As for my favourite retelling, it probably has to be 'Jasper Jones' which is an unusual and very roundabout take on 'To Kill a Mockingbird' (if you look at it in an abstract way!)

    Zoe xx

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Zoe! The concept is definitely intriguing. Jasper Jones is definitely a book I need to read soon! <3

  2. Me either, I don't think there HAS been a retelling before this one. I know, a debut too! It was incredible. I was a little hesitant going into it, The Wizard of Oz has been a childhood favorite of mine for over 30 years and I was worried that she'd mess with it and you'd almost take it personally, but *singsongs* LOOOOVED IT!

    I started reading the novella about Dorothy and how she ended up back in Oz. That's just as awesome.
    Brilliant review, makes me want to reread it already <3

    1. YES! I'm so glad you love it! What do you think of the title, blurb and cover release for book number two?

  3. I'm definitely intrigued by this, but everything I hear about Fathom Five really puts me off reading it. I don't want to support a publisher like that. It does sound good though, which makes it so hard to resist picking it up.

    1. I'm assuming that Fathom Five is the UK publisher? Because I'm not sure what you're talking about it...maybe borrow it from the library, if that's possible?


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