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.
- Goodreads Synopsis
Ever since I found out that this book was going to be released I already knew that I would have to buy it. I have always been a big fan of The Wizard of Oz ever since I was seven years old when I first saw the musical live at one of my local theatres. I have only read the first book in the series, but I do plan on reading the rest and I`m really excited to see Wicked live for the very first time!
The Wizard of Oz is a timeless tale and Danielle took a big risk writing this book because The Wizard of Oz is very well known and so many people love it. I always admire authors who take that leap and make it their own and I always love a good retelling or a continuation of classic tales.
So this book follows the character Amy Gumm, she has pink hair and I don`t know why but that was one of my favourite things about her. Whenever I read a book, one thing that I always look for is character growth. We get to see so much character growth in Amy. In the beginning of the book, she already is a strong character in general but we still got to see her grow, emotionally, physically and also with her magic.
In this book, we learn that Amy has been suffering for mostly all of her life. Her father left her, a girl named Madison Pendleton was always bullying and her mother started drinking and taking pills. I haven't really read many books with a character who has an addict for a mother, I found it interesting to read about how their relationship was in the past and how it is in the present. It was very bittersweet to read about her past with her mother knowing how her mother turned out. One of the quotes that really stuck out to me was something that her mother said to Amy when she was young while they were watching The Wizard of Oz.
"You don't need wheels on your house to get somewhere better. All you need is something to give you that extra push."
To me, that quote showed how much Amy's mother believed in Amy and how much she cared and loved her. Now, she is an alcoholic who blamed Amy for ruining her life, left her in the tornado and
stopped caring for Amy at all. Danielle did a wonderful job writing and describing how Amy felt in those sad moments.
For a few pages of this novel Amy is being taunted by Madison. I really wasn't a fan of Madison, I don't think anyone is. I honestly found her very, very annoying. I don't think she was a very well written character to be honest. Her lines were childish and immature even when she was older and in high school. I don't know if that was how she was supposed to act but I really don't think she was well written.
There is another character who appears later on in the story, named Melindra. I didn't like her very much either, to me she seemed quite similar to Madison so I couldn't stand her.
Amy gets to Oz the same way as Dorothy did, by a cyclone/tornado. I love how Danielle incorporated her story with the original story by Frank Baum especially in the beginning. Dorothy wanted to run away, so does Amy and they both have a trusty animal companion that travels with them to the land of Oz.
As soon as Amy gets to Oz we are introduced to some new characters. Some of these characters are only there for what seemed like a short period of time, yet I grew very attached to those characters in that tiny span of time. *cough* *cough* Indigo *cough* In the beginning this book is actually quite light from what I expected but it takes a dark turn very fast. I quite like dark and creepy stories so I found it very enjoyable to read.
This Oz that we read about is the opposite of the Oz that we saw and knew. Everything has taken a dark turn, even the characters that we thought would always stay the same. The Tin Woodman, the lion, the scarecrow have all grown very dark and it was sometimes disturbing to read about. I am again going to compliment Danielle's writing, she describes everything so well and you will always have a detailed and vivid image in your head which makes the reading experience even more enjoyable then it already was.
One of the characters that is also different from the original is the one and only Dorothy Gale. In the synopsis, it is said that the power went to her head and let me tell you it did. Some of things that are mentioned throughout the novel sometimes seemed comedic. Such as the bacon inspection because she doesn't like it too crispy or she only eats the tops of the muffins and gives the bottoms to her servants. There is a particular scene which was probably one of favourites...
"What do you think of my hair?" she demanded. She ran a long red nail through one of her curls. She had to be kidding. "Well?" She asked. She wasn't kidding. My life was about to be judged by how sincerely I delivered a trivial compliment. Luckily, I had a lot of practise with humouring popular girls. Madison Pendleton taught me well. "It's so pretty," I said sweetly. "And so shiny." I added for good measure when she looked unconvinced.
Dorothy smiled and clapped her hands together and leaned over to Ozma with an expression of deep confidentiality. "Ozma likes my hair, too," she said in a stage whisper. Ozma just started straight ahead with an unchanging expression.
I absolutely loved that scene, it was probably one of my favourites. As I said before, Oz has taken a very dark turn. So dark that the flying monkeys are cutting off their wings and are being punished for showing "sass," the scarecrow is experimenting on innocent civilians, the tin man is melting people with acid like bubbles with his metal human army, Glinda is helping Dorothy move all of the magic to her in the Emerald City and Dorothy is kind of just a lunatic.
"It's not magic that makes you who you are. It's the choices that you make. Look at Dorothy."
Whenever I read a book, I do picture people in my head but it's really just a body with the colour hair that the character has and their face is just a blur. Dororthy Must Die was one of the only novels that I actually pictured someone as, and the only character that I pictured in my head was Dorothy. The person I pictured as was Jennifer De Gouw who portrayed Helena in Arrow and Mina Harker in Dracula the television series.
"Down is up, up is down. Good is wicked, wicked is good. The times are changing. This is what Oz has come to."
All of the wicked witches have come together and formed a group called the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked and their main mission is to kill Dorothy Gale. Most of the witches in this group were lovable, some I hated but I could easily get pass that. These witches start training Amy, and that journey was really incredible to read about and experience.
There is also the relationship between Amy and Nox. I honestly was not expecting any romance in this book. There wasn't much of it anyway but I still wasn't expecting to read about considering it wasn't mentioned in the synopsis. Their relationship was very well spaced out in the book, it actually had growth and was more realistic from other novels I have read.
This book is one of the only books that I have let myself get carried away with, to not really care how long it is. This book was absolute perfection and I couldn't get enough of it. Danielle went into so much detail and she took the time to write about the little things. She took the classic tale and twisted into this dark, twisted and creepy story which was so interesting to read about. There is probably so much more that I want to write about but I don't want people to get bored. This book was so fantastic and I am so happy that it exists! I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars, I loved this book so much and it certainly didn't disappoint me and whoever is a fan of wicked or wizard of oz or both, I highly recommend it, if you're not really into those things you may not really enjoy the book because there are going to be things that you may no understand. This book isn't for everyone but I'm certain that you will enjoy it if you have a love for The Wizard Of Oz like I am. This book has it's own unique story while it still does have things from the original book.
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