Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dorothy Must Die

Hello Readers! It's been a few long rough days for me so I haven't had time to bring you guys any new news. Well, let me just say the wait will have been worth it. Excited post for you guys today. I just had the amazing pleasure to finish the first full novel in Danielle Paige's thrilling new Oz series Dorothy Must Die! I know that I haven't posted about anything yet that I didn't like, and let me just say that after reading this, I'm not about to start. As I said the other night with my pre-post blurb, I am a HUGE fan of all things Oz. I've read so many stories about the land beyond the rainbow that I've honestly lost track, but this retelling will forever stay special in my mind. For those of you who may not have read my initial post, here's some information about the book!

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:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage. Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

I honestly cannot think of a single thing about this book that I didn't enjoy. The one and only thing I can say that may possibly be a deterrent to reading this book is that if you are not at least somewhat familiar with the Oz outside of the 1939 MGM film, you may be a little confused, but if you can stick it out, you will be well rewarded. As the title and synopsis suggest, Dorothy is not the same happy little Kansan we know and love. Dorothy is, well, a monster. Since this book JUST released 9 days ago I am going to try to say as little as I can about the plot in order to avoid spoilers, but trust me, it's a read that is well worth it. Any fan of Oz will be thrilled to see some of their favorite characters: Dorothy, the Tin Woodsman, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, Glinda the Good Witch, and even the Wizard himself. In addition to the familiar characters, some amazing new ones give us great insight to what we can expect from Paige in the follow up novels, characters such as: Glamora, the Wicked twin of Glinda, Nox, a member of the Order with a lot to prove, Ollie, the flying monkey, and of course Amy Gumm, our protagonist. Amy is another girl reigning from Dorothy's home-state of Kansas, but couldn't be more different. Amy is a fighter through and through with enough problems on the homefront to fill a psychologists schedule for days! Not only does Amy have to battle the troubles of Oz, but also the inner demons which keep her from fulfilling her full potential. Seriously folks, this book is a must read. Here's one of the many graphics I created for Dorothy Must Die

Like I said before, this novel has several allusions to other Oz works. Here are just a few of my favorite that I noticed. I am assuming these are all correct, but some of them may just be speculation:
  • Amy Gumm is our protagonist's name. While reading, I found that to be a rather odd name. I couldn't remember where I had heard the surname "Gumm" before, then it hit me. I am assuming that Amy was named in honor of Francis Ethel Gumm. Sound familiar? Probably not. Many people may not know this, but Francis Gumm is the birth name to the Queen of all things Oz: Mrs. Judy Garland herself. Yes sir! Amy's name is paying homage to the original Dorothy Gale! Don't believe me, read all about it on Francis' (Judy's) Wikipedia page here:
  • Unlike the original Oz novel by L. Frank Baum where the slippers were silver, Dorothy has retained her famous Ruby slippers from the 1939 film! Except this time, they can do a whole lot more than send her back to Kansas!
  • Amy teams up with a team of Wicked Witches to defeat the evil Dorothy. Leading the Order? None other than Mombi. One of the most Wicked and vile women to ever live in Ozian history. True Oz historians, such as myself, can tell you that Mombi plays one of the single most important roles in all of Oz: the "keeper" of Ozma. Upon his arrival to Oz, the Wizard overthrew the royal family of Oz and had the newborn princess of Oz (Princess Ozma) disposed of. Ozma was placed in the care of Mombi where she was magically transformed into a boy named Tip. The story of Mombi, Tip, and Ozma is one of the most important in all of Oz. Anyone who has read The Wicked Years series by my favorite author, Gregory Maguire, can tell you that Mombi is important. Real important. 
  • Several of Oz's more... interesting subjects are present in the book such as: the Shaggy Man, Polychrome (daughter of the Rainbow), Jellia Jamb (who plays a HUGE role in our story), Jinjur, the Nome King, Winkies, Munchkins, and an unfortunate mention of the Woggle-Bug. These characters were all created by Baum in his original Oz series and are put to great use in this story.
  • While this story takes place after Dorothy's defeat of the Wicked Witch of the West, she is mentioned several times, including one of my favorite lines from the book: "I found myself laughing in spite of the danger. The Wicked Witch of the West, she had some good ideas. How about a little fire, Scarecrow?".
Like I said, there are so many allusions to other Ozian works, I couldn't possible name them all, but Paige doesn't use them as crutches in her story, she incorporates these allusions into her original idea, giving the Oz a whole new level of validity. I have seen, far too often, other authors just try to "redo" Oz in their own image. Paige doesn't change Baum's Oz, she just continues the story where he left off and does an absolutely amazing job. I haven't figured out a rating scale yet for this blog, but this book gets pretty close to a perfect score. I can say with 100% surety that I will be anxiously awaiting the next glimpse into Oz by Mrs. Danielle Paige!

Here's a couple more graphics I made to promote Dorothy Must Die!

 Just a little sidenote: Glamora was probably my favorite new character introduced in this novel. I really cannot wait to see how she ends up fitting into the story. I can only imagine the showdown between Glamora and her twin sister Glinda is going to be an amazing read!

Alright guys! That's all the info I have for you on Dorothy Must Die! I will be sure to come back and add new info if I feel like it needs to be added! I would like to add here that I have been in contact with the author Danielle Paige and she has agreed to answer some questions for me about the book series for you guys! She is such a nice woman and I cannot wait to work with her! Be on the look out for that VERY special post! Check out all these awesome links below to learn more about Dorothy Must Die and where you can get your own copy today!

Goodreads page for Dorothy Must Die:

Get your copy here:

Follow Danielle Paige on Twitter:

Learn more about Danielle Paige here:

I have really enjoyed this post especially because it gives me a chance to introduce you all into a world that is very near and dear to me. Oz is such a crazy place and so much more than what you have seen in the movies! I encourage EVERYONE to check out Frank Baum's original Oz series and any subsequent novels! For a comprehensive list of all books about Oz check out ! Hope you all enjoyed the read and check out Dorothy Must Die for yourselves!

Before I part, I'd like to say a special thanks to all of you reading this right now. I have only been running this blog for a week and have already received the most amazing feedback from friends (both old and new) and many amazing authors and members of the literary community. I can only hope that this blog will continue to grow into the amazing resource I know it can, with your help! Become a blog follower, shoot me some comments! Tweet me! Blog about me on your blog! Do what you can to help everyone! I'd greatly appreciate it! 

Happy Reading!

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