Saturday, April 5, 2014

There's No Place Like Oz: A Prequel Novella to Dorothy Must Die

The other night I excitedly posted on here about reading a new Oz series I had come across titled Dorothy Must Die. I got about 60 pages into the book before I realized that there was actually a prequel novel that had already been previously released to give us some back ground to the Oz we're entering this time! I had to stop reading on the spot and go grab a copy of the prequel (only $1.99!). There's No Place Like Oz is a relatively short novella that clocks in at 150 pages, but I can tell you that those 150 pages pack a very serious punch. One of the most difficult things to understand about the Oz series is that there is so much more to the story than what the 1939 movie has made everyone think. There are more characters in this series than I can even begin to describe as well as deep storylines that aren't always so "happy" to read about. Oz is a land full of issues, much like our own. L. Frank Baum (creator of Oz) actually wrote 18 Oz novels over a span of 21 years. Only the very first story: The Wonder Wizard of Oz is actually very familiar to the general public. Our favorite girl from Kansas, Dorothy Gail actually travels back to Oz and eventually winds up there to stay. The Wicked Witch(es) may be dead, but there are far worse evils in Oz. And although Oscar Zoroaster Diggs (The Wizard) has fled his throne, there is no struggle for power in the Ozian capital. This is where Danielle Paige's No Place Like Oz picks up. Check out the cover and official synopsis below!

There's a new wicked witch in Oz—and her name is Dorothy. This 125-page digital novella is a fresh and edgy sequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum and the prequel to the sassy new epic adventure Dorothy Must Die. No Place Like Oz, by debut author Danielle Paige, is a compellingly original re-imagining of a beloved classic and is perfect for fans of Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Beastly by Alex Flinn, and Wicked by Gregory Maguire.
Dorothy clicked her heels three times and returned to Kansas. The end . . . or was it? Although she's happy to be home with Aunt Em, Dorothy has regretted her decision to leave Oz ever since. So when a mysterious gift arrives at her doorstep on her sixteenth birthday, Dorothy jumps at the chance to return to the glittering city that made her a star.
Setting off for the Emerald City, Dorothy is eager to be reunited with her friends: the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion. But she soon discovers that in the time she's been gone, Oz has changed—and Dorothy has, too. This time, the yellow brick road leads her down a very different path. And before her journey is through, Dorothy will find that the line between wicked and good has become so blurred she's not sure which side of it she's on.

Talk about a gripping synopsis right?! Our story starts with a depressed Dorothy Gale. After she was transported back to Kansas (with the assistance of Glinda and the magic slippers) Dorothy was seen as something of a hero. "The Girl Who Rode the Tornado" they call her. Though seen as a miracle, they also think Dorothy may have lost her marbles (what-- with all this talk of Yellow Brick Roads and Witches, who could blame her) and she is ostracized by nearly all, including her beloved Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. We meet up with Dorothy on the day of her Sweet Sixteen (a big deal, even for a young woman in Kansas)! Whose only wish is to return to the land she fell in love with, Oz, and the friends who made her feel welcome. By a strange turn of events Dorothy is "granted" her birthday wish and is magically transported (along with Em and Henry) back to the Land of Oz!

Upon arrival, it doesn't take Dorothy too long to realize that something is amiss. Due to the differences in the passage of time between Oz and Earth, we learn that it's been a very long time since the "time of Dorothy" and things in Oz are VERY different. A new leader, Princess Ozma, has taken the thrown and now Oz has changed. For the better? Or worse? With the news of a new ruler, Dorothy is also crushed to hear that Glinda is missing (and has been for a very long time). Now it's up to Dorothy and her newfound "magic" to save the day and return Oz to it's former glory! With the assistance of her old friends, Dorothy undertakes a very interesting adventure. Let me just say that the Dorothy we start with is NOT the Dorothy we leave with. Just remember that things in Oz are never as they appear! What will happen to our "beloved" Dorothy? And why Must Dorothy Die? You guys are just going to have to check out this new series to find out!

This novella is the PERFECT backdrop to set the stage for Dorothy Must Die! It introduces new readers (who may not know anything else about Oz other than the original film) to the complex history of Oz in a way that is both fun to read and informative. It also introduces some of the most amazing characters in the Oz universe including the Saw Horse and Princess Ozma! I'm not going to give anything away here, but let me just say that the ending to this novella made my jaw drop. This is NOT the Oz we are used to seeing (unless you are a fan of Gregory Maguire)! If you have any interest whatsoever in Oz, you MUST check out this new series. I am already a HUGE fan of what Danielle Paige has done with the series! Paige alludes to numerous other Oz works including the other Baum books and plots, the films, and even the theatrical productions. It was really cool to see her tie all this together into a new series. I should also point out that while this is an Oz series, I do not think in any shape it is aimed towards children. I also do not think it is aimed at adults (as Gregory Maguire's are), I think this is the PERFECT example of a YA middle ground! Lots of great story alongside some amazing lessons that everyone needs to learn!

Check out these fun links below to learn more about There's No Place Like Oz, our author, Danielle Paige, and where you can find the book for yourself!

Goodreads page for No Place Like Oz:

Goodreads profile for Danielle Paige:

Get your copy here:

I'm getting tired and all this is slurring together so I'm gonna call it a night! I'm sure I've forgotten something along the way here, but I can come back and edit this later. Hope you are all having an absolutely amazing weekend! Until next time, happy reading and Ozspeed!
-Ethan (Green in honor of Elphaba!) #ElphieLives

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