Book Review:: Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Paige

Date started: May 19, 2016

Date ended: May 31, 2016 

Stars: ★★★

Dorothy Must Die was fun. That’s really the best word to sum it up. I love fairy tale retellings but most of the time there’s a few new strands of the fairy tale but nothing HUGE changes in the story. Because it’s a classic story and I think writers are scared that if they change the story too much, the readers won’t recognize their favorite stories that made them pick up the book, to begin with. Danielle Paige defies all of that. She takes the Oz you know and loved from the movie and twists into nothing you’ve even thought about. Not only is our heroine, Dorothy, a bad guy but so is our beloved troop of misfits – The Cowardly Lion, The Scarecrow, and The Tin Man. Bad witches are the good guys but you can’t trust them, the flying monkeys might just be your friends and the Wizard of Oz, is he a dastardly double crosser? No one knows if Paige’s novel, which is why it’s such a fun read.

The only complaint I have is the pace of the novel. It starts out pretty fast pace, which is good and that pace stays when Amy first gets to Oz but then in the middle of the novel, when Amy infiltrates the Emerald Palace, Dorothy’s lair, there’s a HUGE lull. This should be the most epic and fast paced part of the book but it just wasn’t. The story does pick up and it wasn’t dull but it wasn’t what I expected when I was reading about an infiltration. During that part of the book, I stopped looking forward to picking up the book because it was a little stagnant and the plot didn’t really move for a bit. But when it picked back up, oh boy, it went full force.


I liked Amy Gumm, the other girl from Kansas, she is spunky and hey! she has pink hair. She is feisty and jumps head first into her role as an assassin. She knows not to trust anyone and focuses on her mission. There’s a little bit of romance but it isn’t the main part of the story, which I like. If that’s the complete focus I start to lose respect for the characters. But there’s only one mission: Kill Dorothy.

At times, Paige’s Oz is a little gory but not so much that I couldn’t read it. Mel had warned me that she thought it was too gory and that there was too much cussing from the characters but I didn’t think this hindered the story at all. In fact, I think it added to the atmosphere of Paige’s Oz. It’s dark and on the brink of a war, tensions are high and the gore and profanity just make the reader feel that angst.

Overall, I liked Dorothy Must Die, I only gave it three stars based on my rating system. I just felt like something was missing. The story was good, the characters were believable and damn, did I want Dorothy to die as much as The Order, but again, that lull kind of killed it for me. Not enough that I won’t pick up The Wicked Will Rise, but I hope that Paige doesn’t make this same mistake. Also, I would completely recommend this book to other fairy tale retelling fanatics.


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