by Danielle Paige
Purchase on: Amazon, iBooks,
Add to: Goodreads
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 bluebirds. 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 a yellow brick road - 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.
Well, I had wanted to be gone. I’d wanted it for as long as I’d known there was anywhere to go. I wanted other places, other people. Another me. I wanted to leave everything and everyone behind.
But not like this.
We’re off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz….Is he, though? Is he really wonderful? And what about the rest of our beloved WOZ cast? Who’s good, who’s evil….and how do you interpret that little gray area in between? I loved this story and all the mayhem it represented. I loved seeing this new and intriguing twist on what was such a docile and somewhat sugar-coated version of evil in a faraway land, seeing what happens when power goes to your head and no one can stop you. What happens when little miss goody-two-shoes becomes the most violent and unforgiving ruler ever and….did I mention this was violent?
Omg guys, where do I even start? I’ve had this on my TBR for two years-Two whole years. When I first saw this splendid masterpiece of a cover, I was shocked-Evil Dorothy?? How could this be?!!! But alas, it was a year (or something) from being released and not enough people had read it-hell, I didn’t even have ¼ the friends I do now, so I had no one I could trust that had read it-I didn’t know who Khan was, Emily May, or Wendy Darling, for that matter-I didn’t know any of the big names on GR. All I knew was that this was a twisted version of a beloved movie/musical/what-have-you, and I wanted to hop on board…but was it any good? I couldn’t be sure.
I didn’t know what was worse: to have your shot and screw it up, or to never have had a shot in the first place.
Years, obviously, passed and I forgot about it. I’d see it pop up here and there, but I’d be knee-deep in a buddy read or a super enticing series and I wouldn’t want to stop-so, again, I’d forget. And forget. And forget some more. But here I was, just scrolling through my feed a couple days ago, wondering what in the world I was going to read to break up my current series at the time (for some reason I’ve loved breaking my series up, lately-it’s been helping to keep me more excited/focused? I dunno lol), and then here it was, this beautiful cover attached to a very enthusiastic update about da boyz in the story…well, fuck me, it was like a light bulb went off over my head, the clouds parted, and the stars aligned…what more of a sign did I need?
The sky just overhead was almost black and the horizon was a washed-out, cloudy white, and I saw it, just like in the movies: a thin, dark funnel was jittering across the landscape and getting bigger. Closer. A low humming sound, like an approaching train, thrummed in my ears and in my chest. The lawn chair shot up into the air again. This time, it didn’t come back down.
What followed, naturally, was your typical Chelsea reaction to a wonderful and addicting book: Excessive smiling, giggling, hiding to find more reading time, general fangirling about my beloved Nox…the works. You know, the usual. There was just something so special about this book, something that caused my heart to ache and my stomach to drop-on more than one occasion. And, almost more appealing than anything, was the writing…It. Was. Perfection. Everything flowed seamlessly word for word and page to page-I was in heaven. And it’s became my favorite thing when a story doesn’t wholly center around the romance-well, not all the time do I want this, but when I pick up a fantasy or dystopian or action story, I adore the small, understated romances-and this was no exception!
Who are you?
What I found here, instead of meaningless filler and forced conversation, was substance, something so often sacrificed these days. No, it’s not a story for everyone-the soul sucking, fear-eating Lion is testament to that. The only perfect animal character was my wonderful little Star, the Rat. Oh yeah, she took the place of Toto and I couldn’t have been happier with this little substitution! She was absolutely adorable and fierce-a completely loyal ally that had my heart melting time and time again. Don’t be fooled, though-this story has a lot of animals….But it was so much more than that. It was a story about a girl who grew up in less than desirable conditions, a girl who starved for attention and was a social outcast at school…only to find her purpose in a place known as Oz. The only problem? There’s already a girl from Kansas who’s had her life changed in Oz…and she isn’t willing to share.
The cast in this story was beyond words. Do you even realize how fun it is to be reading about the villains? To see what they are willing to do to defeat the once good Cowardly Lion, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Dorothy? Oh, and don’t forget about Glinda, the ‘good’ witch! Gone is the brainless Scarecrow, the heartless (but yet full of heart) Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and little Miss I-Took-A-Direct-Flight-From Kansas.
They are unrecognizable in this story and I lapped it up, word by word-Especially when I saw that Dorothy went from girl-next-door to total voluptuous slut (And no, there really was no girl hate or slut shame! It was just a matter of fact when a girl didn’t like Amy or vice versa-no unnecessary bad mouthing-I know a couple girlies who don’t like that…). And speaking of Amy-What a remarkable and alluring character. I was utterly compelled by her determined attitude and willingness to do anything to help people she’d never even met before-all because she wanted to do what was best for a world corrupted by misused power. I loved her and my heart ached for her.
I didn’t know what was Good or Wicked anymore. All I knew was what was right.
And then there’s Nox. Well, and Pete…but Pete wasn’t really a love interest-I just loved him all the same. Anyway-NOX. He really and truly didn’t have a huge part in this story, but when we met him, I was instantly in love with his standoffish, I’m better than you attitude. But, like many things, there was more to the story than meets the eye. He isn’t Amy’s biggest fan, right from the start-as he says, ‘Just because someone fell out of the sky doesn’t make them the one.’ He’s skeptical that Amy can take down Dorothy-and why wouldn’t he be? She’s just a small-town girl who’s never fought anyone. But don’t worry…it’s his job to train her ;). Did I mention I love fighter/soldier boys? Hmmm…
He just stared at me, his gaze intense. I couldn’t look away any more than I could move my arm. Energy crackled between us, and I felt a strange pull to him. Moth to flame. Magnet to magnet. Stupid girl to impossible, slightly mean witch boy. Wizard. Whatever.
It isn’t insta-love, insta-lust, insta-like…it’s more like a resigned acceptance that they have to work together. He doesn’t like her, and she doesn’t care for his attitude. But more and more he begins to see her progress, and she begins to strive for his approval. His begrudging admiration for her begins to blossom into protectiveness and concern, worry for what’s to come and if she’s really ready or not-but not once does he show it, making her think she is only a pawn to them all, including him…but she couldn’t be more wrong about Nox….and oh GAHD did I love seeing her falter in front of him, mistaking his concern for her safety for something entirely different-I am such a sucker for hidden romance, sigh.
Instead of looking down, I looked at Nox as he took in the landscape.
Seeing him like this, away from the caves, away from the cause, I could almost see the boy he could have been. The boy he would have been if Dorothy had never come back. He looked happy. He looked beautiful.
Well, I can’t seem to stop. And I don’t want to…but I will. I was so nervous I wouldn’t like this, but sometimes you are just in the perfect mood for something and it falls right into your lap. And lately, it seems, it’s getting harder and harder to do that-to find a book that just falls right in front of you that suits your mood. But I found it, and I am so so happy that I can start book two next weekend and that the final book is only a few month wait as opposed to a two year wait, like if I’d have read this when I originally wanted to. So, you see, everything happens for a reason. Amy has a new mission, a bigger purpose, more lies, deceit, and trust issues to overcome-who can she really trust in this gray world of wicked-wickeder-wickedest….I can’t wait for the battles, the young love, the misplaced trust and betrayals….but most of all-Dorothy Must Die.
Sometimes only pain can heal.