BOOK REVIEW: Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die #3) by Danielle Paige

BOOK REVIEW: Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die #3) by Danielle PaigeYellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die #3)
by Danielle Paige
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


In this dark, action-packed third book in the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, Amy Gumm—the new girl from Kansas—must do everything in her power to save Kansas, kill Dorothy, and make Oz a free land once more.

Amy Gumm’s mission to take down Dorothy Gale is not going according to plan. Dorothy has found a way to bridge the worlds of Oz and Kansas, and if the power-hungry dictator of Oz has her way, Kansas will be destroyed forever. Now, Amy has to team up with the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked to save her home, restore the balance between the magic and nonmagic worlds, maybe get the guy—and kill that not-so-sweet Kansas farm girl once and for all.

In the third installment of the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, Danielle Paige’s twisted versions of beloved Oz characters are back, including the biggest, baddest, most famous of all: the Wicked Witch of the West.

Welcome to the other side of the rainbow. Here there’s danger around every corner, and magic shoes won’t be able to save you


I couldn’t help but wonder: What if, that afternoon in the trailer, my mom had decided just that once to take care of me? To drive me to safety-somewhere both of us could ride out the storm together? What if she had finally done the right thing? Was what I’d gained in Oz-strength, power, respect, self-reliance-worth what I’d lost?

I think by far my largest disappointment stems from my epic love of book one, the epic heartbreak of book two, and my obsession of the series as a whole. But slowly, surely, my heart was torn to shreds as I saw this story unraveling before my eyes. It’s not so much that it was a bad story-It wasn’t. It’s more that this series should have been a duology-at most.

Part of me felt way too old for that now. No, not even too old. Too tired. Too experienced. I’d fought in a war. I’d seen too much of the world to believe in any of that crap, even for an hour.
But at the same time, being back home, and seeing my mom like this, was doing something funny to me. It was like everything that had happened in Oz was drifting away. It was like I was waking up and looking around and realizing, slowly, that it all had just been a weird, terrible dream.

And I don’t blame the author for her decision to make this what I thought was a trilogy. I really don’t. I absolutely ADORED the cliffhanger in book one, was a mess after the cliffhanger of book two, and I thought perhaps book three would follow suit…but when I picked up this story it was only 288 pages long. And I’m sorry but come on….that’s like a long novella. And I HATE novellas, if you didn’t know that about me.

“Of course, once you weren’t around for a while-you know, I almost missed you. Almost. This is Dustin Jr., by the way.” She patted the baby, who made a burbling noise. Madison’s baby was downright ugly. Then again, I guess most new babies are. He looked like a little old man who couldn’t find his dentures. His cheeks were too fat and his face was squashed-looking, as if someone had stepped on his head. Plus, he was bald as an egg. But I felt bad for him. It wasn’t his fault that his mom was the biggest bitch in Kansas-well, second biggest, now that I was back.

I guess there’s nothing wrong with novellas, per se, but it was not one of this story’s attributes. Every scene, every chapter, every moment felt a bit rushed, and as the pages progressed (each page flipped causing the percentage read to rise by, like, 3% each page) my heart slowly began to fracture-I began to see that the book I’d waited a YEAR for was not even close to what I wanted it to be, and it wasn’t going to end like I’d have wanted it to…and then I found out there is a FOURTH book. WHAT??! This is a horrid thing…or maybe it’s good. If this author, who’s writing enraptured me from the moment I opened her first story and became a forever fan, can make things right, make the story longer, more fleshed out, etc, I will be the happiest person in the world. I just don’t see how that could happen.

“You,” she said, her voice more exhausted than angry. “It always comes back to you, doesn’t it.”

I’m serious-I’d have rather read a 1000 page Dorothy Must Die book and called it a standalone than to be disappointed in this manner….but it is what it is. And, not to be totally negative. There were a lot of things I loved, too! And I must say…..90% of the things I was in love with centered around one name: NOX.

I closed my eyes again and lost myself in the sensation of the kiss. He shifted his weight and grunted with pain, and I started to laugh again. After a second, he laughed, too. His mouth moved to my neck, and then my ear. “Amy,” he said softly, his voice rough with emotion. “I am so not supposed to be doing this, but-“

I just…ugh. From the moment I met him in book one with his asshole-ish warlock (NOT A WITCH! Bahaha) attitude, he had my heart. The way he looked, treated, and secretly liked Amy warmed my soul and made me an obsessive fangirl (I mean, duh, it’s me). And I missed him dearly over the last few months…VERY VERY VERY much. He was everything I could want in this story with his raspy voice during the more heartfelt and gut wrenching moments, his loyalty, his protectiveness of Amy, and the aspect of forbidden love that was thrown in (not that it wasn’t before, but even more so now). But, and it pains me to say this…he can’t be the only thing that I love about a story. He just can’t. He may be close to perfection, but it doesn’t hold a candle to my level of disappointment scattered throughout the story.

“Yeah, I know,” he replied. “But you know what I liked about it?”
“It reminded me of you. Everywhere I looked, I couldn’t stop thinking, This is where Amy’s from. This is the dirt that she walked on. This is the sky that she grew up under. It’s the place that made you who you are. And that’s what made me like it.”

For instance: Amy. What. The. Fuck??? She acted like a total bitch. A whiney asshole. A lovelorn teenager. She became somebody I didn’t recognize. Gone was the girl who was a total badass, the girl with pink hair and an attitude that stretched as long and wide as Kansas. She was a wisp of the girl I had obsessed about from the beginning (And I never get obsessed with girls in a story so this was by far the largest disappointment of all). And, ya know, she got better near the end and realized how naïve and young she was acting…but by that point it was by far too little, too late. And that made me so tragically sad.

Suddenly, I thought of my mom. Magic for me was as destructive as pills had been for her. The same addiction-and the same results. I’d fallen in love with power the way she’d fallen in love with oblivion. I’d hated her for what her addiction had done to her-to us-but was I really any different?

So, ya know, all in all I loved visiting her home and meeting her mom. I loved the addition of old characters that we were taught to hate becoming allies we could grow to love and admire, making the cast of people to obsess over a little larger (her mom and a couple unexpected surprises 😉 ). I really enjoyed seeing Amy and her mother becoming a little closer before things began to crumble, disintegrate, turn to ash. These are the things (AND NOX BOY!) that almost made me love and rate higher out of loyalty. But, then we have the broader side of the spectrum where I feel I was cheated as a reader and a rather unwavering fan. The writing was rushed-there’s no way to hide such things-and that was one of the things that I had loved most about this series-the beautiful writing and unflinching and unabashed way of strangling the breath out of you, causing you to choke and sputter and start crying out of nowhere as one of your characters becomes perilously close to death (aahhhh that peril-she does it well :P). The writing seemed like it was a chore, like this was a book that had long since been put on the backburner. So, yeah. This sucks. I hate rating lower than four, and I hate feeling like I’m betraying one of my favorite series ever. I could go on and on about what I wish was different, but that’s not what I’m about. So, as much as I love and adore this series, this book was a major letdown…and I’d be lying if I said otherwise. Ugh.

So this was…..disappointing. *sad face* I will have a full review when I get a chance. Also…..Am I the only one who didn’t know this series had four fucking books?? Yes??? Just me then…. *Frowns*



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  1. AngelErin

    Awe sorry you didn’t care as much for this one. I hate when a book series should have just been one long book. I haven’t read any of this series yet, but I want to. I may just borrow from the library though. 🙂
    AngelErin recently posted…First Grave on the Right By: Darynda Jones ReviewMy Profile

    • Chelsea (Peril Please)

      I knooooow! It makes me so sad!!! Ugh 🙁

      But yes, I STILL recommend you try this series again, because I will FOREVER adore the first two books, no matter the outcome 🙂

  2. Debra Branigan

    I am so glad I didn’t continue this series. It was originally bought for my YA classroom. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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