Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 464 pages
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Dorothy Must Die series
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
Rating: 3/5 stars
I was very excited to read this book. I love the story of the Wizard of Oz and thought it would be interesting to read an expansion of that story. Unfortunately for some reason despite this interesting premise the story was pretty boring.
Amy Gumm is living a tough life, her mother is addicted to everything and Amy takes care of her mother more than the other way around. They are pretty much living at poverty level which doesn’t help Amy’s school life either. Everything changes when a tornado rips through Amy’s house and transports her to Oz. There she finds out that all is not the happy scenario she was led to believe from books. Something has gone horribly wrong in Oz and Amy is the only one with the power to stop the evil Dorothy.
This is a very cool premise for a story, but it just wasn’t all that engaging. I seriously kept falling asleep while reading this book. Especially in the middle portion of the novel where Amy is training and at the later portion of the novel where she is serving as a maid in Dorothy’s castle.
There is a lot more swearing in this novel than in a typical YA novel (I’m not judging here…just something I noticed). I really enjoy Amy’s snark in the beginning of the novel, but that witty, funny attitude seemed to fade as the novel continued.
Amy is made out to be your typical white trash type of girl but with a funny snarky personality. Her matter of fact way of talking and her absolute determination to survive anything were probably the best parts of this story for me. In the beginning I really really enjoyed her as a character.
Unfortunately she was really the only character you get to know all that well and even she lacked depth. I was never really engaged with any of the characters and never really cared what happened to them. They just weren’t written all that well, especially the secondary characters.
The plot seemed pretty neat in the beginning but it unraveled a bit as the book continued. Amy starts training in her magic and then gets put into a spy type of role in Oz, the whole thing might sound exciting…but it was actually pretty yawn-inducing. Action scenes just weren’t all that intense and the plot was predictable, it all lacked intensity and failed to really grab me as a reader.
I think my biggest sticking point with the novel is that it sets up a lot of stuff (it’s a pretty long book), yet it doesn’t really resolve anything. It pretty much is just setting up for future books in the series…books that I won’t be reading.
Overall I loved the idea behind this book, but didn’t think it was executed all that well. The characters lacked depth, the plot was predictable, and the action lacked any intensity. I did enjoy Amy’s snarky attitude in the beginning of this book, but this lost it’s edge as the story continued. I ended up really struggling to stay awake while reading and just found a lot of the book very boring. I wouldn’t really recommend this book, it was okay but there wasn’t a lot here aside from the interesting initial premise. I won’t be reading any more books in this series.