“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 blue birds. 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 the yellow brick road, though—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.”
(Summary from goodreads.com)
Let me start off by saying that I was really excited to read this book. I’d seen it on the staff recommends at this awesome bookstore I went to in Denver and I had also heard about it on EpicReads. The cover and story line drew me in; I love new (and dark) twists on classic tales. At its heart this book is a coming of age tale about a girl with an unstable and unsatisfactory home life. It is about acceptance of self. There was a lot of questioning of “good and wicked”, and how sometimes these lines blur and it’s important to do what is right. Readers are still not completely sure who the “good guys” are.
I enjoyed most of the book and it was a quick read. But, the ending is a complete LETDOWN. Without spoilers here’s why: we are left with a total cliffhanger and no real resolutions. After reading this book I felt that I was part of a marketing ploy to make money. After doing some research I found that not only does this book have a prequel, but there’s also a sequel being released in March, AND (get this) a TV SHOW in the works with CW. Now, had this book been released and everyone loved it and they decided to do all this after, I would be OK with that. However, it was clear that this book was a commissioned piece. That the author was commissioned and paid by Harper because they knew it would make them a lot of money to make a whole package out of this series. From a business standpoint, I understand, but as a reader it just made me angry (and apparently lots of others on Goodreads). Because, I am interested in the story and I do want to know what happens but I feel like I am being strung along. This may be too many feelings for a professional book review,but I want you to know what you’re getting into (452 pages of prologue).
This book is YA, but recommended grades 9 and up. This is because there is some profanity, talk of cleavage, and gore.
I don’t have anything to say about style. Danielle Paige is a fine writer and creates Tim Burton-esque scenes in Oz that were original (Perma-smile invention, very cool).
If you are ready to be committed to a long, drawn-out series and you love the story of Dorothy and Oz then go for it. But if you’re looking for one book and to be done, this isn’t for you.