My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author: Danielle Paige
Genre: YA, Retelling
I honestly wasn't expecting much from this book. I've never been a big fan of Oz. It always seemed so weird. On my list it was up there with Willy Wanka and Alice in Wonderland. Bonkers. But a friend of mine said I should try it. So I did. And I LOVED it.
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.
Our main character, Amy, was (in one word) tough. She's been through everything you could think of and all of a sudden she lands in Oz. She takes it in stride. I loved her sarcasm, her instinct to survive, the way she wasn't about to back down to anyone. In short shes become my YA female hero. But even though she's got it all she's still vulnerable. After being bullied for so long she worries about how people see her. She wants to grow better, and even though Oz isn't her home she wants to save it. She wants it to go back to the way it was. And that makes her lovable.
The bluntness of this story shocked me. Not in a bad way. Most YA authors are discreet about everything but Danielle put it all out there. The difference between wicked and good was little to none. Killing was necessary to survive and it wasn't hidden. Most good guys hate killing people even when it's in self defense. Amy learns quick that it's do or die in this twisted version of Oz. I've never read the original Oz story but in my experience most fairy tales are dark. Danielle Paige takes us back to that and it creates such a unique story.
If you're going into this story for romance don't. This story is all abut Amy and her growth from the beginning of the book. We have some side guys (please give me more Nox) but it's kept a very small factor in the story. You probably think tat make this some sort of feminist book where Amy hates guys and can do it all herself, but that's far from the truth. As much as this story is about Amy we get just as much about the people of Oz and their fight against Dorothy.
I'm recommending this story to readers who love a book with a good bit of magic, an amazing lead, and far away places. This book has everything so pick it up right now and go read it. Once you start it you won't be able too stop. Seriously I consumed it. 452 pages of awesomeness in twenty-four hours.