Summary: 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.
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:
Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart.
Steal the Scarecrow’s brain.
Take the Lion’s courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!
Release Date: 1 April 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins
So, I will admit outright that I did not like the “Wizard of Oz” but I really enjoyed the musical “Wicked” so picking up this book ended up being quite easy. Amy Gumm’s life isn’t easy. Still in school and being bullied by your now, pregnant nemesis isn’t easy. Coupled with caring for your sometimes depressed and non-caring mum who leaves you when a tornado is coming isn’t the easiest or happiest existence.
So when a tornado whisks her, their pet rat Star and her trailer home all the way to Oz, you will not see Amy clicking her heels together and chant, “There is no place like home”.
Dorothy returned to Oz, life in Kansas was no longer for her upon her arrival home. Befriending the ruler of Oz, Ozma, and becoming a Princess, the citizens of Oz were some of the happiest people around. Their saviour was back and Oz was in the best condition of its existence. Then Dorothy found the magic, she found and loved the feel of it and wanted more. With the citizens being enslaved and the magic mined from the very earth it comes from. Now they need a new saviour and Amy has conveniently fallen from the sky.
So, Oz is a very different place than we are use too, did you know that Sass was a crime in Oz? Yeah, me neither! Even the monkeys will cut off their wings for freedom than pull Dorothy’s flying coach. All the characters are twisted, the Tinman is now head of enforcement in Oz and is ruthless in this. If you commit a crime or not, or inadvertently commit another crime, you will be punished. Amy finds out about this ruthlessness very early, quickly losing a friend. Disloyalty is illegal in Oz, either too your friends or too Dorothy. Paige’s writing is very descriptive and gives the reader a very intense reading experience, so if you are looking for a quick, easy read this one might not be for you.
Paige makes it clear to the reader that it was Oz’s magic that corrupted Dorothy. Well that and her own need for self-importance. I personally think that a life lesson is found here –
Sometimes what we want is the worst thing for us. Even Toto isn’t the sweet little dog we know of, he is vicious and very protective of Dorothy. Really, think of what you know of Oz and turn it on its head. Maybe it is actually Zo now, not Oz! The Lion is no cowardly creature, he is a fierce beast who control’s the creatures of Oz. The Tin Man has knives as fingers, and an unrequited love for Dorothy. The Scarecrow slaughters those smarter than him, to make himself smarter.
But Paige’s writing just sucks you into the world of Oz, she makes sure that the readers knows this isn’t a happy smiley place just over the rainbow, but a darker, unhappier place just under the rain cloud. Even in Kansas we are aware that this isn’t a rosy book. Paige describes Amy’s anguish at being spun into Oz and losing her mum, her confusion at the state of Oz and her fledgling love for Nox. This all leads up to a beautifully twisted battle towards the end, where I was left wanting the next book.