No Place Like Oz (Dorothy Must Die #0.1) by Danielle Paige

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, Genre: Fantasy, Pages: 140, Reading Level: Easy

Book Description:

In this digital original novella, Dorothy travels back to Oz to reunite with old friends, but her story may not have a happy ending. No Place Like Oz is a prequel to the forthcoming novel Dorothy Must Die.

After returning to Kansas, Dorothy Gale has realized that the dreary fields of Kansas don’t compare to the vibrant landscapes of Oz. And although she’s happy to be reunited with Aunt Em, she misses her friends from the yellow brick road. But most of all, Dorothy misses the fame and the adventure. In Kansas she’s just another prairie girl, but in Oz she was a hero. So Dorothy is willing to do anything to get back, because there really is no place like Oz. But returning to the land she left comes at a price, and after Dorothy is through with it, Oz will never be the same.

Perfect for fans of Alex Flinn, Marissa Meyer, and Gregory Maguire, No Place Like Oz is a dark reimagining of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Building off of its rich mythology, Danielle Paige creates an edgy, thrilling story for teens that chronicles the rise and fall of one of the literature’s most beloved characters. This digital original novella is a prequel that sets the stage for the forthcoming novel Dorothy Must Die.

No Place Like Oz seems to take place after the events of L. Frank Baum’s The Marvelous Land of Oz. On her sixteenth birthday, Dorothy receives a present from Glinda- beautiful, red shoes- magic shoes, which transport Dorothy, Toto, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry to Oz. Dorothy soon discovers that Oz has changed and she’s not so sure it is for the better. Unfortunately, Dorothy has changed as well.

“I look like a princess,” I said. I knew that it was what they meant. “And not just like any princess. I look like Princess Dorothy. The Witchslayer. The Girl Who Rode the Cyclone. The One True Princess of Oz.”

Someone really should drop a house on Dorothy. Speaking of that house… Aunt Em and Uncle Henry really should have put a flame to it when they had the chance.

No Place Like Oz is a prequel novella to Dorothy Must Die, which by the way, was picked up by CW and is in development for a television series. Dorothy Must Die will be released on April 1st, in which someone is sent to Oz to assassinate the evil despot of Oz- Dorothy. How in Oz did that happen? Read this novella and you will find out.

For the first three quarters of the book, I debated whether I wanted to give No Place Like Oz three or four stars. Dorothy’s reputation in the first two books of Baum’s series was impeccable. Obviously the 1939 movie mirrored that. Even in Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, I remember that even though Dorothy had a very small part, her murder of the Wicked Witch of the West had been an accident. Actually, the deaths of both witches at her hand were accidental.

So when No Place Like Oz presented her as a snotty, ungrateful, power hungry brat, it didn’t sit well with me. Some things are just sacred for goodness’ sake! But there it is-

“I’m all for Pixies having their freedom,” I sniffed. “I’m an American, after all. But they might be a little more grateful to the girl who gave it to them, don’t you suppose?”

Okay, technically that’s true but does that sound like something Dorothy would say? And once she gets a taste of magic-

It wasn’t right. I do realize that. People aren’t little marionettes to be pulled this way and that without their say-so in the matter. On the other hand, just because it wasn’t right didn’t mean it wasn’t fun.

Wait until you find out how she treats her aunt and uncle. That alone had me chanting along with book two- Dorothy Must Die!

In the end, I decided I was not going to take away a star from a wonderful story just because the author messed with one of our most beloved icons. The fact that I unequivocally hate hate hate Dorothy in No Place Like Oz is just a testament to the fact that Paige has created quite the provocative reimagining of a beloved story.

I think it worked to my advantage that I had read L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Marvelous Land of Oz. As previously mentioned, I remember Maguire’s Wicked portraying Dorothy much as Baum did. Because I had read those books and seen the 1939 movie, Dorothy’s portrayal in No Place Like Oz was quite the shock. That was part of the fun.

Since Dorothy Must Die doesn’t come out for a couple more months, I highly recommend taking that time to read the first two books in L. Frank Baum’s series and then proceeding to this one. I truly believe it will enhance your reading experience.

Regardless, I definitely recommend No Place Like Oz and will count the days until April 1st.

Reviewed by Christina
January 6, 2014

One thought on “No Place Like Oz (Dorothy Must Die #0.1) by Danielle Paige

  1. Pingback: The Witch Must Burn (Dorothy Must Die #0.2) by Danielle Paige | Book Expectations

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