Review: Dorothy Must Die

I finished reading this book last week and for some unknown reasons, every review draft that I made got deleted. It happened for three times and I thought about that I might as well quit on writing a review for this. But then I realized that I have to be more patient.


Author: Danielle Paige

Dorothy Must Die tells the story of another girl who got blown up by a tornado from Kansas to the mystical land of Oz. She is Amy Gumm, and never in her life that she imagined being at a place that she had only read and watched about. But Oz different from what she heard about, its dwellers we’re living in fear and the magic is almost gone. Apparently, Oz’s past hero whom saved and freed the land from the Wicked Witches came back and was appointed to be a princess. Her name is Dorothy Gale. After becoming a royalty, Dorothy became evil and power-hungry. She terrorized the land with unjust and brutal punishment.

On the other hand, Amy was recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. She trained to become a fighter so she can spy and kill Princess Dorothy. But with a lot of personal issues and matters of the heart, will she be able to make it?


In the past, I have developed a certain liking on fairy tale retellings. Though they are a bit predictable, because they are based on another story, I like the twists that the authors put on them especially when they darken the plot.

I am very excited when I picked Dorothy Must Die. From the title itself, I knew that my cravings for a well written story is about to be quenched. But alas, I was doomed to be disappointed. The story that I’ve heard so may good things about turned out to be a mere time killer for me. I like the way the author twisted the classic The Wizard of Oz but I hated the execution she does for this book. There’s so many wasted opportunities.


1. Amy– I get that Amy had a rough past and that she is bound to be flawed. I know that she has a lot of growing up to do and she did in some ways. But personality wise, she did not. Yes she became more confident and skilled, but she’s also selfish. She always thinks about herself when her role in the book is to protect others. Amy also tend to justify her wrong doings by telling and convincing herself that her actions we’re necessary. I also noticed Amy’s willingness to kill. I know that the author just wanted to portray her as a kickass heroine but the execution of her character was so poor that she looked like a murderer instead of a protector.

I just wish that she was more carefully written because Amy posses a lot of potential. She can be a very admirable heroine that will save everyone at the end of the day. Being someone who lived a hard life, she could be someone who emerged victorious and wise in spite of all the things that she experienced.

2. Plot/Pacing– Normally, I will embrace a high fantasy novel with open arms. But in Dorothy Must Die’s case I did the opposite. Instead of letting the story took charge, I became more critical in reading it. On other books that I like, I did not notice how much time goes by but when I’m reading this, I became very aware of how much the book was taking up my time.

It is obvious that the author aim on making this book action packed and on a lot of ways, she failed. At the first 100 pages, it seems like the story only focuses on world building and on how bad Oz is screwed up while the training that Amy does only felt like 20 pages tops. The magic and spells that she learned were not explained thoroughly that a lot of times that she casts spells, I became surprised on how much magic she knows. Another thing that I noticed is how Amy became a world-class fighter when she only spent 6 weeks training.

Danielle Paige also wrote Amy’s internal monologue redundantly. Amy worry about the same things over and over again that it felt like I was forced to live inside Amy’s head each time she does that.

3. Romance– I finished reading this book last week and for some unknown reasons, every review draft that I made got deleted. It happened for three times and I thought about that I might as well quit on writing a review for this. But then I realized that I have to be more patient.ance- I don’t understand why Danielle Paige incorporated romance in this story. It feels obliged and not once did I feel the connection between Amy and Nox. The scenes when the romance took place we’re all unnecessary.

4. WHY THE HELL DID THE ORDER SENT AMY TO SPY DOROTHY WHEN DOROTHY’S HEAD MAID IS ALREADY THEIR SPY? What’s the point in doing so? If Paige thought that she dropped a major bomb when she revealed that Jellia is their spy, then she’s wrong. It disappointed me terribly that I lost all my hope in this book.


The only thing that I like in this book is Dorothy. It’s fun reading her scenes because she’s sassy and will take no-nonsense from anybody. It’s just a pity that her exposure was very limited.

All in all, I really do not like how this story ended up. Dorothy Must Die posses a lot potential and I just wish that the author tells Oz’s story a little differently. Still, I would read the next books hoping that Paige will redeem herself.



4 thoughts on “Review: Dorothy Must Die

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