For Short Story Saturday, I'm reviewing No Place Like Oz - the prequel to Dorothy Must Die.
It's a fun, awesome setup to Dorothy Must Die!
Published November 12th 2013 by HarperCollins
Synopsis via Goodreads:
I had been dying to read Dorothy since hearing about it earlier in the year, so I figured that the novella would be a perfect way of getting myself ready for Paige’s world.
Two years after the events of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy Gale is deeply unhappy. She misses the acclaim of being the Witchslayer of Oz, and is both angry and frustrated that her family and friends in Kansas won't believe (and also equally ridicule) the tales of her adventures.
So when a mysterious package shows up on her sixteenth birthday offering her a chance to return to Oz, Dorothy takes it. But along the way, she quickly learns that she's willing to go to dangerous new depths to ensure that she'll get to say in Oz this time, permanently.
It's difficult to express just how good No Place Like Oz is, without a serious amount of flailing on my part. Danielle Paige is essentially reintroducing us to characters that many of us are already familiar with through The Wizard of Oz film, and the L. Frank Baum book, but she also immediately puts her own twist on these characters in a way that shows us that this is an entirely new ballgame.
Paige’s Dorothy is no longer the nice, sweet and innocent girl that we’ve come to know from the film and the book. She’s bitter and mistrustful, and power hungry in a way that impacts her ability to think rationally, and also drives her to make a series of increasingly deadly decisions.
As Dorothy becomes acclimated again to Oz, Paige does a fantastic job of both incorporating familiar Oz landmarks, while adding a number of her own twists and changes to the mythology of the land. These changes not only set up the foundation forDorothy Must Die, but really emphasize Dorothy’s desperation to stay in Oz, and her increasing paranoia that she’ll be forced to return to Kansas.
Without giving any spoilers away, I thought that Paige was brilliant in showing how each systematic event in the novella pushed Dorothy a little further over the edge. It was literally like watching a master class in manipulation, and realizing that Dorothy had unwittingly set off the perfect chain of events to become the villain/nemesis that she’ll undoubtedly be in Dorothy Must Die.
I was so engrossed with the story, it felt like had read a full novel by the end, instead of the brief 126 pages that the novella actually was. I can only imagine that this feeling is going to be tripled when it comes to reading Dorothy.
Outside of the individual merits of the novella, Paige also sets up the stage brilliantly for Dorothy Must Die. Now that readers have an idea of what Amy Gumm will be up against, I predict that readers will be even more excited for the release date - I know I certainly am!
Bottom line: read this. Read this now. You'll thank me later!