No Place Like Oz
by Danielle Paige
Overview (from Goodreads): 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 re-imagining 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.
My Thoughts: I should preface all of this by telling everyone that I am a HUGE fan of everything Oz related. My mom’s favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz, so I was introduced to it all at a fairly young age. I like the movie, I own the books by Frank L. Baum, I’ve seen Oz the Great and Powerful, and Wicked is my favorite musical. I even have the DVD for the SyFy mini-series, Tin Man. So the Dorothy Must Die series is really the perfect thing for me to read. On top of it all, I love it when some takes a well-known story or character and puts their own twist on it.
As I’m sure you can guess, my expectations for the book series are pretty high. I’ve read some reviews for Dorothy Must Die and the majority of people seem underwhelmed by it. The biggest complaint seems to be a very slow start. So I decided to start with the prequels. Seemed logical to me. No Place Like Oz is the first of two prequels, so far.
No Place Like Oz actually starts off a bit slow. There’s a reason for it (character/time explanations), but it’s still noticeably slow. It doesn’t really pick up until Dorothy gets back to Oz (this isn’t a spoiler, it’s in the description). Once she made it back to Oz (holy crap!) I didn’t want to put No Place Like Oz down. There’s a lot of action at the end and even before that the character interactions in Oz will leave you wanting more.
Dorothy is not likable. When she’s in Kansas, she’s a whiny, spoiled brat. When she gets back to Oz, she gets worse because anger and a sense of entitlement enter the mix. I’ve gathered (from the title of book 1) that she’s the villain, so she’s not supposed to be likable. I always thought Dorothy was a bit of a whiner though. You get transported to a magical land and all you can do is complain and whine about wanting to go home. Enjoy it! It would be understandable to be apprehensive about a new place and scared of the witches, but stop whining and enjoy the adventure! (That became more of a rant than I intended.) Overall, I loved the changes in some of the most famous characters out there. Whether we’re talking about Dorothy, Glinda, the scarecrow or anyone else, I loved the tweaks that could actually be realistic.
I would definitely recommend No Place Like Oz, especially if you haven’t already read Dorothy Must Die. If you’ve already read Dorothy Must Die, I would still read No Place Like Oz for some more background. Overall though, I would say when it comes to this particular series, START WITH THE PREQUELS! Read No Place Like Oz first and go from there, if possible.
4 out of 5 Bookmarks = This lent a helping hand to really get me pumped for reading Dorothy Must Die!