Title: No Place like Oz
Author: Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die
Book #: 0.5
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 3.86
Published: Nov. 12th, 2013
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.
What a wonderful introduction into the Dorothy Must Die series. In retrospect I would have preferred to have read this book after I'd read Dorothy Must Die but it doesn't really matter. I loved the twists the author gave to the original story and was amazed to see the complicated scenario that led Dorothy to become wicked.
"It wasn't like the old me to let them go hungry. At least, it wasn't like the old me.
But the old me was getting older by the second."
This was Dorothy in the beginning of the novella:
And who could blame her, she was back in Kansas. KANSAS. All she had to do was go to school and work in her uncle's farm. Boooriing. You can guess how quickly the razzle dazzle of coming back home wore off. But instead of Dorothy resigning herself to her new life and starting to do this:
Like most decent teens her age seem to pass the times these days she became bitter sans the alcohol. She really wants to go back to OZ to revel in the fame of being the one Witchslayer.Soon enough Dorothy was willing to part with her left arm to go back to OZ, and after two years her wish finally came true. On the eve of her sixteen birthday a strange package arrives and inside it she find the famous glittering red shoes.
Only I am pretty sure they had a taller heel and were more stylish. Once Dorothy clicks her heels and wishes to go back to OZ she will soon find that OZ isn't what she remembers. Her friends aren't exactly where she left them, and life seemed to go on quite well without her. But just as OZ seem to be better off Dorothy receives a distress call from Glinda the Good Witch. It seems Glinda needs Dorothy's help in getting free, and Dorothy is more than happy to take on the quest. A new monarch rules over OZ, is this the person who got rid of Glinda? Is there another wicked witch roaming around? What has exactly happened to OZ?
No Place Like OZ is a deliciously dark concoction that is sure to lead to a magnificent first book. It's full of originality that's for sure. In the original story Dorothy was this rather naive yet brave girl from Kansas that saves everybody and then goes back home. No one ever thinks about what comes after now do they... no one but Danielle Paige it is. The way she paints the bleak picture of Dorothy's life post OZ makes you want to sympathize for the character. No one should be stuck in a life they don't exactly want, but instead of Dorothy taking the hard road (studying hard and going to college somewhere else, making herself a life somewhere else) she just wants to go back to the one place in the world where her life was more than the reality of things. She is tired of black and white and wishes to see color once again.
"Once you've seen castles and Munchkins and roads of yellow brick, once you've faced down monsters and witches and come face-to-face with true magic, well then, no matter how much you might have missed it while you were gone, the prairie can seem somewhat dull and—truly—downright dreary."
While I could feel sorry for Dorothy at the beginning it became rather apparent how she was a fame hog. All she really seem to want was to be the center of attention. She wanted to go back to OZ because she wanted to play the part of the Hero. She wanted the adoration, she wanted everything. In Kansas she wanted to have the prettiest dress for her birthday so that people would look at her again, and only when she was talking about her title of "the girl who survived the cyclone" did she feel happy. Because she mattered. But once she gets to OZ and puts on those infamous red shoes is game over. Magic, any type, comes with a price, and it seems that Dorothy's price may very well be anything good and redeemable inside her soul.
"Using magic to control another human being wasn't anything that had even occurred to me when I had been practicing back in my room. Of course, I knew it wasn't right, and I promised myself I wouldn't make a habit of it. But if I could use the power I had to make my aunt and uncle see that staying in OZ was the only sensible choice for us, well wasn't that a case where we all got what we wanted?"
The Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Lion. They all made an appearance, though it seems that they also had some side effects from the gifts the Wizard dispensed to them. The one you get to see more than the rest is the Scarecrow, and even at the beginning I thought he seemed somehow wrong, sinister. It seems everybody has missed being the center of attention, the hero of the story.
Oh after reading this title I cannot wait to read Dorothy Must Die. If there was any doubt about reading the novel before it has vanished like magic. It seems what they say it's true, you either die a hero or live long enough to become the villain, and as for me I cannot wait to see the wicked hero burn...
"Somewhere in the back of my mind, I had the vaguest notion that I was the one being wicked. But I found that I didn't care. In fact, I almost enjoyed it."
PS; The one truly chilling part of the story? I thought it was so weird the DOG didn't seem to intuitively know who was good or who was bad. Bad Toto, bad.