This was a hit and miss for me.
There were elements to the story that I was completely gung-ho about (like seeing how warped, twisted, and strange that Oz had become), but there were other elements that I had to leave the book alone for a while as if it were throwing a tantrum (like the narrator thinking).
An amazon summary it is, "I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?
Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.
My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!" AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
FIRST, let me say that the back of the book and the book content DO NOT MATCH UP.
The whole 'Remove the Tin Woodman's heart. Steal the Scarecrow's brain. Take the Lion's courage. Then and only then --Dorothy must die!' bit DOES NOT COME INTO PLAY UNTIL THE VERY LAST PAGES OF THE BOOK.
I CAN'T EVEN.
I'm not spoiling anything, THE BOOK ALREADY SPOILED ITSELF.
Seriously, Amy doesn't even know that she's supposed to defeat all of Dorothy's 'friends' until the VERY LAST pages of the book!
Seriously. Why would you market a first book (that will have unknown number of sequels) with the big plot twist that happens at the very end of the story?
|Courtesy of: http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/why.gif|
So, the book begins with Amy having an incredibly crap-tastic life where she's constantly bullied by a girl named Madison and has an absent mother. She's dirt poor and her classmates are jerks.
Amy, wishing she were anywhere as she has had it with all the bogus crap in her life, is whisked off in a tornado to Oz.
In Oz, she finds that it's almost nothing like what the book depicted as Dorothy's Oz. Everything is in shambles; it looks as if a nuclear missile has gone off and taken everything that was once good out of the land.
Amy bumps into a few people from Oz only for the horror of new Oz to be unleashed - one of her first allies is murdered in front of her eyes for an act that shouldn't even be a crime.
Confused and terrible at puzzling things out, Amy is whisked off to the Emerald City where she comes face to face with evil Dorothy who sentences her to prison until her trial (where she will most likely be sentenced to death).
I'll stop there as it's a little harder for me to gauge where to stop before spoilers, but seeing as the FREAKING SUMMARY ruined the REVEAL at the end of the book, I don't know if it really can be spoiled any further.
So things I loathed about the book:
Amy - she was an interesting enough narrator but seemed to come across a lot of 'bad situations' and suddenly have to lament again about how maybe her home life hadn't been too awful, she didn't know who to trust, what had made Dorothy so evil, how do you classify people who are supposed to be good that do evil things, how do you classify wicked people who do good things? Rinse & repeat. It got really boring after a while; I almost gave up on the book during the training sequence that Amy underwent. Barf.
Star - the rat that is Amy's version of Toto and still doesn't have a point. The rat was used once for a plot point....but that was it. Sure, it served as a reminder of Kansas, but with how often Amy thought about home, she didn't really seem to need a reminder.
Dorothy - summary of Dorothy - "BLAH BLAH BLAH, I'M EVIL, BLAH BLAH BLAH, EAT ALL THE MAGIC, BLAH BLAH BLAH I DON'T HAVE A LOT OF SCREEN TIME". ....that's it.
Some things I liked about the book:
Oz - Oz itself was pretty dang cool to read about. I mean, I wanted to see munchkins frolicking around and being the non-candy obsessed version of Ompa Loompahs. What I got was way better - hardened munchkins that wanted to win the war against Dorothy.
Flying monkeys - Maybe it's in the original lore of Oz, but apparently the flying monkeys can be controlled by magic as long as they have their wings. The monkeys that wanted freedom? Cut off their wings. Of all the weird things happening in Oz, that by far was the most FIGHT THE POWER symbolism to me.
Dorothy's distorted friends - It was entirely chilling to see Scarecrow have brain juice inserted directly into his brain, it was shiver-inducing to see the Tin Woodman having no remorse as he killed off subjects of Oz, and the Lion, well the Lion could have had a bit more work. He was scary, but he didn't really seem to be on the other's level of creep-itude (I'm making up words, shhh).
Given the pacing of the story, the reveals that were spoiled, and the whole feeling of "Your Princess is in another castle" at the end; I probably won't pick up the sequel. I don't have a lot of motivation too.