Thursday, June 5, 2014

[Book Review] No Place Like Oz by Danielle Paige

No Place Like Oz (Dorothy Must Die #0.5) by Danielle Paige

Publication Date: November 12, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Source: Library


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.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

My Review

I had trouble getting into Dorothy Must Die the first time around, but after reading No Place Like Oz I am very excited to pick it up again. This e-novella gives the reader a glimpse into the time between the end of the original tale by L. Frank Baum and where Danielle Paige picks up in her own retelling. Of course the writing style and voice sound different from the original but as some one who has read the original story I could still feel the spirit of each character. After reading this short story I can't wait to pick up Dorothy Must Die again.

I loved getting to know the Dorothy that will be presented as the villain in Dorothy Must Die. As someone who grew up with the original story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz it is hard to imagine how Dorothy could turn into someone so evil, but in this short 100+ page story we see how Dorothy turns from hero to villain. As readers, we begin to question the characters we thought we knew and loved and this is the perfect set up for Paige's full length novel.

The one thing I did have a problem with was the language. I can imagine it would be hard to write in the same style as the original story written 100 years ago and I wanted to hear Paige's own writing voice shine through. Yet, there were parts were it was hard to imagine that the story took place only a few short years after the original tale. At times it almost sounded to modern and colloquial. It took some time to get used to it, but eventually I could feel the essence of the original characters shining through.

After reading No Place Like Oz I am excited to dive back into the world of Dorothy Must Die with fresh eyes. Now that I know how Dorothy became evil I feel more invested in the story and in it's outcome. I highly recommend reading this before reading Dorothy Must Die. While not imperative, it does give a nice backstory and sets up the world of the full length novel.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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