As someone who finds it harder and harder to admit to others I’m a Kansan (fucking Brownback), let me be the first to say that I fucking hate The Wizard of Oz with the passion of a million burning suns. You go to a Kansas themed store, you’re going to find three things: Royals gear, barbecue sauce, and fucking Wizard of Oz murch.
I never really saw what the big deal was with Wizard of Oz in the first place. Yeah, it was an innovation in film, but that doesn’t automatically mean it’s good. If nothing else, it doesn’t mean I have to forfeit my right to an opinion and automatically say it’s great. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched it to death as a kid, or maybe it’s just because I’m not much of a film buff. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because I belong to a very large crowd of Kansans who are sick and tired of hearing all the tornado jokes, Toto jokes, and the popular “you ain’t in Kansas no more!” from every god damn smart-ass guido New York has to offer. It’s all just speculation, but at the same time, I just don’t see what the big deal is.
Oh sure, I guess you can bring up the Technicolor argument, and the fact it had one of the biggest actresses at the time in the lead. You might even point out that the books were better. I haven’t read the books, but honestly, I just don’t have any motivation to. Bottom line: I’m just not a fan.
In fact, when I saw the first Dorothy Must Die book on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, I had to see what that was about. Of course, I had to get it off Audible.com if I wanted to read it, but the important thing is that I read it. a year and a half later, I just finished book 3 in the series, and now I’m impatiently waiting to see what happens next.
Honestly, I neither love nor hate the “young adult” genre. I’m tempted to punch people who refer to it as “YA”(either sounding out the letters, or pronouncing it phoenetically), but the… Genre? Demographic? Whatever you want to call it, there are good stories here. There’s also really, really, REALLY bad ones (I’m looking at you, United States of Asgard), but that’s really just the way of the world. I guess at absolute worst, I’m still stuck in the olden days when we used to call them teenagers, and didn’t give a rat’s ass what they had to say about anything because it was mostly unimportant bullshit that centered around the aquarium that is high school. You don’t believe me? Go to Livejournal, and click random over and over again. Wait, livejournal’s still a thing, right?
Yeah, the Dorothy Must Die books are young adult. And yeah, there’s romance between the main character and a male. Painfully awkward, unappealing romance that borders on a possible FRIangle (FRIangle = forced romantic interest angle). However, compared to a lot of books in the genre demographic thing Audible.com recommended to me and I ended up hating, it’s somewhere between barely unnoticeable and understandable.
If nothing else, the setting, the story, and really, the concept of Dorothy becoming a tyrannical dictator is what holds my attention the most. Danielle Paige has taken The Wizard of Oz, and turned it into a delightful Game of Thrones esque bloodbath. Except thankfully, nobody’s fucking their sister in this one. She is kind of a pain with all these cliffhanger endings, though, which is definitely something she and GRRM have in common.
Out of the three books, Rise of the Wicked (book 2) is my favorite so far. Book 1 had its tedious bits here and there, but it managed to hold my attention from start to finish. Book 3 was almost better than book 2, but then you got to the last three or four chapters, and I couldn’t help but feel like this could’ve been a chapter or two shorter. Book 2, however, is pretty much perfect.
It’s very clear the author is either a fan of the old Wizard of Oz books, or she’s at least familiar enough with the source material. Hell, she probably looked it all up on Wikipedia for all I know and care. Just when you think she’s only focusing on the old movie, and maybe OZ the Great and Powerful (don’t even get me started), references so obscure that I’m surprised I even know them pop up. I’m talking things like The Gnoamb King, and the silver shoes being completely different from the ruby ones.
I can’t say I appreciate all the little jabs at Kansas thrown in to all the books, but like I said, Kansas is making it real hard for me to be proud of being from here anymore. This must be what it’s like for Canadians whenever they watch South Park. I don’t know.
All I know for sure is I really enjoy this book series, and I’m eagerly waiting to see what sort of mayhem comes next in book 4.