Tuesday, April 15, 2014

We're Definitely Not in Kansas Anymore--Dorothy Must Die! Dark YA Fantasy...

"No!" I screamed, but it was too late. The home that
had once been mine was spinning down and down
and down into the hole. I kept expecting to see it
crash into a million pieces, but it just kept on falling
as I stood there watching it disappear into the abyss.
It was gone without even a sound. I had almost gone
with it. Everything I owned was in there. Every piece
of ugly clothing. Every bad memory. I was free of all
of it.
"I'm sorry about your house," my rescuer said...
Suddenly the door of the trailer swung open.
"Mom!" I called, running to the open door. For a split second, I thought maybe she'd come back for me. Or, if not for me, then at least for Star. But it had just been the wind. For the first time, it occurred to me that the impending tornado might not be a joke...
The mom I'd once known was gone. She was never coming back. Still--whoever she was now--I didn't want her out there on her own. I couldn't trust Tawny to take care of her in a disaster. More than that, I didn't want to be alone. So I picked up my phone and punched in her name. No service. I hung up...
I couldn't even lie down in the bathtub. We didn't have a bathtub any more than we had a basement. Al Roker's voice on the TV had been replaced by static. I was alone.
"Star?" I squeaked. My voice barely made it out of my chest. "Star?" It was the first time in my life that I'd been desperate for the company of my mother's rat. I didn't have anyone else...
Underneath the boy's feet, yellow bricks
as vivid as a box of new crayons, were
almost glowing in start contrast to the
blownout, postapocalyptic monochrome
of the landscape. The gold path led all the
way up to the ravine and then dropped
off into nothingness.

By Danielle Paige

As I sank onto the couch. I couldn't tell if I was shaking, or if it was the trailer itself. Or both...A minute later, when something snapped on the right side of the trailer, everything pitched to the side. I gripped the cushions hard to keep from falling off the couch. Then, there was another snap, and a lurch, and I knew that we'd come loose from our foundation.


Dorothy Must Die
Cropped screenshot of Judy Garland from the tr...
       Judy Garland The Wizard of Oz.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There's a new animated version of the original Oz story coming soon if I saw right on TV this weekend...All of us know that story, don't we? But did you ever learn what happened after Dorothy returned to Kansas?
Well, for now, all you need to know is that she's not in Kansas anymore... Danielle Paige has done some research on what happened when she returned.

In fact, you may be surprised to learn that she returned to Oz and is there right now!

But there in Oz, somebody started to whisper "Dorothy Must Die..." Seems our once golded-voice star of song and laughter has changed quite a bit... Dorothy is all grown up and in love with bling, beautiful things and all that magic can bring to make her happy... Oz is almost gone
ease on down the shelf
"Aren't you supposed to sing me a song or something?"
... Dorothy has decreed that magic from the center of their world be dug up! Now I was most unsettled when I learned that Glinda, the once beautiful witch of the North, and of course my favorite character, has been helping her! She's no longer a good witch! In fact, these once good characters have all fallen--fallen under the spell of Dorothy...

Now, some say that Amy was selected to come to Oz...that may be true, but let me tell you that this young girl is not "molded" from the same stuff as Dorothy was. Her father left the 
She was the most beautiful creature I'd ever seen.
Her hair was red, and her skin was glowing, and
her body was radiating a shower of glittering pink
sparks. I smacked my head as it came to me.
Duh. It must be Glinda. She was supposed to be the
Good Witch...I felt my face light up at the sheer
insanity of it all. When I'd watched The Wizard
of Oz
with my mother, Glinda had always been
my favorite character--because who wouldn't
want to travel around in a flying soap bubble
wearing an awesome dress...
family and her mother began to drink. At school, Amy was tortured by bullies and they called her Salvation Amy because that's where most of her clothes were bought. She had become a young woman who could take care of herself--because nobody else would... Still, she did try to help her mother when she could.

Dorothy Must Die
Ahead of us, we heard a screechy, unearthly
caterwaul. Star squealed in response. I sped
up to see what was going on. Then I wished
I hadn't seen it at all.
A few paces off, something was tied to a pole
at the edge of the road. The something was
furry. It screeched again...
"The crime of sass?" I whispered angrily.
They'd made that a crime...
"let's get you down from there." I made a
move to untie him, but Indigo grabbed my
wrist. She was almost shaking...
"No!" Indigo cried. But she didn't try to stop
me. Within seconds I'd gotten him free. I
caught him in my arms--he was heavier than
he looked--and as I laid him carefully down
 on the yellow bricks, I felt two rough, balk
little stumps on his shoulder blades...It took
me a second to realize what they were, and
when I did, I felt sick to my stomach. This
monkey had once had wings..."
She seemed perfect. And yet, as I approached, an
uneasy feeling prevented me from calling out her
Something wasn't right. From far off, she looked
beautiful, ethereal, otherworldly. But up close,
there was something ugly about her. Something
wrong with her face...
But that smile. It was--I don't know how else to put
it--kind of super-gross. It stretched unnaturally wide,
spreading out maniacally all the way across her jaw
from one cheekbone to the other, and it was twitching
at the corners like her lips had been pinned into place.
"What's with her mouth?"...
It's PermaSmile...
And when one of the first things she saw was a captured monkey, she immediately tried to help... but she had no idea what that would cause!

Before she knew it, Indigo and Ollie was down on their knees, bowing in front of a girl. Fortunately, it turned out to be an illusion.

As readers learn about those that appeared in the original story, they will quickly discover that they are almost completely the opposite of what they once were!

Most of this book is acquainting readers to all the new characters and their personalities. One thing it was hard to take for Amy was that she discovered herself in the midst of witches--immediately assuming they were wicked, which they were, but...not...LOL You know it's bad when the wicked witches had to band together to try to solve the problems in Oz! At least that's what Amy was told when she was, more or less, told that she must join them.

Which turned out not to be so bad, since she was immediately placed in training...and it was by the boy who had originally saved her from going over into the big pit! And the head witch, Gert, said she was going to use her "Get Witch Quick" scheme to get Amy ready for what they needed from her!

With all of the programs such as Grimm and Once Upon a Time, it is clear that the latest craze to turn all fairy tales into dark stories of danger and disaster, it is not surprising that Dorothy Must Die is the latest. Conceptually, you will see a comparison to the earlier version...but that's about all...Everything is different. And even the characters will change mid-story as you find out more and more about who is working behind the scenes to return Oz to its former glory! The author has done a great job in creating a "dark" version, I think. Those who enjoy Grimm like I do will be quite satisfied with this contemporary version of the old tale.

For me, I enjoyed it...but for a story that will be popular through decades to come, we'll have to wait and see...For myself, I'd much rather be singing along in the musical version...LOL.  Still, I would highly recommend this for those who enjoy updates of earlier fantasy or sci fi stories!


                                                                     Wizard of  Oz is a classic!

Danielle Paige is a graduate of Columbia University and currently lives in New York City. Before turning to young adult literature, she worked in the television industry, where she received a Writers Guild of America Award and was nominated for several Daytime Emmys. Dorothy Must Die is her first novel.

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