Tuesday 10 June 2014

GoodRead - No Place Like Oz

Like most of bookish person with a blog, I have seen the online buzz over Dorothy Must Die and I have been itching for it to get a UK publisher or for it, become available on my Kindle or to buy a paperback copy super cheap online somewhere. So when, one evening when no one was keeping an eye on my spending, I saw that Dorothy Must Die and its prequel, No Place Like Oz, was on Amazon and I could buy both for my kindle, I bought both without a moment's hesitation.

No Place Like Oz takes place two years after the events of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (the book by L. Frank Baum, not the movie starting Judy Garland) when Dorothy turns sixteen back in Kansas, and we see that she now regrets her decision to return to Kansas and misses Oz terribly. When her sixteenth birthday party turns sour, Dorothy discovers a pair of ruby red slippers from Glinda, the Good Witch and, without thinking about it, she turns to Oz, taking her aunt and uncle with her.

But when returning to Oz, something doesn't feel right. It's not the Oz Dorothy remembers. The Scarecrow, who was placed King of Oz when she left, has been dethroned by the rightful heir, Princess Ozma. Glinda is missing and Dorothy can't shake the feeling that everything is too perfect...

But she is right to worry?

This is a prequel to Dorothy Must Die, so this is setting everything up.

I enjoyed reading this. It was fun fast read (read it on and off within a day) and it sets up Dorothy Must Die nicely. It pays respect to L. Frank Baum (within reason - I'm getting to it) by having characters and settings. And it got me excited to read Dorothy Must Die.

However, there are problems. Well, one HUGE problem and a few smaller ones. Let start small and work our ways up.

The first is if you are a fan of L. Frank Baum's work. While I have said it respects his words with characters, settings and details (in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book, Dorothy wore Silver Slippers, not ruby red), No Place Like Oz and Dorothy Must Die kinda ignores the rest of Mr. Baum's stories where Dorothy appears. In one of his works, Dorothy actually lives in Oz and so does her family (thank you Wiki for this detail). So, if you are a fan of his work, while you will enjoy the details dropped in, you have to kinda ignore the original source material at times.

My second is Dorothy herself. I thought, when I bought and read this, that this will explain why Dorothy becomes evil. In Dorothy Must Die, Dorothy becomes an evil dictator. But, while we see the start of her turning evil, she isn't. She acts like a spoilt and selfish brat and turns into a bit of a bitch (sorry for the use of language here). But she puts her own feelings and wants before anyone else - her aunt and uncle, the people of Oz (who are happy), Princess Omza. Once I saw this in another review on Goodreads, I couldn't stop thinking about it and go "The reviewer's right!"

My HUGE issue is that this series is linked by James Frey and his company, the Full Fathom Five. I discovered this fact near the end of No Place Like Oz (and after I bought Dorothy Must Die). Once I discovered this fact, there was always a bitter taste in my mouth while reading this. Now, I am not going to admit that I know a lot about the Full Fathom Five so am going to point you all in the direction of James Frey's Wiki, Bibliodaze and, most importantly, New York Magazine.

While I will be reading Dorothy Must Die, I'm pretty certain now that I will love it less because of the Full Fathom Five connection. But I shall try and be fair. I'LL TRY!!!


  1. I took this series off my wish list when I found out about it's connection to James Frey. Thankfully I found out about it before I spent my money because I refuse to help line that mans pockets lol. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this as much as you expected to & hope that you like Dorothy Must Die more

    1. It just upset me, finding this out while I was reading and go "Damn it! Now what do I do?" as I have bought it on Kindle and I am getting the hardback from blogger pal of mine and it's - DAMN IT!!!!