Title: No Place Like Oz
Written by Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die #0.1
Published by HarperCollins
Publication Date: November 12th 2013
Genres: Classic Retelling, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
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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.
I read Dorothy Must Die first and this book second. Although you don’t need to read this book first, I recommend that you do so as this book will answer a few questions you might have on Dorothy.
The story starts a little slow, we are seeing Dorothy on their farm in Kansas doing farm chores and missing Oz. She had told her Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and her best friend about her adventures in Oz but they wouldn’t believe her. It is now 2 years after her trip to Oz and Dorothy has turned 16. During those years since her return, she has been treated as a sort of celebrity for surviving the tornado and she has remained as sweet and kind as she was. However, Dorothy wishes for more and regrets that she returned to Kansas. Her 16th birthday party ends in disappointment but she finds an unexpected gift, ruby slippers presumably from Glinda (the good witch of the North). She wears it, clicks her heels three times, and thinks “there’s no place like Oz” and is transported back to Oz with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry in tow. There she meets up with her old friends again and meets new ones. She also finds out that about 10 years have passed since she defeated the Wicked Witch of the West and there is a new ruler of Oz – Princess Ozma. We then discover the reasons why Dorothy has turned evil and how she became the new princess of Oz.
I really enjoyed this novella. It’s really short and a very fast read but not lacking in action and drama. I love the references that the author made from the movie and the book as well. And although I read an adapted illustrated version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz when I was 8 or 9 (which was really short), I haven’t actually read the REAL book. I have however seen an animated version that is closer to the book as compared to the famous Hollywood classic with Judy Garland. For example, I love that she mentions the silver shoes that Dorothy originally wore in the book BUT the movie has her wearing ruby slippers (because Hollywood thought it was more purty on film that boring old silver shoes). And I also love that the ruby slippers are the ones with the evil power (ha!).
I also thought Dorothy acted like a spoiled and ungrateful brat and was really mean to her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. This really didn’t bother me much because she acted like a typical 16-year-old! I did have problems with Dorothy’s voice, though because it sounds a little too modern and not how it was when the story was written in the 1900s. Despite that, I enjoyed reading it.
The story is fast paced and entertaining albeit, a little creepy because we get to see Dorothy’s transition from a sweet little girl from Kansas to evil despot.
Because I love The Wizard of Oz, I picture Judy Garland as Dorothy and the other characters as how they are in the movies. For me, I think that is not a bad thing.
Again, I recommend reading this book FIRST before reading Dorothy Must Die.