Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Young Adult

The End of Oz by Danielle Paige

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My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

The last time Amy Gumm saw Dorothy the walls of the palace were crumbling down on top of her. She and the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked had finally defeated her…Or so they thought. It turns out, evil chicks with  magic shoes aren’t so easy to get rid of after all.

The Yellow Brick Road takes Amy and her companions on one of their strangest missions yet, to the dark, depressing land of Ev. The only problem is, they have no idea why. What does Ev have to do with Oz? And will they ever be able to restore Oz to the beautiful, magical place that it once was?

When I read the first two books in the Dorothy Must Die series last year I could barely put them down. Sure, they were a bit heavy on the teen dialogue/drama, but the story and characters were interesting enough that I was able to look past it. When the third book came out I was less captivated, which is why I really really hoped that Danielle Paige would have pulled out all the stops for the final installment. Sadly, that was not the case.

One thing that the author does well is paint scenery. I’ve enjoyed the way she described Oz and all of it’s wonderful strangeness. I liked the stark contrast she created with Ev and the horrid creatures that lived there. I did not, however, feel like there were enough characters in the story to carry it along. The characters in the first few books, whether wicked or good, were fascinating. Dorothy were her delusional sense of grandeur and evilness. Her equally sinister comrades: Scarecrow, Lion, and Tin. Lulu the queen of the winged/wingless monkeys. Ozma the cursed fairy and rightful ruler of Oz…Just to name a few. By the fourth story, several of the big game players are no longer present. Amy’s companions this time around were far less appealing. Madison, her friend from back in Kansas, brought nothing but whining and annoying pop culture references. Nox, her sort of boyfriend, is still as lackluster as he’s been the entire series. Even Amy, who was pretty badass before, was so busy fawning over Nox the entire time that I kinda just wanted to slap her. Overall, the series turned a little too “young adult” for me to enjoy.

One thing I did appreciate was Amy’s struggle over the concept of home. She had a hard time figuring out where “home” really was ever since she first landed in Oz. Was it back in Kansas with her mother? Or was it in Oz, where she had friends and was finally able to make something of herself? This is a struggle that many of us face (sometimes more than once) throughout our lives, so I could really relate to the confusion that Amy experienced. I also liked that we were given a glimpse into Dorothy’s mind and her delusions. It made you understand just how ****ed up she truly was. At the same time, however, all of the back and forth between Dorothy and Amy’s characters made the plot feel short. It would have been better to just stick with Amy’s point of view, like in the other books.

I won’t spoil the ending here, but I will say that I was highly disappointed with the way the series ended. Enough so that once I got to the end of the book I was tempted to throw it at the wall. *sad face* You can’t win them all, I guess.

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