Friday, January 27, 2017

The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

It's been a long time since I reviewed Dorothy Must Die, the first in Paige's Evil Dorothy saga. This sequel is one that I've been looking forward to for awhile. How does it hold up when compared to the first book? Is it better, the same, or worse? As this is a sequel there may be spoilers for Dorothy Must Die but I will do my best to avoid them. You have been warned, now let's dive right in!

Amy Gumm's mission in Oz is far from over. The Emerald City is leveled, the Wicked Order scattered, and Amy on the run with a couple of formerly winged monkeys and Oz's former ruler who is suffering a bad case of the crazies. As Amy and her friends regroup and determine their next steps, she discovers there may be a plot that could spell certain doom for her former home: Kansas. Amy must gather what forces she can, collect the keys and save Oz and Kansas.

The morbid sense of fun and dread are still very much alive in this book as it was in the previous installment. You still have a lot of really cool characters from Baum's original stories who bring life and light into the story. The story really needs it too, because the plot has gotten even darker as the story progresses. There's no denying that this is a war story, filled with death and despair that hits you the moment the book begins and up until the second it ends.

Even so, with all the trials and suffering that happens in this book, the character of Amy stays determined and focused on her goal. My big gripe with the previous book is that Amy was a bit of a whiner, but this time she's greatly improved. Her whining nature is rapidly being replaced with that of a seasoned fighter and, while it is an improvement, she starts to battle with her own killer instinct. Amy does kill in this story and it eats at her. She struggles to remain a good person even when the wickedness of her actions starts to devour, not only her heart, but her humanity. It's a vastly more interesting dynamic and a great development for her as a character.

Now, does the story have a downside? Well, yes. It gets crazy complicated really quick. What started out as a simple "kill the tyrant" mission just branches off and grows into a kind of end-of-the-world-magicky-wibbly-wobbly plot by several people and it gets a bit heard to keep track near the end. Also, while Amy is greatly improved, not all the other characters in this book are. Some of the new additions like Queen Lulu and Bright are a welcome bit of comic relief, major players like the Scarecrow, Polychrome, and even the Wizard are almost neglected. The characters of Paige's own design are clearly the ones that got all the love in this book, when I would have much rather read more about the ones from the original Wizard of Oz. That and a few choices from certain characters can get a bit frustrating, but that's spoiler territory so I'm not getting into that.

Final Verdict
A good follow up to the first book, but could have used more from the source material. All in all, this book matches its predecessor and is worth your money at your local bookstore.

Have you read the book? What did you think? How did it compare to the first book? Comment below and share your thoughts.

Next Time: They're coming to take me away, ho ho hee hee ha ha

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