Being Wicked Has Never Been So Good - The Wicked Will Rise (review)

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige
Title: The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die #2)
Author: Danielle Paige
Release Date: March 31st, 2015
Genre: Reimaging - Magic
Age Group: YA
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4 stars
“To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die....

But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn't wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked?”

RELATED: No Place Like Home (Dorothyt Must Die #0.1) | Stealing Snow (Snow #1)

Confession is good for the soul they say, so...I kind of hate the Wizard of Oz.

Visually, yes, it was pretty cool for the time. (I love old movies so it still holds value to me.) And the premise was interesting. But there was just SOMETHING about it that I disliked. I loved the Syfy miniseries Tinman though. Up until then, there was never any version of the tale I enjoyed. I think it's because I favor the dark side of Oz.

So I gave Dorothy Must Die a try. Because what's more "darker" than if Dorothy was an evil overlord?

I loved Dorothy Must Die a lot more than I had been prepared for. (I swear I HAD a review, but it looks like blogger ate it, so no feels for you.) I was super excited to dive into The Wicked Will Rise. So excited, in fact, that I ordered a signed copy from Books of Wonder.

The Wicked Will Rise started right at the moment Dorothy Must Die ended. Amy was being carried off. There was no long drawn out recap, just one quick reminder of why she was where she was, and BAM right back into the action. From there, Amy found herself on the run, searching for a way to gather the necessary items before she could defeat Dorothy for good.

I won't lie, I spent 59% of the book waiting on my boy to show back up.

It wasn't that the first half of the book was boring or anything, I just missed him. Nox was just a fun and interesting character that I couldn't help but like him. That said, I'm not sure how my I'd ship them as a couple. Amy and Nox don't get to spend a lot of time together since they first met, and when they were together, you couldn't feel the chemistry. It wasn't electric, it wasn't over powering; it was more like a hesitant crush in elementary school: cute but nothing to get worked up over.

I like Amy.

She was interesting and relatable from the get go. A lot has happened to her in Oz, forcing her to grow and change. She started off as a girl who'd let herself get picked on to take the focus off someone else, and turned into a girl who was loyal and willing to kill to one person to save a whole land.

Amy talked a lot about being good and wicked (see quotation #3 below) and being both. The whole shades of grey thing made the characters that much more interesting. The "good guys" are wicked, as in the Wicked Witches, the "bad guys" are the heroes from years past, and no one in this book fits the standard black/white, good/evil mold. People just aren't one thing, so to see that reflected in the book, was probably my favorite thing about it. Two books down and I still cannot pinpoint most of the character's motivations and end goals. I'm having lots of fun coming up with theory after theory.

The rest of the cast was no less interesting.

Ozma has to be my favorite character. Because of Dorothy's spell, she's a bit dim. But not really. I think the true Ozma gets more play time that we think she does, especially as Oz gets more power back, because that little girl knows/sees too much for her to be half a glass full.

I liked Pete in book one, but now I'm not so sure how I feel about him. He's trapped, and wants nothing more than to be free to live his own life. There was a great quotation from him about living that is absolutely true.

"I never stop appreciating it. Just being able to stand outside like this and breathe the air. You should remember all the things you've already gotten to do, all the things you'll still get to do. Okay, so maybe things could be better. But you have this life that's just sitting there, waiting for you to take it. It could be worse."

And damn if that doesn't make me want to go outside and do something.

But Pete kind of annoyed me in this book, rubbing off some of his charm. Then there was this random, and completely unnecessary plot point that kind of forced me to step back. It's not what happened, or the explanation afterwards, it's why the scene occurred that I have an issue with. There was no reason for it, no signs, nothing that made me travel that path. Other than causing unnecessary tension between him and Amy and broadening the range of flavor this book brings.

Don't make a character BE something just for the sake of BEING it. If a character is going to BE something, let it be because that's who they ARE and if we learn about things, don't make it into an awkward experience like that.

The land of Oz was so much fun.

Everything was changing. The places we've been to before were different this time around, and there were plenty of new places for us to visit. The Wingless Monkey's home was like a island vacation, a brief respite showing us the other side of Oz. The reason Dorothy needs to die. The Rainbow land was all kinds of crazy but it was no less twisted than the rest of this world. The rest of Oz was dark and dangerous and I loved every inch of it. 

I really cannot wait to see how the darkness inside Amy continues to grow in book three. Will she be completely Wicked or is there goodness still left to save her? Very excited to find out.

Words To Live By

"When it comes to cliché's, there is one that I'm starting to believe might actually be worth repeating. You can't go home again."
"Some people spend their whole lives searching for the one thing they can do to say, I changed the world. I had found that thing. I might not be able to accomplish it, but I was going to die trying."
"She had been both good and wicked and everything in between. She had been both at once, too, until it was hard for her to even tell the difference anymore."


Overall, I enjoyed The Wicked Will Rise. The story was interesting, and kept me entertained. Things happen to move us forward, but it did feel like a middle book or a trilogy. If you are a fan of The Wizard of Oz then you may enjoy this series.

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