My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Amy Gumm is the second girl from Kansas swept up by a tornado and taken to the magical land of Oz. But unlike Dorothy before her, Amy is no sweet, naive farm girl in a blue gingham dress. Amy grew up in a trailer park with her drug addicted alcoholic mother, and has been called trailer trash her entire life. Instead of letting it all break her — her mother’s extreme highs and lows, the bullying of the other girls at school –, Amy has become tough as nails and extremely self-reliant. She has bright pink hair and a no-nonsense attitude. Which is a good thing, because what she finds in Oz is nothing like what she expected from reading the book or seeing the movie.
You see, Dorothy left, but not for long. She had become addicted to magic, and would do anything, including pretty much destroying Oz and ruthlessly murdering and torturing her opponents, to get more. But addiction and the disaster it can wreak is something Amy Gumm knows well. She sees the destruction Dorothy is causing, along with her now twisted band of sycophants, and feels compelled to stop it before Oz is destroyed for good. The Tin Man has knives instead of fingers and heads Dorothy’s personal guard, the scarecrow creates Frankenstinian monsters in his secret lab on unwilling subjects, the Lion sucks the fear from his unwilling victims to make himself stronger, along with maiming and eating innocents around him in a reign of terror, and Glinda the good witch oversees the wholesale enslavement of the peoples of Oz to mine more magic for Dorothy. So when Dorothy captures and threatens to execute Amy simply for being from the same place she came from (hello mean girls!), and the only way to escape is for Amy to bind herself to The Revolutionary Order of the Wicked (composed of mostly the remaining wicked witches, along with assorted allies), Amy goes for it. Once bound, her task is laid before her: Kill Dorothy.
I thought this take on the world of Oz was fresh and unique, and I absolutely loved the spunky Amy. I liked all of the moral gray area as well. Good is bad, Wicked can be good, and maybe Right and Wrong are the only things that can be trusted to guide you. For anyone else who is a fan of books that take a familiar world and spin it on its head, I highly recommend this book. And for those of you who are series book fans, this is just the first installment of what will be a series. The second book The Wicked Will Rise comes out soon!