Book Review – The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

A face off of crackling magical babes that at times fizzled.

The Wicked Will Rise Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Fantasy, Adventure

No. of pages: 293

From Goodreads:

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?

Page border by Casey Carlisle

I really wanted to be swept away in the tornado of Amy’s world, but for the Sequel of Dorothy Must Die, I was even less impressed than with the debut novel. That’s not to say I did not enjoy The Wicked Will Rise, because I thought it a fun read – but that was about all.

My attention waned in many parts, and didn’t get that feeling that I must read on until the last quarter of the novel. I’ve rated this the same as Dorothy Must Die, but must admit I felt it did not match the quality on any count. I’m afraid I’m starting to lose faith in this franchise…

The action in this novel is fantastic, and I feel if the pacing was tightened up would have greatly improved the reading experience.

The mythology in regards to magic is fascinating, but there wasn’t enough explained in this book to give it some ‘pow’ and suffered the fate of many middle novels in that too many questions go unanswered.

I still think the story of Amy needing to assassinate Dorothy is a great one – and the events in The Wicked Will Rise around this are dealt with really well in this novel.

With so many good points, I don’t know why I’m not more excited for this read – I just felt like there was something missing. Or maybe I was expecting it to be bigger and better than its predecessor? Quite possibly there was too much going on with side stories and not enough ‘meat’ along the core storyline. I would have liked to have seen more pressure but on Amy too – with her environment and personal relationships.

Danielle Paige has a pleasant enough writing style and paints a vivid world, but I got lost at times when she darted off on tangents. Yes, they were interesting, but the pacing suffered.

The story is original enough (a quasi fairytale re-telling) but failed to draw me in completely. Maybe I’m just not a fan of this sub-genre. The only book to date I’ve enjoyed in the trend of new novels based on childhood stories has been the Lunar Chronicles… I will see if A Court of Thorns and Roses measures up in the coming month before I abandon acquiring any more titles in this area.

Overall feeling: Meh!

The Wicked Will Rise Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

The Wicked Will Rise Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Book Review – Dorothy Must Die

Dorothy Must Die Book Review by Casey CarlisleFrom Goodreads:

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado – taking you along with it – you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted. Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a yellow brick road – but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm – and I’m the other girl from Kansas.

I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I’ve been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.

Page border by Casey Carlisle

 

It’s not really a book I would have picked up, but after being suggested by many friends I finally caved – and it wasn’t half bad.

I got lost in the story easily and the narrative carried me through Amy’s adventures with ease. The underlying tone of bullying and corruption of power is very prominent and I like how these issues were dealt with in a magical setting. It was about finding your voice and standing up for yourself – without crossing that imaginary line that causes harm to another… unless absolutely necessary. This is a book about premeditated murder after all.

An enjoyable and fantastical read, I can see it appealing to those who love fairytale retellings or inspired stories. Not really my interest, but nonetheless Danielle Paige weaves a colourful world where two-dimensional characters are given three dimensions.

Our protagonist, Amy, felt a little whiny and altruistic at times, but when you’re dealing with clichés, it’s hard to put it off completely unscathed. I’m glad her internal monologue questioned everything, how she drew her own conclusions and formed her own opinions from facts and observations. She’s not the typical victim we usually see in YA (not completely).

I found Dorothy Must Die quite a fast read, and there were plenty of times I was rolling my eyes at the story, but it has witty and comedic moments, in addition to building tension to a point where you really get a sense of danger. The pacing is a little stop-start at times, which left me yearning for the climax… and when I finally reached the end, wasn’t entirely impressed. It could have had so much more punch if the storyline was built better towards the culmination. Dorothy Must Die, wasn’t terrible, it’s entertaining and pleasant to read, but not something I will rave about.

Dorothy Must Die Book Review Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle

There were elements of brilliance in Danielle’s writing, but it didn’t quite pay off.

If you are into the fad of fairytale genre novels, be they adaptations, or new novels in the same world (which is not unlike fanfiction) then you’ll most likely love this. Otherwise I’d only recommend it if you want spend an afternoon reading something light and a little left of centre.

Dorothy Must Die Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.