You would easily be forgiven for thinking that the mythos of Oz had been mined of all potential prequels, sequels or spin-offs. However, along comes Danielle Paige to prove us all wrong. In preparation for the release of Dorothy Must Die, the first in her new trilogy exploring what happened after that “over the rainbow” business, Paige has released a novella called “No Place like Oz.”
For this novella, Danielle Paige continues the legend, again with Dorothy Gale as the main character. As readers (or viewers, for those that have only seen the movie), we never really think about what life must have been like for Dorothy upon her return to Kansas. Who would believe the fantastical story she has to tell? Turns out that there is no one who buys her story and the mean girls at school can be just a cruel as they always were. Dorothy is starting to feel like her hero status in Oz is much more appealing than a boring life in Kansas.
When, on her sixteenth birthday, Dorothy receives a mysterious pink gift, she is again transported to the wonderful land of Oz – this time taking Auntie Em and Uncle Henry along for the ride. This would be great, except for the fact that things are not as she left them. Turns out, Ozma – the rightful ruler of Oz-land – has once again risen to power and it seems things for Dorothy’s old friends are not going so great.
On top of that, Glinda has gone missing and she needs Dorothy’s help. Fortunately for her, Dorothy has gotten a bit of a swelled head since her last successful trip to Oz. Now, surrounded by statues commemorating her deeds and citizens praising her from all corners, it is no surprise when Dorothy’s desire for power becomes all-consuming.
Danielle Paige does an admirable job of placing readers back into the Oz mindset and her allusions to parts of the original book series will delight even the casual fan. The real feat here is how successfully, Paige has been able to finagle the actions of these familiar characters to fit her very creative storyline – all while remaining true to the spirit of L. Frank Baum’s classic.
Readers interested in Danielle Paige’s continuation of the Oz storyline in Dorothy Must Die are encouraged to read this novella first. It helps to place Dorothy in context for what is about to happen. And yes, “No Place Like Oz” is an entertaining and enjoyable story all on its own.
Scheduling Update: Stop back here on Friday, April 10, for the BOLO Books review of Dorothy Must Die.