Sunday, July 17, 2016

YELLOW BRICK WAR - Danielle Paige {Review}

TITLEYellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die #3)
AUTHOR/s: Danielle Paige

PUBLICATION DATE: 15th of March, 2016

As a child, I've always been a big fan of tales especially Wizard of Oz and Wicked. Now, as a "grown-up", it's always nice to see various retellings based on stories I've loved during my childhood. However, I didn't think it was even possible (probably growth hormones) but sometimes, I actually like these retellings more than the original stories themselves since they add new flavors and give a deeper exploration to the world I grew up in. Just like the Dorothy Must Die Series!

Sometime last year, I've started the first two books in Danielle Paige's  Dorothy Must Die Series  as well as its Companion Stories. Since then, I've eagerly anticipated the release of its third installment, Yellow Brick War. And now that I've FINALLY gone through all of its goodness, I'm excited to sure my thoughts with you guys :D

Once upon a time, there was a girl from Kansas named Dorothy.

You might know her as the Girl Who Rode the Cyclone. She ended up in Oz, where she became friends with the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion. But the temptation of magic was too much for her. She let it change her. Her friends became twisted versions of their former selves.

The magical land of Oz is now a dark and menacing place.

My name is Amy Gumm. Tornadoes must have a thing about girls from Kansas, because I got swept away on one too. I also landed in Oz, where Good is Wicked, Wicked is Good, and the Wicked Witches clued me in to my true calling:


The only way to stop Dorothy from destroying Oz—and Kansas—is to kill her. And I’m the only one who can do it.

But I failed. Others died for my mistakes. Because of me, the portal between the worlds has been opened and Kansas and Oz are both in danger. And if I don’t find a way to close it?

Dorothy will make sure I never get to go home again.

For those who also have stuck with Amy Gumm and the gang since the beginning (who have forgotten where we left of because of the publication hiatus) and for those who haven't started with the series yet (WHYYYY??), here's a quick previously-on-the-Dorothy-Must-Die-Series from EPIC READS! << click the link :)

Moving on! Can I just say that Danielle Paige's writing is so on point? When I just thought that her world building couldn't get any better, Amy and the gang were brought to old, dreary Kansas and was more explored. Not as much as I would've wanted but still more than what we initially have. I really like how old characters were re-introduced in a completely different light and how Amy dealt with her post-Oz life.

I don't know how to begin ticking off all the things I loved in this third installment. It seemed like so many things were happening at once (I finally get what other readers said as the book "feeling rushed" because it was short compared to the previous two).

I guess I should start with the minor things I'd like to say: first, Pete! He wasn't as "major" of a character as he had been which made me sad because of how much I adored him during the initial parts of the series. I know he did some unforgivable things previously but I couldn't help but still be heartbroken for him </3

Next is how I felt for the fairies introduced in the story. I'm really happy to have met Lurline! She had a short stint here in the book and I LOVED IT! It actually kinda reminded me of Harry and Dumbledore's scene at King's Cross Station. 

Another thing is Ozma. I have mentioned in my previous reviews that I grew bored in her character but I actually liked her when she wasn't in her "woozy" phase (like in the companion novellas) and in this book as well. Yay! She just feel very queen-ly and I'm looking forward to how she'd handle the things at Oz. 

Aside from the characters, I liked how the battle scenes were fleshed out. I -so- loved the one where everyone just basically clashed at Tin's castle. It was just so cool especially Glamora and Glinda's battle!! Just superb, you guys! Imagine girly megazords (of Power Rangers!!!) battling with magic stuff and you'll have a peek on how badass that scene was! However, I slightly guessed the plot twist of that battle's aftermath between the sisters. It was pretty predictable especially since it's an efficient plot device to move the story forward.

Another battle I liked was that at Dorothy's place. The "gore" and action was done just how I liked it! Still, I wish that this battle had been reserved for the last book because the overall goal of the series was to kill Dorothy and if that goal was already achieved, then why continue with another book? I actually anticipated the appearance of a new villain after the Ruler of Beasts novella but I wish he could've been dealt with first before killing off Dorothy. Well, unless Dorothy isn't *really* dead, yet (which I wouldn't know what I should feel. IS THAT GIRL IMMORTAL???) 

Speaking of the "dead" possibly coming to life, a plot twist I didn't expect was that of (spoiler) Gert (end of spoiler) coming back to life. Her death previously broke my heart but I believe that it was necessary. Bringing her back probably would make me happier if only it was explained clearly. I don't know if it's just me but I didn't really understand how it happened.

Also, speaking of the new villain, I actually find him interesting especially since he's one of the original Oz characters and the way Danielle Paige personify him was fun! I was wondering when he'll pop up haha! I'm glad that he's finally here :) On the downside, it feels as if he was placed just for the sake of having another book. Everything seems well already and the series could've wrapped up cleanly without the unnecessary plot twists including this one (again, except if suddenly Dorothy was still alive.) But since it's already there, I wish Danielle would explore his character more in the next book. So stoked for it!

Lastly, it surprising to admit that I didn't really much enjoy the aspect that I loved from before: Nox and Amy's romance. Don't get me wrong, Nox still (and will forever) make me swoon and I get it that romance isn't exactly the focus of the series. Yet, I just felt like there were unnecessary complications thrown at them just for the sake of stirring things up. I wish it was either (1) dealt with more or (2) just didn't happen at all. The two of them *slightly* felt out of character because of the romance that's going on. I initially admired Amy for not letting her be controlled by her feelings for the boy (and Nox, vice versa) but as the story progresses, I feel like she's starting to let her emotions get a hold of her. Couldn't blame her really, though. But still.

“Caring too much only meant you were that much easier to hurt.”  -Amy

"I'd been the one to push him away, but I was already regretting it." -Amy

"The world I grew up in is gone too, but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up on it. Because if you give up - then what is there left to live for?" -Amy

"It was like a beautiful dream - except that it was impossible, no matter how much some part of me wished it could come true. I couldn't sacrifice the people I loved just to be with the boy I wanted." -Amy

"Once upon a time, I'd felt something for him. But that was long gone. Now he was just trouble." -Amy

"I followed, telling myself the pain in my ribs was just exhaustion and not my heart breaking into a million little pieces (...)" -Amy

"(...) the only person you can really rely on is yourself." -Dorothy

"The most obvious way is not always the right path." -Lurline

"(...) in all of us, it is only your capacity for wickedness that makes selflessness possible." -Lurline

Just because I gave it one rating lower compared to the previous two doesn't mean that I did not like this one because I highly enjoyed reading! Yes, I surprisingly had lots of minimal problems with it but it definitely hyped me up for the next book especially since it was initially released that Yellow Brick War would be the conclusion of a trilogy. But now! I'm so stoked! Can the fourth book come any sooner, Danielle? *pretty please?*

Four out of Five rating for Danielle Paige's Yellow Brick War!

4/5 Rating! :)

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