Review: The End of Oz by Danielle Paige

Monday, April 10, 2017

Date started: April 2, 2017
Date finished: April 5, 2017
Book 28/52 in 2017.
My rating: ★★

The End of Oz is the fourth book in Danielle Paige's Dorothy Must Die series, and it is by far my least favorite. I have mixed feelings about this series, anyway, and if I didn't care so much about Nox (not Nox and Amy, just Nox) I probably would've stopped reading halfway through the first book.

There are a few reasons I couldn't stand the fourth installment in this series, and I'll really dig into them below, but my main problem: Never once did I think everything wouldn't be OK. There were a few moments where Amy was thinking, "Am I going to die? I might die." and even when she was scared to death, I was more like, "Eh. She'll survive." 

Not that I wanted Amy to die, but I would've loved if Paige had inspired a little fear in me while I was reading. My heart rate didn't go up for a darn second.

Here's the Goodreads synopsis...

In this high-octane fourth book in the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, Amy Gumm must do everything in her power to save Kansas and make Oz a free land once more.

At the end of Yellow Brick War, Amy had finally defeated Dorothy. Just when she and the rest of the surviving members of the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked thought it was safe to start rebuilding the damaged land of Oz, they realized they’ve been betrayed—by one of their own. And Dorothy might not have been so easily defeated after all.

In the fourth installment of the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, the magical Road of Yellow Brick has come to the rescue, and whisked Amy away—but to where? Does the Road itself know where she needs to go to find the help that she needs?

Welcome to the other side of the rainbow. Here there’s danger around every corner, and magic shoes won’t be able to save you.

None of my favorite characters – Glamora and Lulu, just to name a few – made a significant, real appearance in the fourth installment of Dorothy Must Die, excluding Nox, who is the only person whose fate I cared about at all throughout The End of Oz. I guess I was concerned about Dustin Jr., but only because he's a baby – but Danielle Paige mostly left him alone, and he didn't make an appearance either. This book focused mostly on Nox, Amy and Madison in Amy's point of view and Dorothy and the Nome King in Dorothy's point of view. (Which, if we want to go there, almost destroyed the fading desire I had to begin with to finish this book.) 

We meet two new characters – Langwidere and Bupu – who have a prominent role in The End of Oz. Langwidere gets a 7 out of 10 from me, but Bupu was the most annoying little Munchkin. I always hated how the Dorothy Must Die series is so light on Munchkins, but if they all act like Bupu, well. That's not such a big loss.

There's a lot going on in this one, but at the same time, there's not much going on at all. Everything transpires in just a few days, and never once am I overwhelmed by action – that's out of the ordinary for Paige. There are usually at least three battle scenes or other missions before the Big Kahuna, but I would call The End of Oz peaceful by those standards. Boringly so. High octane? Not so sure about that.

Without giving too much away... Turns out, Dorothy is alive. I think we all assumed that was the case, right? She's alive, and the Nome King has whisked her away – apparently to marry her. Nox, Amy and Madison are riding the yellow brick road to somewhere... and that somewhere turns out to be Ev. They encounter the evil Princess Langwidere, who isn't quite so evil as the rumors make her out to be, and all of her creepy crawly henchmen, and somehow this is pretty much the plot. 

I've always felt like Paige tried a little too hard to speak like the 20-something young adult fiction fan who was reading her books and posting on Instagram about how great they are, and this wasn't any different. At some moments, Paige is trying to be very powerful and thoughtful, and at others, it's a giant cheeseball. I'm a huge fan of edible cheeseballs, not so much of the verbal ones.

If there wasn't bad language and some PG-13 moments, I'd say this reads more like a middle grade fantasy series than a young adult series. If you scrapped out the f-bombs that felt forced anyway, you'd be good to go.

• I 100 percent did not need or want to read entire chapters in Dorothy's point of view, and yet... Her narrative voice was as sickening as one would think from this character that Paige created, and it made me groan. I rushed through those pages and could hardly stand reading through Dorothy's dialogue with Bupu the Munchkin. Her narrative didn't help me understand her at all or feel anything for her as a character, so I just don't see why it played such a big role in The End of Oz.

• Nox and Amy finally decide to *be together* about halfway through The End of Oz, and then the ending comes along. I'm going to try very hard not to spoil anything, but FOR GOD'S SAKE, DANIELLE PAIGE. I shipped Nox and Amy as much as anyone – Nox deserves to be happy, even if Amy is incredibly annoying – but I wish Paige would make things a little less convenient.

• I already started this rant above, but... The thing I dislike most about this series is it doesn't really keep me in suspense. I never worry about the safety or the future of the characters I love or the characters that are most vital to the plot – because even if they die, there's a 99.999999 percent chance that they aren't really dead! (Cough, Mombi and Gert, cough.) ((You learn this pretty early on so it's not a huge spoiler. Sorry if it isn't. They don't even show up in this book.)) There's no reason to think, "Oh god! Nox is going to die! He's going to die!" because I know that Paige would 1) never kill Nox to begin with and 2) bring him back if she did make us think he was dead.

• Oh, jeeze. I'm confident that there has to be something I really loved about this book, but it's not coming to me right now. That's not a good sign. 


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