REVIEW: The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

May 5, 2015

Edition: Harper Collins Paperback
Release Date: April 1st 2015
Pages: 293
Series: Dorothy Must Die #2
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Source: Received as an ARC from Harper Collins Australia (Thank you)
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book
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?

Much to my delight, The Wicked Will Rise starts exactly where Dorothy Must Die finishes. The moment this goodie arrived in my mailbox I was jumping for joy. How could I not when I'd named Dorothy Must Die my favourite 2014 release?
You can read my review of book one here.  
I should start by commending Danielle Paige for delivering yet again such fabulous imagery. Paige describes Oz in a way that will have readers picturing the 'not so sunny' land down to the very last detail. She certainly gains points for world building, and while at times chilling, it's an exciting world to be in.

In comparison to Dorothy Must Die the themes are noticeably darker. Amy faces a constant battle between the wicked and the good, which we saw in book one has such a thin line. Personally, I always presume that when a protagonist dallies with magic, the author is always going to tempt them with the dark side. It always happens so it wasn't much of a shock to me when Amy started growing fonder and fonder of the dark magic that gave her so much power.
"Meet the new Witch, same as the old bitch" - The Wicked Will Rise
I like Amy as a protagonist. She's got gut and determination and has a lot put on her shoulders in this novel. So no wonder she got a little out of hand at times. But, she kept picking herself up and that's got to count for something. Plus she has pink hair and that's never going to not be awesome.

Thankfully characters I knew and loved from book one made appearances in book 2 and we were introduced to some new ones as well. Much to my delight, Nox and Amy were reunited. Which was great because I liked Nox and the sound of a potential relationship with Amy. I just had to see that explored.

Saying that, is it wrong that part of me missed the cocky and somewhat jerk version of Nox that was in book one? Not that being an ass is appealing, but I liked that awkward tension between Amy and Nox in Dorothy Must Die. The lack of banter was unusual.

The picky reader inside of me thinks the storyline would have benefited had they left the romance for the next volume or maybe just not in the middle of a war. Because I couldn't help but feel as though the romance didn't really add anything. Like a war doesn't really leave much screen time for movie dates and home cooked meals? Am I right? But then again this is the same girl who probably would have complained if there was zero romance.

With a world like Oz as your canvas, it leaves room for some pretty crazy, cool and exaggerated characters. Queen Lulu of the wingless monkeys was a quirky new addition to the series, as was Polychrome. Polychrome was basically a rainbow fairy princess who lives on a rainbow kingdom, which is incredibly cool. There was literally a scene where Amy and co, cannonballed into a rainbow. I was very jealous.

The Wicked Will Rise is funny. It's certainly not a boring fairytale you tell you're kids before they sleep, it's much too amusing for bedtime. I loved the pop culture references and I loved the dialogue, it was great.
"Witches get Stitches" - The Wicked Will Rise
My only disappointment was that I expected more. I thoroughly enjoyed The Wicked Will Rise but it was shorter than the first book, and noticeably less action packed. Over half of the book is Amy figuring out what to do or finding people who might know better. I kept waiting for it to reach that "holy crap this is exciting" part of the plot. The few battles were cool, but anti-climatic.

Without a doubt though, I was kept entertained. The overall plot thickened and despite it leaving me confused, The Wicked Will Rise ended on a interesting cliffhanger. I'm curious to see where that complication will lead Amy and the people of Oz in the next instalment, which I'll definitely be highly anticipating. If you haven't started this series, what are you waiting for?

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  1. I love the sound of those new characters, really quirky and wild and out there, which is what I really enjoyed as part of this series! The romance sounds like a bit of a concern though. Glad to hear you still enjoyed it Sunny!

  2. I haven't read this series, but I've seen it around a lot. Your review makes me think I should probably pick it up! ;)
    Michelle @ The Unfinished Bookshelf

  3. Okay- time for a review rant, so I'm warning you, there will be spoilers. I got into the Dorothy must die series after reading the splintered series, because u found that I liked it's dark twists in a childhood classic. The first book was absolutely fantastic, the characters well developed, an interesting plot, twists and turns, and more twisted versions of the real story. Then there came the second book. There are many problems with it in my opinion, so I'll list them down below:

    1.main characters from the first book did not appear. Except for a brief visit with mombi and a one chapter thing with Ollie and Maude, it was all new characters.

    2. Nox was completely different. His fighting spirit, hardcore ways, loyalty to the revolution, and hard walls were all gone. I liked his hard rebel/ bad boy/ troubled character, and the author turned him into a wishy washy/ sensitive / good boy/ quitter/ all fine. The nox that I know would have been super annoyed at this new one, and the romance that they had was sloppily written.

    3. The plot had major holes. Like, what's with the wizard in the end. He is barely mentioned and all of a sudden BANG he's there and is a bad guy? What?! That's just one- I tried to count but lost track.

    4. Dorothy. She was as cruel as ever, but she lacked a certain dorothyness that was in the first book. She was just different, and wasn't as interesting of a character.

    5. Okay last one that's really bothering me- the whole Amy turning into a monster thing. This scene was by far the WORST in the book, with Amy furiously taking down the yellow brick wall, getting larger, and growing horns. This is too drastic of a change to present in her while she uses dark magic. Maybe her eyes go all black or something? I don't know, but growing? Seriously? This scene made no sense and the way Nox was scared also goes back to how he wasn't like he was in the first book.

    I have to say though, the lessons Amy learned and how she learned them were written beautifully by the author. The Magril scene with the dog of doubt was my favorite, as well as her realization of who she was becoming. Overall though, it was a bit of a disappointment after such a good novel. I am still going to read the yellow brick war because u find that this is often the case with trilogy's, and i have already fallen in love with the concept of the story.


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