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Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

This series is so good, y'all!  Just the other night I was gushing about it to my mom, and she hasn't even ever shown interest in anything paranormal/fantasy/fairy tale/YA!  I just want to spread the word about this series.  Am I just too late to the game?  Was everyone else gushing about this two years ago and I somehow missed it?  Or is this a sleeper series?  Anyway, The Wicked Will Rise is the second book in this series, so there will be spoilers for the first book in the review below.  To read the review of the first book, Dorothy Must Die, click here.  We also have reviews of the prequel novellas- just check the Review Archive (above) and search for Danielle Paige.

The Wicked Will Rise picks up almost exactly where Dorothy Must Die left off, so we don't miss a moment of the action.  Amy Gunn is still in Oz and Dorothy is still around somehow.  Definitely still wicked.  Amy is going around Oz with some now-wingless flying monkeys and somewhat-brainless Ozma, trying to get back the gifts that the "Wizard" gave to the the Tin Man, the Lion, and the Scarecrow.  Sometimes when reading this series, I've kind of felt like they're building to a giant moral lesson... maybe.  Something about not letting power go to your head or to appreciate what you have or to count your blessings or the Golden Rule or something.  Not only is Dorothy evil, but the Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow are all evil too!  Amy has to figure out what parts of those three characters represent their gift, and then remove it.

This book is not for the faint of heart.  She has to figure out what parts of those three characters represent their gift, and then remove it.  And carry it around.

I often get bored with books where the plot is predictable.  When an author spells out at the beginning of the book that the main character is going on a quest to accomplish X, Y, and Z, then walks us through it... I'm done.  But Danielle Paige throws in plenty of twists to the storyline to keep even the most reluctant reader engaged!  Every time I started to feel even the least bit comfortable, another unexpected thing happened.  Ozma provided quite a few of these unexpected moments with random bits of lucidity, and the queen of the flying monkeys definitely provided a humorous distraction for a moment.  I can't say much more without spoilers, so you'll just have to take my word for it:  this book is not formulaic.  Amy doesn't just set out on a pre-planned quest and accomplish it.  There are pitfalls and misdirections and successes all mixed together.

I feel like the character of Amy gets a lot more rounded out in this volume.  I loved loved loved her in the first book, with all of her snark!  I'm a huge fan of sarcasm in real life and in my literature.  In The Wicked Will Rise we lose a little bit of the snark (not completely; don't worry) but we really get to know Amy better.  She's complex!  There were a few moments where I totally didn't agree with a choice she makes, but that's real life.  No one is perfect, especially when under stress, like she is.  She makes some mistakes.  She gives in to temptations.  She develops and shows feelings for other characters (both friendly and romantic).  I can very much appreciate that.  It takes talent to write as much back story and personality into Amy as Paige does in these books.

Now, the ending:  another cliffhanger!!!  Paige certainly wants to make sure we all keep buying her books!  I can't wait to start in on book #3 (an advantage to picking up an older series: I get to binge-read) and find out if the W.I.C.K.E.D. really will rise and reclaim Oz!


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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