Dark Side of the Rainbow

Read all of these Dorothy Must Die books and novellas before continuing with this post. (Yes, I’m serious.)

So…you’ve no doubt gathered that I recently finished reading yet another Dorothy Must Die story. Yes, I’d say that’s pretty obvious. The latest story, Dark Side of the Rainbow, is the eighth prequel novella, and it focuses on Polychrome, the fairy in charge of the Rainbow Falls region of Oz. If you’re familiar with this series, you’ll recall that Polychrome plays an important role in The Wicked Will Rise, and this novella gives a bit of backstory to Polly’s involvement (or lack thereof) in the war brewing in Oz.

Polychrome really can’t complain about her life. She’s the Head Fairy in Charge of Rainbow Falls, the hottest vacation spot in Oz. She spends her days partying, surfing, chilling with her pet unicorn (which is not actually a unicorn), and having a grand old time. She doesn’t get why her cousin, Ozma, is always so serious. Ozma needs to loosen up and enjoy life a little, like Polly does on a regular basis. Oz will take care of itself.

Oh, if only Polly were right…

One day, a familiar face arrives in Oz and throws everything into chaos. It’s Dorothy, the Witchslayer. Polly, who doesn’t pay a ton of attention to the goings-on in Emerald City, doesn’t know how things have changed since the reappearance of Dorothy. She doesn’t know that Cousin Ozma is no longer on the throne. She doesn’t know that Dorothy is a power-hungry psycho. She doesn’t know that fear permeates everything now. All she knows is that Dorothy is visiting Rainbow Falls, and she wants to be friends. Why, though? Why is Dorothy so determined to get close to Polly?

A new friend of Polly’s, a handsome fella named Bright, tries to warn Polly about Dorothy and what she’s doing to Oz, but Polly doesn’t believe him…at first. Soon enough, however, she sees what’s happening, and she tries her best to stop it from reaching her own domain. It may be too late, though…

When Dorothy’s true nature is revealed, Polly must do whatever she can to stop this madwoman from destroying Rainbow Falls completely. Will her efforts be enough? Will this laid-back fairy give in to Dorothy, or will she become the leader Rainbow Falls needs in its darkest hour?

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m seeing parallels to American politics in a Dorothy Must Die story here. Anyone else? Something to think about.

While this wasn’t my favorite of the Dorothy Must Die novellas, I did like it, especially considering how things end up for Polly and company in The Wicked Will Rise. (No, I will not spoil it if you haven’t caught up.) I wish her relationship with Bright had been explored a bit more, but we still got a pretty decent look at how their relationship began.

Now that Dark Side of the Rainbow is out, we have just one more novella, The Queen of Oz, and the fourth and final novel, The End of Oz. Both have a publication date of March 14th. I’ll probably read the novella first and then move on to the novel. We’ll see how it goes, but I will definitely be reading both stories as soon as I possibly can.

For more information on the entire Dorothy Must Die series and Danielle Paige, connect with the author on her website, Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.

Order of the Wicked

By this point, if you haven’t been reading all of the Dorothy Must Die books and prequel novellas, I don’t know what to tell you. Read all of the stories below before proceeding with this post.

Moving on…

A while back, Order of the Wicked, the seventh prequel novella in Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die series, was released. I finally made time to read it yesterday. This novella focuses on–you guessed it–the Order of the Wicked, particularly one girl’s experiences within the Order. The story introduces characters that we may not have seen before, but I feel sure they’ll reappear in The End of Oz, the fourth and final (?) full-length book in the series.

When Lanadel’s family is killed by Dorothy’s horrific forces, she sets her mind on revenge, and there’s only one group in Oz that may help her on her quest–the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. Risking her own life in the process, Lanadel seeks out this mysterious order, and they eventually take her in and begin to train her for the coming war.

Lanadel soon realizes that she’s got a long way to go before she’s ready to get vengeance. She’s not much of a fighter, and she has almost no magical abilities. That will soon change. With the help of Nox, her drill sergeant of a trainer, and Mombi, a witch who teaches Lanadel to tap into the magic within, this girl may start to believe that she can face off against the forces who killed her family.

But is the Order being completely honest with Lanadel…or the other people preparing for war? What secrets are they hiding? What do they really want from Lanadel and her new friend, Melindra? And what’s the deal with Melindra and Nox? Lanadel knows there’s a rocky relationship there, but it’s as complicated as her own growing feelings for Melindra.

So…what’s a girl to do? No matter what happens, Lanadel is determined to keep her focus where it belongs. She’ll get her revenge on Dorothy…and anyone else who hurts her friends or gets in her way.

This may be kind of spoilery, but I’ll go ahead and tell you that Lanadel’s story ties directly into some of the events that unfolded in Yellow Brick War. Her mission with the order deals with the land of Ev, so I am sure we’ll see more of her in the future. I’m not so sure which side she’ll be on. As for Melindra, I’m hoping she’ll return as well. I think introducing her into the Amy/Nox relationship would be extremely interesting. (If you haven’t read at least the novels in this series, none of that makes any sense.)

While Order of the Wicked is not my favorite of the prequel novellas in this series, I’m hoping it will move up the ranks once the series as a whole is complete. We’ll just have to see how it ties into future events.

As far as I know, there are still two more prequels to look forward to. I don’t know titles yet, but #0.8 is scheduled to be out on January 3rd, and #0.9 has an expected March 14th release date. I’m not too sure about that last one, though, since the fourth book, The End of Oz, also has a Marth 14th release date. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

If you’d like more information on the entire Dorothy Must Die series and the fabulous Danielle Paige, connect with the author on her website, Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.

Bite Club

Caution!!!  If you haven’t read the first nine books in Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series, you may want to move on to another post…or, you know, actually take the time to read nine entire novels before continuing with this post.  I’ll leave it up to you.

As you may have gathered, I just finished reading the tenth book in Rachel Caine’s wonderful Morganville Vampires series.  The book is Bite Club, and the title is perfectly suited to this book.  It’s like fight club…but with vampires and stuff.  Just imagine Ultimate Fighter with fangs and superhuman strength.  I know it sounds kind of cool, but it’s really not.  It’s just another sign that things in Morganville, as usual, are not normal and are on their way to being extremely perilous for anyone with a pulse…and some of those without one.

Claire Danvers thinks her life might finally be getting back to normal.  Well, normal for Morganville anyway.  She’s got a super-great boyfriend, Shane.  She lives with a great group of people who always have her back.  She’s protected by the town founder, Amelie.  And, oddly enough, she enjoys her work with the mad scientist vampire Myrnin (still my favorite character in this series).  What could possibly happen to break up this lovely little world?  Funny you should ask.

After Claire stumbles upon a classmate who has clearly been killed by a vampire, she suspects that something bad is about to happen in Morganville (again).  See, her classmate may or may not have been trying to blackmail some pretty powerful vamps.  (Not a smart idea, by the way.)  But what was he blackmailing them with?  Can Claire find out before someone else gets killed?

Claire’s investigations lead her to a new gym that has opened in Morganville.  The gym is operated by some weird vampires that are training humans to fight their blood-drinking brethren.  Worst of all?  Shane, Claire’s boyfriend, is one of the trainees.  Since he started going to the gym, Shane has changed dramatically.  He’s always angry and itching for a fight, and the lights in his eyes seem to have dimmed.  What caused this alarming change?  Why is Shane seemingly pushing Claire away when she knows he needs her now more than ever?  Who could be behind this “bite club?”  What is his (or her) agenda?  Can Claire figure out what’s going on and stop the madness before the entire town of Morganville is destroyed?  Find out when you read Bite Club, the tenth book in the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine.

Like the nine books that preceded it, I thought Bite Club was awesome.  I really liked how we got a glimpse into Shane’s head during this book.  It was cool to see what he was thinking and how he dealt with the intense feelings that sort of erupted from the darkest parts of his soul.  I also enjoyed how Claire grew into such a strong, kick-butt female.  I always thought she was stronger than anyone gave her credit for, but she really stepped it up a notch in this book.

I do, however, have one complaint about Bite Club.  It didn’t have nearly enough Myrnin.  I need more of this mad scientist who wears bunny slippers that have sharp, pointy teeth.  (I have a pair of slippers just like his.)  I know he can by creepy and scary sometimes, but no one can doubt Myrnin’s awesomeness.  Please, Rachel Caine, if you happen to stumble upon this post, give me more Myrnin!

To sum up:  I loved Bite Club (especially the bits with Myrnin), and you should read it (but only after you’ve read the other nine books in this series).  You’ve got plenty of time to read the entire series before the eleventh book, Last Breath, comes out on November 11th.  Get to it!

For more information about Bite Club, author Rachel Caine, and the entire Morganville Vampires series, visit http://www.rachelcaine.com/Rachel_Caine_-_Writer/Home.html.  Enjoy!