BOOK REVIEW: The Straw King – by Danielle Paige

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Title: The Straw King
(Dorothy Must Die #0.5)
Author: Danielle Paige
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
First published: November 10th 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Finished reading: July 8th 2016
Pages: 156
Rating 3qqq

“The monkeys ignored him completely as they discussed wind currents and angle of approach, and even the Lion seemed to have forgotten he was there. He might as well be back in that field tied to a post for all the good the Wizard’s gifts were doing him.”

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I haven’t been a big fan of the Dorothy Must Die novellas so far and in a way I’m asking myself why I still continue reading them. The fourth novella was particularly bad, but after being promised that the next two were better I decided to pick up The Straw King anyway. And I agree this one is without doubt a huge improvement from the last one! Not mindblowingly good and I would have liked to see more of the Scarecrow himself in it, but all in all still quite entertaining. This novella reads a lot faster than the previous one and I liked that it gave new information about how Ozma first came to power. The battle scenes were interesting! But like I said, the novella didn’t do much to further develop the Scarecrow’s character. It was more just another random background story where Glinda and the Lion seemd to play a bigger role than the character this novella was named after. Not exactly what I was expecting when I decided to read The Straw King. If you liked the other novellas you will most likely enjoy this one as well… But I can’t say it’s a must-read.

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The Scarecrow only ever wanted to have a brain, but it looks like he got more for his wish than he can handle. What happens to the Scarecrow after he finally gets the gift of a brain from the Wizard and was appointed the new ruler of Oz? The Scarecrow is desperately trying to make up for lost time and reads as many books as possible to learn more about his new kingdom. He has the brains, but he feels he still lacks the information to be a proper ruler… And things take a turn for the worse when his reign is threatened. He is not sure how to handle this situation, since something similar has never happened in Oz before. And the Scarecrow is so desperate that he will turn to anyone who can help, even if that might not be the best thing for his own future.

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I liked this fifth novella a lot better than the previous ones, but I still stand firmly by my opinion that the novellas are nowhere as good as the actual series. Why do I still read them? I guess I already had the copies of the first few and I don’t like leaving a series uncompleted. The Straw King was probably one of the best novellas of the bunch, although the Scarecrow doesn’t exactly plays a big role it. At least it adds some new information to the original series!

WWW Wednesdays #99 – July 13th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m currently reading Wanderlost by Jen Malone, which is turning out to be a quick and entertaining road trip story from what I can see so far. I’ve also started reading The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse because I was in the mood for a Peter Pan retelling, but I can’t say I’m enjoying it. The tone and prose don’t seem to fit the theme at all and I’m struggling to continue this one… Same goes for The Stepmother by Claire Seeber: I started reading it last week, but I couldn’t get into the story and decided to keep it temporarily on hold and read a few other titles instead.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished since last week is My Girl by Jack Jordan, which is probably one of the most twisted and disturbing thrillers I’ve read so far this year. If you are into the genre, definitely make sure to check out this book!
* I then finished Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys, which is without doubt my new favorite of this author. The setting, prose and character development are excellent and I really felt like I was right there in the 1950s along with the characters.
* I also read The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza, which by no means suffers from the ‘weak-second-book’ syndrome. It’s fast-paced, well written and has an intriguing plot and plot twists. It’s without doubt a very entertaining read!
* I then read The Straw King by Danielle Paige. This novella was surprisingly good compared to the last few previous stories, but I still wasn’t overwhelmed by it.
* I’ve also been able to finish Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, a title that was on my 2015 most-antipated-releases list. I enjoyed reading it and I admit it was a ‘cute’ read, but I did have some problems with the credibility of the plot. I mean, if the main character is really that sick, doing what she did is incredibly stupid.
* The last book I managed to finish is The Sister by Louise Jensen, which I ended up really enjoying. It’s dark, messed with your mind and has many plot twists… The story jumps back and forth between the past and present and there are quite a few unreliable characters, but it only added to the whole mystery around Grace and Charlie.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Depending on what genre I’m in the mood for, I will read When We Collided by Emery Lord. Although I really want to read The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne as well, both because I’ve heard great things about it and because I want to The Fire Child by the same author. If I want something different, The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey is also high on my list… And my latest TBR jar pick is still The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz. (Which I should read soon since it’s been too long since I last read a TBR jar book.)