Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige

So I did this to myself. I have created the void in my life. I have developed an addiction to audiobooks and I put myself in this position where I don't realize the end of the book is like 2 minutes away and it's over before I have a chance to catch up. I did not know that I was almost done with Yellow Brick War and now I'm sitting here with my mouth open because the cliffhanger it ended on was possibly the greatest cliffhanger in all of history, including movies and TV shows.

**Prepare for intense spoilers!**

So we pick up right where we left off. Amy, the Wicked, Nox, and Dorothy have landed in Kansas in Dusty Acres. Glamora is holding out a purple cloak to Amy, and there are two cloaked figures behind her. One is Mombi and the other is (drum roll) Gert! But how you ask? Well, we get there, but not quite yet. First, Glamora is saying that "it's time for you to join us" and "you've been training all your life for this." But Amy hasn't been training all her life. She's only been training a few months. Which is when we learn that Glamora is talking to Nox. Talk about being stabbed in the back! Then they preform this ritual that makes Nox part of the Quadrant, and that's going to cause all kinds of issues between our two star crossed lovers.

While all of this is going on, Dorothy is coming to after exploding the Wizard, and the Wicked are telling Amy to kill her while she's still weak. One problem-Amy doesn't have her magic anymore! So Dorothy escapes the hell hole known as Kansas and peaces out back to Oz.

Now Amy and Co are stuck in Kansas. I thoroughly enjoyed this portion of the book. Mostly because it's amazing, but I loved hearing how the Wicked reacted to things that we take for granted; Googling is magic and bacon is a delicacy (I mean, both of those are sorta true). But I loved that Amy was again interacting with her mom and Madison.

Amy's Mom-In Dorothy Must Die, she was an alcoholic who was always looking for her next fix. She left Amy to go to a tornado party and that was the last we physically saw of her. Through means of magic, we saw that she had cleaned up after she thought her daughter was lost to her, but part of Amy doubted how real that was. Present day Amy's Mom is clean and sober, working, and has herself a handsome farmer boyfriend who does not make sexist remarks, hit her mom, or ogle Amy's boobs (all amazing qualities to look for in a boyfriend). Mom makes a lot of attempts to make up for the past. She knows she screwed up, and she doesn't want to me that person anymore. I kinda adore her, and I really hope that she can keep her sobriety together after Amy disappears back to Oz.

Madison Pendleton: Okay, so you either have a Madison in your life, or you are the Madison. Pre-Oz Madison was an 8 month pregnant super bitch who is covered in pink and glitter, friends with everyone whose name isn't Amy Gumm, and dating the star football player. Post-Oz Madison has a baby strapped to her chest and is avoided and mocked by everyone in the school except her now ex-boyfriend who is no longer a star football player, but she is still a super bitch. At least now she's a super bitch on Amy's side. The relationship between these two enemies turned friends is enviable.

Dustin: I think Dustin's character development is the one I loved the most. Last time we saw him, he was a dumb jock who knocked up Madison. Now, he's a dad, and a good one! (Madison is a pretty awesome mom herself.) He's still not super smart, but there is definitely something under the surface. And he definitely still cares for Madison, but not in a creepy way. He knows that Madison wasn't perfect for him, but he still respects her and wants to have a good relationship with her for Dustin Jr. Him and Madison are a lot more mature than anyone I went to high school with.

The Nome King: So, NK in Baum's book is kind of a whiny jerk who likes his bobbles. NK in Paige's world is scary! I picture him kind of like Voldemort with a crown. Every scene he is in, he gives me the creeps. He's been living in the assistant principal's skin, which I kind of saw coming because the AP was weird, but how Paige describes him sloughing off his skin to reveal who he really is upped the icky factor!

While in Kansas, Amy feels conflicted about bonding with her mom. In all honesty, this kind of pisses me off. Your mom is clean and sober, and you know you're going to be leaving back to Oz soon, so the least you can do is spend some time with her and stop being melodramatic. She also builds a friendship with Madison and Dustin and enlists them to help Dorothy's silver shoes.

While all of this is going on, Mombi and the others are hiding in the Dark Lands while Nox explores Kansas-we never find out what he's actually supposed to be doing, but he's actually watching Amy which is a no no for a member of the Quadrant. And it's a good thing too, because when NK attacks Amy and Dustin in the school hall, Nox is able to come to the rescue. Dustin takes a hard blow from NK (but he survives because we see him later through different visions and he's just fine) and Amy gets the silver shoes to transport her and the Wicked back to Oz just in time.

Cue passionate kiss between Nox and Amy.
Then cue Mombi to come break them up and tell Nox that he needs to keep it in his pants.

Apparently the first rule about being in the Quadrant is you don't tell anyone about the Quadrant.
The second rule is that you aren't allowed to have a relationship.

In Oz, they take up camp in the Tin Man's old castle and hope that they will have enough time to recuperate, but we all know that's not going to happen. Shortly after their arrival, Glinda shows up. I'm going to guess that since NK and Glinda are working together, he gave her the heads up that they would be somewhere in Oz and she was able to find them pretty quickly. Glamora decides it's time to go head to head with her sister and Amy can't figure out "which witch is which" (which I feel like Paige had been waiting to use that line). Amy decides that this would be a good time to rescue Ozma and Pete (why Glinda brought them, I don't get, she was asking for them to be kidnapped).

While this battle is going on, Glinda's army of Ozma knock off's are attacking the palace. Then, mid-battle Dorothy shows up with the remains of the Tin Man's army and an enlarged Toto with three heads (think Fluffy from Harry Potter). Glinda and Dorothy are now on the outs and aren't happy to see the other at the battle, and the army's don't know how to react or who to fight. It doesn't pay to have a lot of enemies.

Everything looks like this will be the end of the Wicked when the monkeys come to the rescue. Bless LuLu! Some of the monkeys rescue Pete and Ozma, while the others join the Wicked in fighting the two armies. Despite the wishes from Nox (Amy's supposed true love), Amy turns into a monster again using her magic so she can take out Toto and Dorothy. Toto dies, but Dorothy gets away (go figure).

Meanwhile, during the Battle of the Twin, Glamora and Glinda are combining into each other and now you really can't tell who's who. Glamora ends up winning the battle, but she is extremely weakened and something about her isn't just right.

The remains of the survivors eat a basic meal of bread, cheese and water and take the night off. Amy and Nox decide that when they can, they're going to use the silver combat boots to return to Oz, Quadrant member be damned!

Then our group of misfit members heads over to the Emerald City by way of flying wingless monkeys because we still have to kill the main bitch, you know, since Amy has let her escape on numerous occasions now. I'm doubting the extent to what she wants Dorothy dead. The Emerald City is even more dark and depressing than the last time we were there, and Dorothy is trying to mess with the great clock in hopes of taking over both worlds. While the Wicked are fighting Dorothy's minions, Nox and Amy head to the heart of the castle and find Dorothy next to a scouring pool trying to take over the clock. Through a little battle, Amy finds herself falling/diving into the pool.

While she is in the pool, she is in a world between worlds and we meet Lurline, the original fairy and Ozma's great-great grandmother (there might be one more great in there). Through Lurline, we find out that the silver shoes are from Lurline and the magic in them is hers. Lurline warns Amy about being careful with the magic she uses, but she's stronger than Dorothy was. She also give Amy a necklace that will help someone (how Amy doesn't figure out right away that it's for Ozma is beyond me). And then she is sent back through the pool back into a battle between Nox and Dorothy. They are able to take down the castle and Amy (stupidly) believes that Dorothy dies when everything comes falling down. No one else believes this.

But no time to worry about that!

Amy gives the necklace to Ozma once she figures out she is the one Lurline intended it for, and Ozma is restored to her non-crazy self. Everyone agrees that they need to have a party to celebrate the return of Ozma to her proper position. They spend the night relaxing and feasting, but the next day they party! LuLu crowns Ozma and Ozma gives praise to Amy, but all Amy can think about is getting the hell out of Oz. While everyone is celebrating, her and Nox are about to make a break for it when they overhear a conversation between Mombi and Glamora.

Glamora wants to take Amy down because she thinks that Amy is a loose cannon. But wait...why would Glamora feel that way about her? Well, when then twins were duking it out, Glinda might have physically died, but she is still in her sisters mind trying to come to the surface and Glamora is fighting a losing battle. Mombi and Glamora finish their conversation and Mombi tells all of this to Amy and Nox since they've been dropping eaves. But they aren't the only ones!

Glinda wins the internal battle of the sisters and tells our little group that she and NK are going to take over Oz and the other place! She pulls out a mirror and we see NK harassing Madison and Dustin while disguised as the assistant principal. Through a series of events, NK threatens Madison is Amy won't help him, and Madison finds herself in Oz, sans baby and baby daddy. NK knocks Mombi into a tree, but Mombi is sick of all this crazy and sneaks up behind him and bops him on the head with a branch. Well, it's harder than a bop. 

While Mombi, Glinda/Glamora, and NK are duking it out, Amy and Nox grabbed a freaked out Madison and make a break to the Yellow Brick Road. YBR is #TeamAmy and very not #TeamNomeKing and helps them escape. And then...


Just like that! No warning! Nothing is tied up in a pretty bow! It's all over! What the hell Danielle Paige!? You have me emotionally invested in a book and you leave me on a cliffhanger like that! How can I pick up another book after that?

Through some research, I've seen people say that they next book is expected next Spring, but no official word from Paige yet. I will make sure to let everyone know though!

Rating: 10/10
Pages: 432 (Hardback)
Books in Series: 3 primary works; 6 novellas (as of today)
Genre(s): Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings
How Likely am I to Recommend This Book: Everyone needs to go out and buy this like yesterday! Everyone who has a birthday coming up will be getting this as a present.


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