Title: Queen of Hearts
Author: Colleen Oakes
Rating: 3/5 crowns
Release date: May 3rd 2016
As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.
When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.
I’ll break this review into two categories: What I liked about it and what I disliked about it. I have equal sayings to both divisions so I think it’ll be easier to write out the pros and cons of the book in contrary to what I enjoyed or despised.
So first of all, I have very, very mixed emotions about this book.
WHAT I DISLIKED:
For a Fantasy novel, I have to say that this book was way too short. There was a serious lack of tension and build ups which made the story very, oh, what’s the word...bumpy? Everything happens so abruptly that you get left being very confused on which direction the story is heading. It’s like a car that keeps steering down a rocky path and ends up being completely, inevitably lost. I guess in a sense it makes the plot line somewhat unpredictable (because seriously, you’ll be asking yourself a lot of questions when reading this book), but everything was happening so fast in so little time and without any ‘fill ups’ to the many plot holes, the story just continues to head down a weird direction which ended up being quite senseless and absurd.
Dinah was also quite a peculiar character. One minute she can be kindhearted and gentle, the next bratty and annoying. She reminds me so much of Queen Levana from Fairest (whom I’m not the biggest fan of. Ugh.). Oh, and the chemistry between Dinah and her love interest?…..no. I don’t see anything between them. No spark, no love, no gooey gushes coming out of me. Nada. They just don’t seem to compliment each other very well. They were really awkward towards one another and there was just nothing going on between them. Honestly, I feel like they would’ve been better off as individual characters who shared no bond with one another. They would’ve been much stronger, too.
WHAT I LIKED:
I like the author’s interpretation of the Alice in Wonderland characters. A lot. I loved Harris, Cheshire, and Charles. I think they were all very unique. I would very much have liked them to have bigger roles in contrary to the main protagonists themselves. I think the three would have very interesting perspectives and I hope to see more of them in the next book.
As aggravating Dinah was, I have to admit that she is indeed a very passionate person. She would do anything to protect the people she loves, and her affection towards Charles and Harris, to me, made up for her foul actions. There wasn’t much character development going on towards the end of the story, but the climax got me rooting for Dinah. Woohoo! There’s the main protagonist I was anticipating! I was starting to get worried of the ending, but even though it ended in a cliffhanger, I wouldn’t have ended it any other way. A clean wrap-up to a mess that is the progression of the story. I’m quite impressed and very much relieved.
This book has so much potential, and I hope to see it being maximised in the second book, Blood of Wonderland. Thank you so much HarperCollins for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!