Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Review: Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge, from Booksparks , for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it



booksparks summer tour

And now for the last of the Summer reading books!

queen of hearts cover

Synopsis:

Alone in the wilds of Wonderland, Dinah fights for survival. When she meets the Yurkei, natives she was always taught were the enemy, and finds out she had been lied to all along, Dinah plots to reclaim her throne with their help. Filled with vivid imagery and thrilling action, Dinah’s transformation into a fierce warrior is stunning.

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. 

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinah's furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath. Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. But be warned...not every fairytale has a happy ending. This is the story of a princess who became a villain.

Review:

My initial reaction was a) wait, I just read the whole book in one sitting (!!) and also that it was a great modern retake of the Alice story, a la how Wicked retold the story of Dorothy. It was such an interesting concept and the author handled it quite well, providing a world that the reader wants to fall into and stay, much like how Carroll did. However it is the ADULT version- it is darker and more sinister. Like Wicked, this is not the main story, it is the tale of the 'other' characters- you know Alice's story will come later, but first the villain- what was she like, why did she become the villain? Oakes answers the questions left unanswered, and leaves the reader eagerly anticipating a sequel. If you're looking for something different, check this one out! 

About the Author:

Colleen Oakes is the author of both the Queen of Hearts and the Elly in Bloom series. She received her B.A. in Creative Writing at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York, and is currently signed with SparkPress, a BookSparks imprint. A proud member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Oakes lives in Denver with her husband and son, where she reads, swims, and blogs. The Queen of Hearts is her first fantasy series. Look for her next fairy tale, Wendy Darling, coming soon.


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