Queen of Hearts Vol 2: The Wonder by Colleen Oakes
Rating: 4 Stars
This is the 2nd book in the trilogy of the Queen of Hearts. The story of Dinah before she was queen and before we meet her in Alice in Wonderland.
Why I Picked This Book: I really enjoyed the first in this trilogy (review) and was excited to see the 2nd. Also the cover and concept are fabulous!
Pros: In my 2nd visit to Wonderland and Dinah, Princess of Hearts I'm once again about how magical and twisted the world that Oakes created is. We see more of the dark in this one as Dinah is fleeing for her life in the Dark Woods. Everything is alive but somehow twisted. Once again I enjoyed seeing the familiar characters from the original story including the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the caterpillar and of course the Cards. I really loved that while Oakes made Dinah sympathetic she didn't make her misunderstood. Dinah really is ruthless with a very strong cruel streak and a pretty good helping of impulsive behavior. Her reasons for her actions are understandable but she definitely isn't portrayed as secretly warm hearted and kind.
Cons: There were a few spots throughout the book that felt like the plot was dragging a bit. It suffered from the same flaw that many 2nd books suffer from since it's in between the big opening and the finale. This is not a stand alone book. To really understand what was going on you'd need to have read the 1st book. The ending is also right before a big event. It's not a cliffhanger exactly but it's pretty close.
Overall: Once again I'm struck with how much I just love this concept. Seeing the Queen of Hearts as a child up to young woman is really interesting and there is a lot of creative room here that Oakes has taken advantage of. This is definitely a dark tale but interesting and intriguing. I really enjoyed it despite a few very small slow patches and am looking forward to #3!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes, I'm looking forward to reading the 3rd of the series.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely but read the 1st one before this.