Monday, September 22, 2014

Queen of Hearts Volume 2 - Review

Queen of Hearts Vol 2: The Wonder by Colleen Oakes
Rating: 4 Stars

Source: NetGalley

Description:  
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.

Genre: Fiction

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!

My Impression:
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.

12 comments:

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    1. I've really enjoyed the first 2 in this series!

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  2. I enjoy an occasional fantasy, and basically the only YA I read nowadays are books with fantasy, dystopia, etc. in the plot.

    I love how creative this author is--kudos to her for coming up with something so different from most in the genre. I think that while this is geared towards a younger audience that I would appreciate it! If you think about it, many adult women went to see/wanted to see the Malificient movie or watch Once Upon a Time on tv. We never grow old of the classic children's tales!

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    1. I'm the same with YA. I like the fantasy or dystopian periodically but not so much on the romance.
      I've really enjoyed it and the target didn't feel too young. There's definitely a darker undercurrent. I actually think we enjoy classic children's books more the older we get!

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  3. I have not had great luck with Alice in Wonderland YA, but I am open to trying more!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. I liked this one because it went in such a different direction from the original story. Plus it's not a retelling it's a prequel so that helps a bit. I agree that Alice in Wonderland YA can definitely be spotty!

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  4. Have not read the first book in this series, but what an incredibly clever concept. Thanks for introducing us to her!

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    1. I've really enjoyed the first 2 in the series. I'm definitely looking forward to the next one!

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  5. I really want to try this series. It sounds so good!

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    1. I think it's worth reading. Just make sure you start with volume 1!

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  6. Dark and intriguing? I can't wait to get my copy of this book and read it. Great review.

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  7. Interesting! I like the idea of a series about the Red Queen, but I should probably finish the Splintered series first. (Though I'm having a little bit of a tough time with that one. It's good, but really focuses on the weirdness and unpleasantness of Wonderland.)

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