ARC Review: Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

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Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
Genre: YA Fantasy, Retelling, Fairy Tale
Publication: May 3rd 2016 by HarperTeen
Series: Queen of Hearts Saga #1
Length: 320 pages
Format: eARC from publisher

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 Dinahs 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.

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Thank you to HarperTeen for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve been in a huge retelling phase, as in I’ve been really enjoying retellings, such as REIGN OF SHADOWS, THE SHADOW QUEEN, the like. When I came across QUEEN OF HEARTS, I was immediately looking forward to putting this book on my TBR. Although I had (very) few problems with this novel, I generally really liked it.

The concept of this novel was interesting. It follows Dinah, Princess of Wonderland, who, after a series of events, learns that there are some bad things going on in her kingdom, mainly led by her father and his advisor, Cheshire. I really enjoyed the plot because it gave a twist to the classic fairy tale, and although it was different, there were still instances of the classic characters within the novel, such as the Mad Hatter, Cheshire, and others.

I also really liked reading about the characters. There was Dinah, who isn’t the perfect princess and really allowed me to connect because of her uniqueness, and there’s the duchess (Dinah’s half-sister) as well as a lot of other characters that really made me enjoy the novel a lot more, such as Wardley. Wardley and Dinah also sort of have a thing going on, but it doesn’t take up the whole novel, which I liked.

The main complaint, for lack of a better word, was the pacing. It was incredibly slow and boring in the first half. I sort of understand that because the author was adding to the world-building and characters, which I appreciated, but it was still tedious to read. But towards the second half, the action really started to vamp up (I swear my hands were sweating the whole time).

Overall, this first new book in an Alice in Wonderland trilogy is a solid standpoint for the rest of the series. I definitely recommend this book, but I suppose you have to have a lot of patience to get through the first half of the book to get to the second. I’m absolutely going to continue this series!

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Have you read this book yet? Are you planning to? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


6 thoughts on “ARC Review: Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

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