Queen of Hearts
Author: Colleen Oakes
I absolutely love the thought of adventures in Wonderland although recently it’s been hit or miss for me. (Alice in Zombieland and After Alice- they did nothing for me.) Luckily the story of Princess Dinah was a lot more intriguing and fun.
The Princess is on the verge of her coronation and in love with her best friend when her crappy father drops a bombshell on her in front of the whole court. Not only does she have an illegitimate sister he’s making her the a legitimate Duchess. The new sister is beautiful and graceful and everything Dinah basically isn’t although this actually becomes the least of her problems in Wonderland.
Dinah finds herself trapped in a dangerous mystery and her relationship with the King goes from horrible father to abusive nightmare.
I think Oakes does a very good job with both Dinah and Wonderland. The Princess is not a completely likable character which made her very relatable to me. She’s far from perfect. She doesn’t always behave in the best of fashions (unlike her new sister) but she’s smart, brave and you do get the feeling, as the story goes, her growing empathy and compassion for people is genuine.
There’s only two real locations outside the tension filled palace but in terms of what you’d think of Wonderland both the horrible prison system and the creepy forest are on point. Very good atmosphere building which gives me definite hope for the next book. (Yep, it’s a series. It’s like I can’t stay away from series!)
It does take a bit for the mystery to really get going. Much like Dinah the reader is in the dark and doesn’t know who to trust… You don’t need to have read Alice in Wonderland to “get” this book either.
My biggest nitpick on this one (besides that it’s the start of another series) is that I’m ready for sequel.
This would also be a really fun movie Hollywood. Darken up Chloe Grace Moretz’s hair and you’ve got yourself a Princess Dinah.
Recommend: Yes. I’m crossing my fingers the sequel is just as enjoyable.