Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
Welcome to DNF-land. Oops, was I supposed to say Wonder? My bad.
DNF (Did not finish) @ 31%
I didn’t have much expectations going into this book, seeing the reviews before I started it. My expectations didn’t move much either. I got through almost 100 pages, and I was done. I had no feels, the hearts were not flowing, and I think it was a bad sign that I was saying, REALLY? instead of oooh, nice one, Ms. Oakes.
The issue lies not in the creativity or the characterization. Colleen Oakes delivered an interesting and complex Wonderland. The way she reimagined all of the characters was so fascinating. I loved how she turned Dinah’s brother into the Mad Hatter, and Cheshire (although I was loling hard at his name everytime) really felt like the cat. She created stunning imagery and a world that I wanted to dive into.
The issue came in the melodrama of the whole thing. Nothing was casual. Everything was suppppppper over the top. I mean, the drama was even crazier than the supposed Mad Hatter and that dude was batcrap crazy. A simple croquet game turned into something on the level of a war? I felt like they were literally trying to kill each other…it was a croquet game for goodness’s sake.
The opening chapter was so weird. I couldn’t imagine that ever happening, it was that weird in my head. Like, lemme just admit my cheating on my beloved wife to the entire kingdom and court just because my bastard showed up? Not only was it melodramatic as all get up, it was just weird to me. And the king just seemed like a little cartoon of a bad guy. Like, imagine every evil thing a king and bad father would do, and that was him. And I get hating the thought of a bastard sister, but Dinah appeared to have malice toward her sibling for absolutely no reason and that irked me to no end.
I tried to go farther with it, but the dramatics just went too far for me, and I had to be done. I really do applaud Colleen Oakes’ ability to craft a wonderfully complex world. I loved her Wonderland…I just didn’t love all her characters’ interactions. I still think I will try her Neverland series, though, so it didn’t scare me off completely.
But seriously, that cover is so pretty.
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