I know this is an atypical topic for me, but I wanted to share a little bit about me. Outside of books.
A little more than a year ago, my husband and I were suppose to pack up and move back to New York. With all of my family on that side of the country, I really was looking forward to the move.
Instead, he convinced me to restart our trucking company in order to stay in Arizona. He now spends 4-5 nights a week on the road. I have to be up by 7am and usually finish paperwork/dispatching by noon, though some days it doesn’t end until 4pm. Dispatching requires up typically 10 phone calls a day (up to 23 and as little as 3) and due to a very vocal toddler, I have to hide in my garage to have an uninterrupted phone call. The paperwork portion of the job allows for a much noisier setting, so I get to do that at my desk, heh. Sometime after lunch, I put the kid down to sleep. Since I’m usually up to 2am writing/blogging, I often fall asleep during nap time too. If I’m lucky enough to remain awake, this is the time of day I get to read during the week.
Without books and my book-related hobbies to keep me company, I’m not sure how I’d survive this life. It’s hectic during the day and lonely at night. My husband uses Saturday to enjoy his hobby, so the only day we get to spend together is Sunday. /sigh
I never imagined myself in this profession growing up and I know that I don’t want my husband to be still on the road when the kid starts school, but it does pay the bills. In this economy, I’m thankful to have that.Read More
Queen of Hearts (#1 The Crown) by Colleen Oakes
Genre: Fantasy, Fairytale retelling
Published: February 14th, 2014
Not every fairytale has a happy ending.
This is the story of a princess who became a villain.
A Father’s Betrayal. A Kingdom with a Black Secret. A Princess Slowly Unraveling.
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.
Both WICKED and THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS transformed the evil villains into sympathetic and misunderstood characters. Colleen Oakes succeeds in doing the same for THE QUEEN OF HEARTS. It seems that the root of Dinah’s attitude problems stem from the fact that she wasn’t hugged enough as a child. Truth-be-told, her father makes the future queen of hearts look docile and sane. This is possibly the darkest version of Wonderland that I’ve read.
Most of the familiar characters return for this series, although in much different roles than they traditionally occupy. There’s some romance, yet it’s not center stage. I do like that Dinah’s love for this person seems genuine. I’m still on the fence about whether his feelings for her are the same.
Our main character, Dinah, is a spoiled princess who abuses her powers to get what she wants. However, her situation is so precarious that I can’t help but feel sympathetic for her. The only way she knows how to get people to respond to her is to force her will upon them. She’s a complex character, whose faults are so plentiful that it’s amazing that she can manage to smile when she does.
What’s truly remarkable is that the author manages to imply quite a bit about the other characters and the world without Dinah picking up on the clues. Dinah is so self absorbed in her own world that she doesn’t see it crashing down around her until it hits her (literally).
The story and characters deserve five stars. I just wish that the writing was as magical. Personally, I think Wonderland needs purple prose to make it feel complete. I never got the sense of how extraordinary the layout of the land or the characters were because description was either lacking or plainly written. In most fantasylands, I don’t think it’s necessary to flaunt details and quirks, but Wonderland holds a special place in my heart and I like the weirdness of the place. I do plan on continuing the series, since my love for well-written villains trumps everything.
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.)
I think there is progress, but my list is still long. :(
I’ve been having a hard time the last couple of days trying to stay focus. I REALLY love watching the Olympics. In fact, yesterday I watched all 11 hrs of broadcast. Today I saw the women’s hockey game between Japan and Sweden (btw, Japan did an excellent job for being the underdog). I plan on writing reviews for the next few hours and then rewarding myself with the final segment of the Team Figure Skating broadcast. USA isn’t going to win, but that’s okay considering that Russia really does have the better skaters…or at least they don’t fall on their ass as much. *glares at Team USA*
Books already read to be reviewed:
From Old List
The Wall by William Sutcliffe
Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves
Nomad by JL Bryan – reviewing 2/26/14 via Parajunkee
Glimpse by Steven Whibley – review half done
Hidden by Jo Chumas
Cracked by Eliza Crewe – reviewing 2/18/14 via Parajunkee
The Faceless One by Mark Onspaugh – reviewing 2/25/14 via Parajunkee
A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway — reviewing 2/19/14 via Parajunkee
Necessary Sacrifices by Zoe Cannon
A Brief Eternity by Paul Beaumont – reviewing 2/18/14
Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes – reviewing 2/10/14
Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott
Replica by Jenna Black — reviewing 2/14/14
Seventeen by Mark D. Diehl
Are there any books that you’d like to see reviewed first?Read More