Book Banter: The Wonder by Colleen Oakes

SRC blog headerTitle: The Wonder, Queen of Hearts Saga #222457109
Author: Colleen Oakes
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling
Length: approximately 225 pages
Where Stacie’s Copy Came From:  BookSparks/Summer Reading Challenge
Plot Basics: Dinah, the future queen of Wonderland, is on the run with Morte, and a bereaved Card. She must trust them with her life, for, without them, she cannot become the queen she so desperately wishes to be.

Banter Points: The world building in this series is exquisite. Even while the queen is on the run, she encounters perils that exist not because of bad choices but rather because the world she lives in is a deadly place. Her sheltered life and protected nature is truly seen as she runs to Wonderland’s enemies for protection; she has no idea where she is being lead or why.

Of course, she is outraged to be brought before Yurkei, the people she has learned to hate. Like many long-standing enemies, the hurts are on both sides. Dinah has to prove to them that she is worthy of leading Wonderland and that her promises will be backed by action. She also has to prove that she is something more than a spoiled little rich girl.

The writing, story craft and world building is exquisite, again in this installment.  I’m drawing into the world and telling of how this princess is turned into a villain.

Bummer Points: Same complaint as last time – it felt like an installation in a longer book, rather than a stand-alone title of its own making. I really think some good editing would have trimmed at least 50, maybe as many as 75, pages out of this title. Of course, I’m guessing at page count, because it was an unlisted for the ebook ARC. Again, there’s little wrap up of a story line. It ends with a cliff hanger that resolves little of the conflict and leaves a lot to be desired. It’s a technique I’ve seen (and loved) in other authors. It isn’t working for me here.

Stacie’s Recommendation: I’m interested to see book three, and I really hope it’s closer to the story craft of the first book, instead of the second.

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