Marissa Meyer has delivered yet another phenomenal story! In this standalone novel, the author who brought us The Lunar Chronicles now takes us to Wonderland in a prequel about the Queen of Hearts.
I gotta say – I was never particularly fond of Alice in Wonderland. Sorry 😅 I’d seen the animated film, but I wouldn’t call myself a fan. However! I do believe Meyer has successfully converted me.
Read on for my spoiler-free thoughts on Heartless!
Young Adult, Fantasy
I can’t say definitively (not being one myself), but I imagine fans of Alice in Wonderland would love to read this book. And although the main characters are young adults, I believe this book can be enjoyed by all ages. Also! If you love cooking and baking (or basically anything to do with desserts), then you’d probably appreciate this story.
Overview (From Book Jacket – minus one sentence to maintain suspense)
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction.
Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
Wonderland. The Kingdom of Hearts, to be specific. Meyer did a spectacular job of bringing all of Wonderland’s wondrous eccentricities and idiosyncrasies to life.
And the same can be said for her characters. They were charming, sexy, mischievous, and bold, while also frustrating and sometimes foolish – in the best and worse sense of the word. I loved their development and I now have a new appreciation for them.
What I Liked
To build on that notion further – Meyer seamlessly wove the different types of characters into the narrative as she brought the world to life. (And this world was VIBRANT.) I say “types”, because there were types. Humans? Yes. Lions, turtles, caterpillars, and hares? All of whom can talk? Check. And did I mention monsters?
Another pro was how exciting and mesmerizing Heartless was. Although, “exciting” and “mesmerizing” don’t begin to cover it. I was a rollercoaster of nerves pretty much the entire time I was reading 😅 It was also an interesting examination into the consequences of actions and choices made.
I also LOVED that all my questions were answered. Eventually. Although, Meyer’s storytelling is so enthralling that I sometimes forgot that I even had questions (she’s so good at distracting me with Jest!).
What I Liked A Little Less
I’m not all that into cooking or baking – or even eating – desserts, so sometimes those parts of the book felt a bit sluggish to me.
Also, this book was devastating in certain ways and I’m not typically fond of books that are sad. But such is life. That didn’t diminish the quality of the book or writing in any way. And hey, this IS a prequel to the Queen of Hearts, so… yeah. We basically know how things turn out in the long run. However, this book was more about the journey than the destination.
Heartless gets 5/5 stars! I have a new appreciation for the Queen of Hearts. In fact, the more I think about it, the more brilliant this is. Now excuse me while I find something happy to read.
P.S. Thanks to Meyer, I might actually read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.