Written by Marissa Meyer, 2016
Romance, YA Fantasy
My Rating: 5/5 (Would give a 6 if possible)
The newest book by the celebrated author of the Lunar Chronicles, Heartless is inspired by and set in the fantastical, dreamlike world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The book illustrates the development of one of the key characters of Alice, The Red Queen, or as known in this book, Catherine. However, the uniqueness of the prose and the chronological order of events in the book let you, unbelievably, forget that Catherine is the feared, merciless tyrant of Hearts and allow her to be treated as just a normal girl, trying to emerge victorious in the various strifes she is surrounded by. The characters of Heartless are so dynamic, so relatable that I wouldn’t be surprised if they were to jump out of the pages and accompany me in reading the book. The subtle integration of the setting without letting it become the sole focus can also be seen in Meyer’s previous, albeit more cheery, work, and creates the overall mood of being in the story rather than spectating from afar. The narration is also limited third person rather than omniscient which allows for suspense and a slow buildup of foreboding as the book progresses, as you repeatedly realize that no one other than you is aware of the true resolution of the book. The theme of love is marred by Catherine’s anguish into something cruel and unrecognizable, and if you’re looking for a chilling, adrenalin-filled romance, Heartless is the book for you.