ReMyOwStMo – Day 4.
I have just finished reading my first novel A Plague of Hearts and have that feeling you get emerging from the dark heart of a cinema into broad daylight. As promised, I have written the review (see below) I think I would have written had this book been authored by someone other than myself.
This novel current has a rating of 3.88 (out of 5) on goodreads and a rating of 4.75 (out of 5) on Smashwords. Reviews are mostly positive with a couple of reviewers expressing disappointment in the ending but otherwise pronouncing themselves satisfied.
The plot of A Plague of Hearts parallels and intersects that of Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It follows the March Hare through a series of (mis)adventures as he gets roped into a conspiracy to overthrow the Panda, the despotic President of Wonderland. Along the way, we get to join the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and meet many of the characters we first encounter in Alice. What you might call the usual suspects are all there: the White Rabbit, the March Hare, the Cheshire Cat and the Knave, Queen and King of Hearts, to name just a few.
Plotwise, the author’s acknowledged debt to Kafka is apparent as the March Hare finds himself drawn into a labyrinth of political machinations he never quite understands. In that respect, he is rather like Alice in that events often seem both nonsensical and nightmarish to him. For Alice, Wonderland is a foreign country with a logic she can’t quite grasp, and the same it transpires is true for the March Hare, despite him being Wonderland born and bred.
This being the author’s first novel (written when he was still waiting for his balls to drop) it’s no surprise that the dialogue is sometimes – though not often – stilted and that one or two scenes could benefit from a bit of a trim. Overall though, this is a lively book with characters that feel like they’re in the room with you.
There are laughs a-plenty and enough plot twists to keep the pages turning.
A Plague of Hearts is not in the same league as its forebears (namely Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Kafka’s The Trial) but it’s not a bad effort. Its faults are far from fatal and I should think most people who read it will find it worth their time.