Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: The Queen of Hearts

Daniel Homan's The Queen of Hearts has an intriguing premise and concept. A dictator rules through use of a demon that marks and then hunts down anyone who kills - a society in which laws against murder can actually be enforced.

Even more intriguing, the book is set in a world with twentieth-century technology - cars, planes and electricity mingle with magic.

Here's the problem. Homan's work reads as if somebody told him it would be cool to set a secondary world, epic fantasy in a place with modern technology. I actually got halfway through the book before I even noticed there was technology. It has no bearing on the story other than a token "Let's flee in a car" scene. None. Instead of making use of the setting, it's pure window dressing.

The book is also written in present tense, which Homan almost pulls off. Almost. He doesn't do the job Suzanne Collins did (she managed to keep me from noticing for close to an entire book), but it's not bad. For people less inclined to have their teeth set on edge by present tense in general, it probably won't be a bad thing at all.

Oh, and it would have been better, a lot better, without the weird prologue. The story itself was interesting, but overall I found The Queen of Hearts better in its idea than its execution.

Three stars.