Book Review: Wonderland
I hope you’re having a great October and finding some ways to celebrate the season. I’ll be honest, I’m dealing with some serious burnout that’s really tearing me apart emotionally, but all I can do is power on, right? Here’s hoping I can keep pushing and last through this semester!
Anywho, it’s time for another book review! This time I read Wonderland by Jennifer Hillier.
This was originally going to be a part of some research for a future work, but it fits my class’s requirements, so it got bumped up on my TBR. How did I like this book? Keep on scrolling, peeps!
Fans of Chelsea Cain and Lisa Gardner will devour this edgy thriller about the gruesome secrets hidden beneath a small-town amusement park. From the author of Creep, Freak, and The Butcher, Jennifer Hillier’s “fine knack for creating hideous killers” (Booklist) is vividly on display.
Welcome to Wonderland. By day, it’s a magical place boasting a certain retro charm. Excited children, hands sticky with cotton candy, run frenetically from the Giant Octopus ride to the Spinning Sombrero, while the tinkling carnival music of the giant Wonder Wheel—the oldest Ferris wheel in the Pacific Northwest—fills the air. But before daybreak, an eerie feeling descends. Maybe it’s the Clown Museum, home to creepy wax replicas of movie stars and a massive collection of antique porcelain dolls. Or maybe it’s the terrifyingly real House of Horrors. Or…maybe it’s the dead, decaying body left in the midway for all the Wonder Workers to see.
Vanessa Castro’s first day as deputy police chief of Seaside, Washington, is off to a bang. The unidentifiable homeless man rotting inside the tiny town’s main tourist attraction is strange enough, but now a teenage employee—whose defiant picture at the top of the Wonder Wheel went viral that same morning—is missing. As the clues in those seemingly disparate crimes lead her down a mysterious shared path of missing persons that goes back decades, she suspects the seedy rumors surrounding the amusement park’s dark history might just be true. She moved to Seaside to escape her own scandalous past, but has she brought her family to the center of an insidious killer’s twisted game? Acclaimed author Jennifer Hillier’s bone-chilling thriller is masterful and fast-paced, hurtling toward a shocking, bloody conclusion.
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I’ve rarely if ever read a crime thriller, but I was extremely pleased with this novel.
This book centers on Vanessa Castro, a mother who has just recently moved from Seattle to a small town called Seaside with her daughter and son. The main attraction of this tiny town is an amusement park called Wonderland, but as soon as she arrives, chaos erupts when a dead body is found on the premises. Soon after, multiple youth disappearances are brought to her attention. What on earth is going on with this town? Can she figure this awful situation out?
Hands down, this was a wonderfully executed book and I enjoyed pretty much everything about it.
Vanessa Castro is a great main character. She’s a chief deputy with heart, and she truly cares about the welfare of the town and her family. I enjoyed learning more about her past in depth, especially the gritty parts that may make her character a bit more questionable. Despite her colorful past, she perseveres and dedicates herself to her new job and the people of Seaside, and that was very honorable.
There are other character point of views, that of her daughter Ava, love interest Oscar, and a young man named Blake, and while they were enjoyable, they didn’t make as much of an impact that Vanessa did.
The plot had me going from beginning to end. The allure of a crime thriller is that there will be mystery and plot twists at every turn, and this book fulfilled that expertly. As I read on, I was increasingly dedicated to finding out who was killing and kidnapping the locals and what their motive was. There were so many great developments along the way that I wasn’t able to correctly guess who the culprit was, and I really loved that.
Ultimately, this is a solid crime thriller that any bookworm can appreciate. Definitely give this book a chance if you can!
That’s A Wrap!
Well that’s it for this book review. I hope you enjoyed it!
Have you read this book? Are there other similar books you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!
Have a great day!