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Queen Wallis

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Definitely felt the sequel was a bit lackluster compared to the first one but still thoroughly enjoyed where the book went.

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Thank you Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for the eARC of Queen Wallis! All opinions in this review are my own.

While the sequel advances Rose's story, it felt like it was missing something crucial from the first book. Queen Wallis still had the feeling of the Alliance closing in on Rose but without the dramatic ending of the first one. However, based on the ending of this book, I would be curious to find out what happens next.

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London, 1955. The Leader has been dead for two years. His assassination, on British soil, provoked violent retribution and intensified repression of British citizens, particularly women. Now, more than ever, the Protectorate is a place of surveillance and isolation―a land of spies.

Every evening Rose Ransom looks in the mirror and marvels that she's even alive. A mere woman, her role in the Leader's death has been miraculously overlooked. She still works at the Culture Ministry, where her work now focuses on poetry, which has been banned for its subversive meanings, emotions, and signals that cannot be controlled.

A government propaganda drive to promote positive images of women has just been announced ahead of a visit from Dwight D. Eisenhower, the first American president to set foot on English soil in two decades. Queen Wallis Simpson will be spearheading the campaign, and Rose has been tasked with visiting her to explain the plan. When Rose arrives at the palace, she finds Wallis in a state of paranoia, desperate to return to America and enjoy the liberty of her homeland following her husband's death. Wallis claims she has a secret document so explosive that it will blow the Protectorate apart. But will the last queen of England pull the trigger on the Alliance?

This is a sequel to Widowland. You have to read the first one to understand what is happening here. The story picks after the events in Widowland. This time Rose is rewriting poetry.

There is a continued focus on how women are treated in this world. The information is interesting but it is repetitive. I found the writing to be lovely at times but the emphasis on detail can be a bit much.

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This feminist dystopian thriller kept me hooked! I was so interested by the world in which the author developed here. The topics in this book are so very timely that I could feel them keeping me engaged the entire time.

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Rose is editing classic poetry now in this sequel to the book editing position she had in Widowland. This was not as engaging; Rose is limp and Queen Wallis is not really that central to this story line. But it's an interesting read, and scary thinking about how easily this type of editing could be done today.

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#NetGalleyARC I enjoyed this book more than the first in the series for sure. I don't ever want to live in a world where the N*zis win but this was for sure an interesting read and twist on history. Not a book I'll buy for my HS library but it was a good end-of-the-summer, thought-provoking read.

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Overall, Queen Wallis is an intricate, thought-provoking, creative sequel by Carey that incorporates a compelling mix of historical figures, atmospheric settings, and what-if fiction into an entertaining tale that’s bursting with feminism, intrigue, and action.

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Queen Wallis
By: C. J. Carey
Review Score: 4 1/2 Stars

Boogie’s Bulletpoints

-This book jumps seamlessly into the story from the first book in the series, Widowland.

-You feel the tension right away, and wonder about Rose’s story.

-I love the portrayal of Wallis.

-There are a few really great plot twists in this book!

-I cannot wait for the next one in the series.


Queen Wallis was kindly provided as an ARC by Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark. Thank you for allowing me to read this wonderful book!

Release Date: Out Now!

Queen Wallis picks up where Widowland left off (you definitely need to read the first book in the series).

We continue to follow Rose, and are trying to figure out what her role is now under the “Alliance”. There are so many great twists and turns in this story.

I always love stories that show an alternate universe. If you are into that kind of thing (the Handmaid’s Tale and The Man in the High Castle come to mind) then you would really enjoy this series.

The sequel was almost as amazing as the first, which doesn’t always happen in a book series. I definitely recommend you check this series out!

#bookstagram #books #readingnow #boogiereadsbooks #fivekeyfeels #audiobooks #audiobook #fiction #arcreview #queenwallis #cjcarey #sourcebookslandmark

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"Queen Wallis" is a a strong and convincing sequel to C.J. Carey's previous dystopian novel, "Widowland"that expands on and surpasses the story told in the first volume while maintaining a mostly plausible and thoroughly horrifying view of what the results of a British defeat in the Second World War might have looked like.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a an eARC in exchange for my honest review.

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In the sequel to Widowland, it’s 1955, the Leader has been assassinated, and Rose is still working in the ministry now focusing on rewriting poetry. Rose has been tasked with meeting with Queen Wallis to help prepare her for a visit from President Eisenhower.

While it is interesting (and SCARY) to think of alternative histories, Queen Wallis just wasn’t something I’d recommend to other readers. Again, this is not my genre, but it may be yours.

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I was slightly hesitant about there being a sequel to Widowland and it seems my skepticism proved correct. The first book, and the lack of movement in plot and focus on worldbuilding, worked because it created a situation of hopelessness and profound emotion. Unfortunately that same formula cannot be replicated in a second novel without being redundant. Queen Wallis followed the exact same formula of the first book. Not much happens in the first 80% of the novel and then all of a sudden profound events are taking place in the last 20%. It repeats the same details over, and over. In the first book it worked to hammer home just how desolate things were but you can’t do that a second time. You can’t give hope at the end of the second novel only to not address those events at all in the first few chapters of the second and instead go about like it never happened. It’s confusing. The justification for it later also seemed unlikely and created some plot holes in the story. The same characters come out of nowhere and become involved almost at the same point they did in the prior novel. It was almost like the author was trying to show that history repeats itself. At least for me, it ended up diminishing the events of the first book. I would have preferred this series remain a standalone with an open-ended ending that left you pondering what happened to Rose and the possibilities for change.

Thank you Sourcebook Landmarks for providing a copy via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Queen Wallis is a sequel to Widowland, both dystopian novels that imagine what England would be like had Hitler and the Nazis won the war. Life where you can't trust anyone, where women are put into groups according to their age and child-bearing abilities. where women are told what they are to wear. A cross between The Man in the High Castle, The Handmaid's Tale and maybe a bit of Stepford Wives.

I think I liked this book a little more than Widowland, which I really liked. Rose is the main character with a a job "cleansing" poetry and literature, which means erasing anything the Nazis don't want people to read, that does't agree with their agenda. She has also been through a "bleaching" process to erase all memories from before the war. She is a good little government worker until she happens upon an underground group who reads poetry, dares to laugh and joke, and speak honestly about life as they are currently living (if you can call this living). She begins to remember things, ponder what she hears in Widowland, and question her work.

So much of this book left me wondering how this compares to things we see in today's governments and how we allow government to have so much control over our lives. Many parts of this story left me wanting to discuss it with a fellow reader. It would be great for a buddy read or a book club.

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I do wish I had read Widowland before reading this for more context, but it worked OK as a stand alone. This is a historical dystopian..if that's a thing? I don't know the name for it, but imagine an alternate world where women have names based on their social roles, and jobs based on their names...and Wallis ended up being Queen, but then the government was consolidated with the Germans....lots to think about and be angered over!

I received an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

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This novel is well-written and I wish I had read Widowland first. It definitely is a sequel and doesn't work as well as a standalone. I could appreciate the writing style and the narration in the audiobook is done well. Interesting concept and I'm looking forward to reading Widowland.

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Thank you C.J. Carey, SOURCEBOOKS Landmark and NetGalley for allowing me to read this ARC e-book. This book was so far a favorite for the year. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it but WOW. It had so many components and just really did not disappoint in any way. All around an amazing read. This story was a sequel to Widowland and although I had not read the first book I felt like I was able to jump right in without any issue.

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Unique, mysterious, and pensive!

Queen Wallis is a dark, sinister tale that picks up two years after Widowland left off, taking us back to a dystopian London during 1955 where the German Protectorate is still in rule and working hard to create his perfect society, espionage and repression are both still in abundance, Edward Vlll is dead, Queen Wallis remains though with little power or position, the American President and First Lady are set to make a surprise visit, women are still segregated based on attractiveness, reproductive capabilities, and age, and higher-caste Rose Ransom is still rewriting literature while doing whatever she can to empower women to fight for the respect and freedom they rightly deserve.

The prose is intense and rich. The characters are passionate, sly, and resilient. And the plot is a gripping tale of surveillance, segregation, courage, social injustice, politics, manipulation, control, suppression, and power.

Overall, Queen Wallis is an intricate, thought-provoking, creative sequel by Carey that incorporates a compelling mix of historical figures, atmospheric settings, and what-if fiction into an entertaining tale that’s bursting with feminism, intrigue, and action.

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Release July 18

QUEEN WALLIS, the sequel to WIDOWLAND, is just as electrifying and engrossing! Another can't-put-down alternative history fraught with tremendous suspense and danger, set in a Dystopian alternate-Britain in which no individual, no group, no history nor literature, is safe from permanent vanishing. Heroine Rose Ransom continues, here promoted from editing literature to editing [eradicating] poetry and to improved living conditions, despite temporary confinement and interrogation resulting from the Event in Oxford which changed the course of history for Britain and the German Empire. But those in power play a long game, and although Rose is free, she is not forgotten, and the eventual consequences may be unalterably permanent.

C. J. Carey delineates this totalitarian empire, this patriarchal, sexist, barbarian Dystopia, with a fine and subtle rendering, all the more memorable because of its subtlety.

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Fahrenheit 451 meets The Handmaid's Tale and they then mind-meld with Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four in a world where Edward VIII with his Nazi sympathies never abdicated.
As a life-long devotee of alternative history, I've seen so damn many "Germans win WWII" ideas that I refelxively shy away from reading yet another one. This one, being the second in a series I didn't read the first one of, would usually get zero attention from me for both those reasons. The way this subverted my defenses was to offer me a golden moment: My abiding contempt for the Windsors leads me to be amused and more than a little pleased that things turn out badly for them in this story.

The idea that the American Queen Wallis, a rapacious, greedy person whose grudges were legendary, would want to give up her life atop the heap is so unlikely as to be risible; but this isn't rigorous allohistorical scenario design, it's tendentious warning-blaring. It's meant for the world with Erdoğan, Orban, Modi, and Putin trotting around unassassinated in it, to detail a few of the not-at-all unlikely societal effects thereof on decent human beings. Most especially women. Author Carey is excellent at the evocation of the personal costs of totalitarian rule based on religious "principles" and there's no doubt that the cult of eugenics, written into law, would function quite well as a "moral" force like religion.

It delights me that the job our PoV character, Rose, does is to bowdlerize literature and history books to conform with the prevailing power's ideological needs. The Power of Literature is immense and very, very scary to the Powers That Be. One thing I don't see discussed in pop culture is how extremely easy Rose's job would be now: Push a patch to all Kindles and Kobos, and the "subversive" text is in compliance with Their needs. Think that's far-fetched? Read some Cory Doctorow links.

The topics Author Carey deals with in this book are so very timely that I could feel them pulling me along as the pace slackened after about 35% of the way through (a converation between Rose and Queen Wallis). The last about 15% was fast-paced and exciting, but without my deep identification with the author's evident desire to bring home the existential threat women and Others face in today's increasingly fascistic world, I'd've taken longer to finish the read.

While I have cavils on the history front (why is Eisenhower president in a 1955 where WWII wasn't like ours? why is there no mention of presumably vanished millions of Jews?), I have none on the timeliness and urgency of the author's purpose in writing the book. I'll say that I felt slightly at sea occasionally. I put this down to not having read Widowland, so I recommend you do that first.

Rose is no superheroine. She's a very slightly moist, sometimes even drippy, everywoman whose moral compass isn't aligned with her culture's. She has the decency to follow it, and not the mob. She is, then, who we can reasonably aspire to be if the worst happens.

Well worth your time and treasure.

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Another excellent piece of creative alternative history.A story that shows Wallis as queen fully in power.Well written so interesting hope there’s another book to the series.#netgalley #sourcebooks landmark

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What if the British negotiated with the Germans in 1940 and created the Anglo-Saxon Alliance? C.J. Carey’s follow-up to Widowland takes you to England in 1955 that is almost unrecognizable. Women have been divided into six classes, from the racially pure who are destined for marriage and child bearing to the widows who are childless and confined to designated camps. Women are forbidden to smoke or drink in public places and their education is limited. In Windsor Castle, the widowed Queen Wallis is a mere figurehead, confined and closely monitored.

Rose Ransom works for the Ministry of Culture editing poetry and literature so that it conforms to current cultural standards. The Leader was assassinated two years ago on a visit to England and Rose was involved. She lives in fear that her actions will be discovered and she has been careful. Now she has been chosen to interview Queen Wallis and report on her mental stability. A visit by President Eisenhower has been announced and he would like to meet with her. She is making plans of her own for this meeting and enlists Rose’s help. The murder of a German officer has brought enhanced security and places Rose in the sites of Detective Schumacher, who was involved with the investigation of the Leader’s death. Carey’s alternate history is a chilling look at what might have been as well as a murder mystery that ties to the royal family and comes highly recommended. I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book for my review.

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