It begins the way it has always begun: with a card on Mabel’s pillow. But Mabel has been in Underland–or Wonderland–before, and she’s not so anxious to go back. No matter what name it takes, Underland is always bizarre, always mad, always dangerous.
There’s the Queen of Hearts, terrifying, powerful, and possibly insane.
There’s Hatter, purple-eyed and undoubtedly mad.
March Hare has always been one sandwich short of a picnic, and Sir Blanc is missing his wits.
And then there’s Jack. Jack the aristocratic son of the Queen. Not quite mad, but not far off. Disinclined to help anyone but himself. A liar.
And, thanks to an ancient ceremony performed by the Queen, Mabel’s fiance.
Fall into the rabbit hole with Mabel as she climbs through tea-pots, battles the Jabberwock, and attempts to overthrow the Queen of Hearts herself.
Don’t lose your head.
And whatever you do, don’t be late…
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
This is a lovely novella full of unique situations, great characters, and similarities to “Alice in Wonderland”. It was different in its own way though, despite the similarities, so I applaud the author for a job well done!
In the beginning, we follow Mable as she first visits Underland and is blood bonding to Jack at the young age of 3. We follow her journey all the way to the end when Jack is a month or so away from being 25. At first her visits are pleasant and happy, so she’s always eager to return, especially after she met Hater and Hare. But it gradually becomes a place full of terror as the Queen tends to love spilling blood when she’s bored. Mable’s presence leads to a rebellion, and when something terrible happens to a friend of hers, she swears never to return to keep them safe. However, the rebellion takes action.
I adore how the author wrote Mable’s gradual understanding of Underland. She goes from knowing how she gets there to figuring out better methods of visiting. Then she finds out she can see them through water, and then change things, and then hear them. She experiments with things until she finds out a new method of connecting with Underland, which I thought was well paced. Her voice doesn’t really change as she grows though, which was a little disappointing, but everything else that changed in her was well done. She takes action, finds out the truth, and she stands up for what she believes in, even if that’s freeing a bunch of prisoners or tricking the Queen.
Which brings me to the fight at the end. It was a little too lackluster for me, as it seemed so simple and made me wonder why Mable didn’t do it before but it was still good.
The pacing is fast at times, but it mostly maintained an even pace throughout the novella. I like how things happened and I wouldn’t change anything, not even to make something happen quicker or not at all.
The plot is great. Mable spends a large portion of the book learning things about Underland and herself, bettering her skill and getting stronger. She does that in multiple ways, whether it’s saving her friends from a creature or watching as things happen. This means that by the time she has to fight, she’s well prepared.
Overall, this novella is great, and I definitely recommend it to anyone.
Series: (Dreamland #2)
Publication date: October 15th 2015
Genres: New Adult,Fantasy
Molly finally uncovers the truth about the strange dreams that plagued her sanity for weeks. Now destined to accept a clandestine role, Molly must find the strength and courage buried deep to push forward and succeed.
With the help of Dev, the roguish blue-eyed man of her dreams—whose dark past resurfaces to haunt him—Molly prepares to test the limits of her newly awakened powers and set right a world on the edge of being consumed by nightmares.
But when an unknown shadow stalks her every step and a shocking revelation about her ancestry comes to light, Molly may find herself forced to make a decision that could leave her alone in the dark and standing on the wrong side of a divide.
I’m the author behind the NA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy The Dreamland Series. When I’m not busy moonlighting in the realm of make-believe, I can be found doodling, buried in a book (usually this one), or playing video games.
Instagram – https://instagram.com/ejmellow
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THE TOUR STOPS
*I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours Like Candy Blog Tour. I received a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.
Publication date: July 28th 2015
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Young Adult
Synopsis:Revenge is sweet, just like candy.Candy Seaborne knows she’s badass. She takes after her father, an assassin and possibly a spy, although he won’t admit to either. She idolizes him. Her dream is to follow in his footsteps. But first, she has to finish high school.Biding her time, waiting for real life to begin, Candy craves drama and isn’t above manufacturing some. If you’re a classmate who wronged her or a boyfriend who cheated, watch your back. She’s no pushover, and revenge may be her favorite pastime.Jonah Bryson is the senior class heartthrob who breaks all the stereotypes. He’s a jock, but he isn’t the typical player. He’s moody and antisocial. No girl has gotten anywhere with him since his last girlfriend broke his heart.Candy sees Jonah as a challenge and the perfect distraction. But she may be in over her head because unlike everyone else, Jonah isn’t buying her tough act. He sees the lost, lonely girl inside. He sees too much. When he looks at her that way, she wants to let her guard down and be vulnerable. But that’s the last thing she should do because her father’s world is spilling over into hers, and life is about to get real much sooner than Candy expected.
Connect with Debra. She loves hearing from readers.
THE TOUR STOPS
*I received a free ebook copy of this from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Season of Lightning
Author: Kate Avery Ellison
Publication date: February 20th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Emma meets Robin Hood in this antebellum-esque historical fantasy set in the same fantasy world as A Gift of Poison.
Verity Elysius is the only daughter of a famous retired general and rich plantation owner. She lives in an insulated world of wealth and privilege, where she spends her time riding her horse, sassing her lady’s companion, and being tormented by the family’s handsome but irritating nobleman friend, Lord Roth. But when a mysterious, masked vigilante called the Hawk begins stirring up trouble and freeing silvras, the oppressed lower class, Verity’s world is turned upside down as she is challenged about everything she knows about her world and her place in it.
The Season of Lightning is a fantasy book akin to that of a historical romance type of novel, with the romance at the end (though there isn’t much romance, to be honest). The fantasy part doesn’t mean the book is infused with magic and spells and witches, rather, it’s the world itself with the different places and types of people (Tyyros, Silvra ext.). It feels so much like a historical book though due to the vibe the world gives off, reminding us of the 1800s with the way people speak and dress and how the world works. It made for a more interesting story, seeing as how Verity is a rich girl whom is supposed to be a proper young lady. But it isn’t just about a rich girl’s life, or how one with such money lived in those times. It’s about a rich girl with an improper attitude slowly realizing the world around her and the horrors within it. It’s about a young lady seeing the wrongs and wanting to right them, but not knowing how. It’s about freeing the lower class who are beaten and starved so the rich don’t have to do their work. It’s about growing and maturing and trying to do the right thing.
Which is why I’ll start off with Verity’s character. Verity is a noblewoman, rich and young,and stuck in a time where women are seen as nothing but pretty objects to brighten a room, where they’re seen as weak beings only concerned with parties and dresses and gossip. Verity is anything but dress obsessed and empty headed. In fact, she has a quick brain and a sharp tongue which drove her father mad, and tended to get her in trouble. She admits to liking parties, yes, but that’s definitely not all she thinks about. Instead, she likes to ride her horse, run around bare-foot, she wants to play cards with her father and the other men. Basically, she’s a lady doing things men do, and because of that she is improper. Also, she has a fire in her, a fierceness which is most definitely to be improper since it allows her to talk back and defend herself. It gives her strength and that makes her a character more lovable and likable. I also really enjoyed how Verity matured in this novel. Whenever she was faced with something unpleasant (like a man hating on her Silvra friend, Trilly, soldiers with guns threatening them, the Hawk), she doesn’t turn away. Instead, she learns from it and the more she learns from situations she gets herself in, the more she grows and matures. I think she grew the most in the camp and in Tasglorn though, which I loved reading about.
The reason for her growth however, all started when a mysterious person they called The Hawk, began to attack various rich plantations and free the Silvras and Tyyros (who are slaves, no matter how one might look at it). That is when Verity realizes the lives of the lower class, realizes the wrongs being done to them and begins to want to help and do all she can to make things right. And while I liked the Hawk for freeing the slaves and giving them a better life and his commitment to his cause, I wasn’t so fond of the way he went about achieving his goals. He was fueled by revenge and liked to burn down crops and home even though he didn’t need to. He wasn’t robbing the rich to feed the poor as Robin Hood did; he was taking down the rich and freeing the oppressed.
I liked Lord Roth from the beginning. He came across as sweet, intelligent, and charming, though he adored making fun of Verity for obvious reasons. He had his own way about things and while at times I wasn’t so fond of him for treating Verity like a child and being fairly rude, he was an overall great character. He grew as well, like Verity did, though not as much. He stopped treating her like a child and she saw and remembered the good things about him, the things he did so she didn’t have such a hard time. It was rather obvious how it would end between them, though I wish the romance was more developed because there really wasn’t much of it.
Which brings me to the world building! The world was very well-developed, feeling as real as our own as we got to see inner workings of politics as well as the outcome of chaos. We got to see how Verity’s world suffered and worked through the loss of money and crops and workers. We got to see the different worlds, the different workings of the different people and places (though not so much their politics, but their groups near Verity). It was a fantastic world and the author did a great job of describing it and making it feel real.
The writing was also very good. We got to see the world through Verity, so there were no big info-dumps, and we got to see the world change through her eyes. I was so invested and immersed in this book that I didn’t want to put it down. It was just so easy to fall into and so hard to get out! And while it wasn’t exactly fast-paced (which I have no problems with), it was so riveting that I can hardly complain!
Overall, everything about this book is great. And while I would’ve loved to see the romance be more developed, there’s not much to complain about. I would definitely recommend this for any of you who find in interestign or love fantasy and historical books.
*I received a free ebook copy of this from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Echoed Life of Jorja Graham
Publication date: April 9th 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance
“Follow my echo and I will lead you to the still point at the center of it all.” ~ Jorja
Series: (Mindshare #1)
Publication date: December 16th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Henry Malone’s childhood was shattered by the unexplained suicide of his father. Now a teenager, his days are spent studying to become a Neural Implant Technician for Planetary Link Corporation, helping them maintain an iron grip over his walled country and every iota of knowledge contained within—but he leads a double life. Henry’s nights are spent helping his mother wage a cyber war against them in her quest to find the truth behind his father’s death.
He’s managed to keep his two lives separate, a delicate balance that’s endangered after he repairs the neural implant of a stranger. He finds she’s in possession of illegal memories from the outside world, unauthorized knowledge of his father, and a message: speak to me later and tell no one. Henry has a choice to make—ignore the message and maintain his double-life, or answer and risk everything to uncover secrets Planetary Link would kill to keep buried.
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