[ARC REVIEW] Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

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REVIEW: Mad About The Hatter by Dakota Chase

Title: Mad About the Hatter
Author: Dakota Chase
Date Published: August 20th, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Retelling, LGBT
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley

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This isn’t his sister’s Wonderland….

Henry never believed his older sister, Alice’s, fantastic tales about the world down the rabbit hole. When he’s whisked away to the bizarre land, his best chance for escape is to ally himself with the person called the Mad Hatter. Hatter—an odd but strangely attractive fellow—just wants to avoid execution. If that means delivering “Boy Alice” to the Queen of Hearts at her Red Castle, Hatter will do what he has to do to stay alive. It doesn’t matter if Henry and Hatter find each other intolerable. They’re stuck with each other.

Along their journey, Henry and Hatter must confront what they’ve always accepted as truth. As dislike grows into tolerance and something like friendship, the young men see the chance for a closer relationship. But Wonderland is a dangerous place, and first they have to get away with their lives.

Rating: 2/5 Stars
★★✰✰✰

“It’s named that because many parts of it are wondrous, but also it’s a wonder anyone ever survives some of it.” (39%)

      At first glance this books sounds like a dark read, which is why I picked it up, but it’s not.  Mad About the Hatter is a cute, light read full of kisses, cookie wars, and a place called Drawrof where everything is backwards. It’s where Henry and Hatter explored multiple places in Wonderland on their way to the Red Queen’s castle, and explored even more as they tried to get away from her clutches. She’s quite evil you know, so much so that everyone in Wonderland is affected by her reign of terror and chopped heads.

“There was a decidedly pink cast to this guard, as if he’d spent far too many years outside patrolling the Queen’s borders, his color slowly bleaching out under the brutal kiss of the Wonderland sun.” (1%)

“He wondered is the other guards’ red heads were still attached to their red bodies, or gracing a series of pikes decorating the Queen’s croquet lawn.” (1%)

      While the Queen is made out to be some vicious, horribly violent person who kills at the littlest incentive, there’s really not much to back that up. Yes, she continuously cries out about chopping off heads, and her subjects are terrified of it, but we don’t actually witness it. We don’t see this incredibly dark side of her, just a side that seems like a petulant child who wants one thing and one thing only: heads to roll. Cat easily persuades her not to, though, so even that lacks real threat. I suppose it only made her people dislike her more, and it was a bit of a disappointment because the fear and darkness she could’ve brought would have made this story so much more engaging!

“If she grew any angrier, Hatter worried her head might explode. Not that it would necessarily be a bad thing, thought Hatter, but she’d make a horrific mess, and I’m in the splash zone. (8%)

“No one explains anything to the Queen. She’s built of nothing but maliciousness and stubbornness held together by a few threads of narcissism and a nice big helping of conceit.” (46%)

      The caterpillar was high whenever he was in a scene, which is why he spoke in confusing riddles and made essentially no sense at all. He was entertaining, especially when his pipe is taken away, but that’s about all he was good for. He was a pit stop, just another look at Wonderland and how odd it truly is. That, and he did something at the beginning that kickstarted another little pit stop. I won’t spoil you though.

      The romance was almost instant, though no action was taken until further on in the book. The romance is okay overall, but it lacked the proper buildup, it sometimes took place in the worst spots, and it was too cute and light which just seemed a bit overboard with how cute and light everything else already was. It was still enjoyable, but it had a lot of potential.

“How is it, with war raging so close by, with chocolate malt cannonballs flying and icing guns firing, that I can be thinking of kissing him?” (43%)

      The writing was a bit odd in a few places, using strange slangish word choices that just made the passage seem childish or just… wrong somehow. Also, for the plot, there wasn’t much going on. Henry and Hatter never actually got injured, and the Queen didn’t really make much of an effort to go after them, even though she sent her guards. The creatures and deadly places they went to? They somehow got through all of it unscathed, and even when you think they’re about to be eaten and have to fight for their lives, they merely find a simply solution of turning their backs. It made the story less exciting, because there wasn’t much to look forward to when you’re an action junkie like me.

“Ditto for the sun;” (74%)

“Cat tended to make everything more complicated and confuzzling than it needed to be.” (93%)

      I did like the strangeness that Wonderland held, though. It was incredibly imaginative and with all the magic infused in the story, it was great to read about. I just wish there had been more danger in the places Henry and Hatter explored, because then they would’ve been more ominous with deadly traps popping up at every corner and hill! There was so much potential! It has the basic structure for a dark tale, which I enjoyed, but then it takes a twist to cute kisses and simple solutions.

      Overall, it was an okay read, but it wasn’t for me.