Book Recommendations: Retellings

Top Ten Tuesday(76)

Hello fellow book lovers!

Time for a couple more book recommendations! Woohoo! I absolutely love giving out book recommendations but unfortunately I don’t have a ton to ever recommend usually since I read so many different genres and sometimes I don’t like the book! However, I have a decent amount of retellings that I adored so I wanted to share a couple of them with all of you!

I will provide links to my full reviews of each book if you want some more details!

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Alice (The Chronicles of Alice #1) by Christina Henry

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This is one of my most favorite books of all time and definitely one of the top retellings! This is a very, very dark, horrific, and graphic version of “Alice in Wonderland” where the characters we all know and love are twisted versions of themselves. I have to say it’s one of the most unique retellings I’ve ever come across since it takes elements of the original story and does so many different things with them including making them absolutely horrifying.

So if you’re a fan of Alice retellings and aren’t afraid to see the darkest side of it then definitely check this one out!

You can read my full review of “Alice” here.


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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Another wonderful “Alice in Wonderland” retelling that is also an origin story for the Queen of Hearts character. While the beginning half of the book was pretty slow and filled with descriptions of food and moony eyes, the end half was full of action and plot twists! It was really fun getting to see all of the different characters come into play as well!

You can read my full review of “Heartless” here.


The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

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This is an AMAZING “Aladdin” retelling where the genie is a female and falls in love with Aladdin. However, there is plenty of action and great world building so this isn’t just a romance focused story! On top of the unique plot there is Khoury’s beautiful writing, seriously it’s just so gorgeous and made reading this book such a breeze! There is also some kickass feminist themes as well since Princess Caspida and her Watchmaidens are basically Robin Hood and are super badass.

You can read my full review of “The Forbidden Wish” here.


Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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A “Peter Pan” retelling that centeralizes around the character of Tiger Lily, it’s narrated by Tinkerbell as she watches Tiger Lily grow and eventually watches the romance the develops between her and Peter Pan. It’s a very warped version of Neverland that we see in this story it’s dark and very saddening. Overall I highly recommend reading this one just for the unique take on Neverland as well as the story of Tiger Lily but be warned you’re probably going to cry!

You can read my full review of “Tiger Lily” here.


Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry

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Another “Peter Pan” retelling but, as the title states, it’s the origin story of Captain Hook. Like with “Alice” Christina Henry takes the Neverland we all know and love and flips it upside down, this is a dark and very gritty version filled with many horrors both monstrous and more realistic. Trust me when I say you probably won’t be the biggest fan of Peter anymore……

You can read my full review of “Lost Boy” here.


Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

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This is it’s own unique story but it also weaves in four other retellings throughout as well. That’s right, four! We get to see Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Hua Mulan, and Jane Austen’s Emma and while I can’t really speak for the Emma retelling I can tell you the other three are well represented within the main story line. I recommend checking this book out for the great story and world building alongside the retellings too!

You can read my full review of “Kingdom of Ash and Briars” here.


The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

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This is a “Little Mermaid” retelling with a F/F romance and quite a bit of Norse mythology weaved in as well. While I did have a couple problems with this book I generally did really enjoy it and thought it was a really unique take on the “Little Mermaid” story as well as adding in a bunch of original elements as well.

You can read my full review of “The Seafarer’s Kiss” here.

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Have you read any of these books yet? What did you think?

What are some of your favorite retellings?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top 5 Wednesday: Books Without Romance (Or Very Little)

Top Ten Tuesday(1)

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and created by Lainey @ Ginger Reads Lainey. You can check out the group’s Goodreads page for this month’s topics!

This week’s theme is Books Without Romance or they can be books with very little romance as well. I personally am a huge fan of books with little to no romance, it’s a big pet peeve of mine when romances cloud over the plot and all other happenings. I’m very happy to find books like this and share the ones I’ve read as well!

I will link up my reviews for each title as well if you’d like my full thoughts!

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5.) This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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While I suppose it could be debated a little bit since it sometimes feels like the two main characters are developing feelings for each other throughout, this is still very much romance free. This is a story about monsters and monstrous humans and that’s where the focus stays, there’s no getting muddled up in any lovey-dovey moments here!

You can read my full review of “This Savage Song” here.


4.) Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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Um…yeah here she is again! Schwab really is a master at keeping the plots of her books straight and interesting without getting too lost in any romance. This is a very complex novel about two men that gain “superpowers” and turn into enemies but the lines between who’s good and who’s evil blur very much.

One of the characters does have a girlfriend and the other character loves her as well but it’s very briefly mentioned and serves more as a motivator in the story than it does an actual romantic subplot. So no romance!

You can read my full review of “Vicious” here.


3.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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Have I talked about this book enough on my blog? Yeah, I don’t think so either. This is an amazing fantasy story with fantastic world building and a brutally unpredictable storyline, plus the heroine is a badass! I digress, there is a point in the story where Yukiko becomes a bit smitten with a boy but it is extremely brief and hardly mentioned. Plus when you get to the end of the book you definitely wouldn’t say there is any romance either…..trust me.

You can read my full review of “Stormdancer” here.


2.) Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry

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I cannot recommend Christina Henry’s books enough, honestly, and them being very romance-light is one of the reasons. With “Lost Boy” there is a point in the story where a character has a crush on someone but other than that it’s very romance free. It was nice to see a female character whose sole purpose wasn’t to be the love interest.

You can read my full review of “Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook” here.


1.) Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

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What’s great about this book is how diverse it is with the characters’ genders and sexuality. We see both a transgender character as well as an asexual character, which I though was absolutely fantastic! Plus there was no romance at all, it was really great that we got to see such diversity like this and the author didn’t feel a need to push any of the characters together.

You can read my full review of “Every Heart A Doorway” here.

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Have you read any of these books as well? What did you think of them?

Do you agree about the “non-romance” in any of these books? Disagree?

What are some books you’ve read with little to no romance? (please tell me I love these kinds of recommendations!)

Do you find that you enjoy books with little to no romance more or less?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

ARC Review: Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry

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There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.

Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.

Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.

review

**** Huge thank you to Berkley Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!****

(This was a buddy read with Ariana @ The Quirky Book Nerd! I will be linking up her review when she has it up here and keep a look out for our buddy read discussion and Q&A!)

As you all probably know by now I was a HUGE fan of Christina Henry’s “Alice” and “Red Queen” which were horror retellings of Alice in Wonderland. On top of that I “Peter Pan” is my all time favorite fairy tale so a Christina Henry retelling was going to be right up my alley……and it was!

(For those of you who are interested my reviews for “Alice” and “Red Queen” can be found here!)

PLOT

“This isn’t a wonderful place for boys to play and have adventures and stay young for always. It’s a killing place, and we’re all just soldiers in Peter’s war.”

While this story is a retelling of “Peter Pan” it’s also an origin/redemption story for the character of Captain Hook/James Hook where we get to see his side of the story and here he is a boy known as Jamie who was whisked away to Neverland by Peter. He is the first and favorite Lost Boy who watches over all of the other Lost Boys because while in Peter’s mind the island is nothing but fun and games…..it’s quite the opposite for the boys.

Enter the horror aspect of the story.

Jamie has watched countless other Lost Boys succumb to the horrors of the island: pirates, the Many-Eyed, crocodiles, disease, and battles aka arena fights to the death. After so many years of this it starts to weigh on Jamie and it starts bothering him how Peter doesn’t seem to care about the well being of anyone but himself.

The pacing is a tiny bit slow to start but once the plot picks up you won’t be able to put this book down. There’s plenty of twists and turns you most definitely will not see coming.

I was absolutely blown away by how unique and twisted Christina Henry made the world we all know as Neverland. It was almost as if I was reading an entirely new story! Trust me when I say twisted too, this book is DARK and full of carnage, it’s almost like watching a slasher movie play out. She took the tale of “Peter Pan” and completely flipped it on its head and took us to its darkest depths.

I also loved the world building that was given, it wasn’t a whole lot but more and more was revealed as the story went on. Could it have used more? Definitely. Did I still enjoy it? Of course! All of the allusions to the original tale were fun to pick out as well because they all had their own dark twists such as why Hook is missing his right hand and of course why Peter and he are sworn enemies.

Be prepared for a very emotional ride because the things that happen to Jamie and the other Lost Boys can not only be terrifying but also extremely heart-breaking. You have been warned!

characters

Of course the characters were fantastic since they are the driving force of the story here the main characters, Jamie and Peter, were incredibly complex.

I really enjoyed these versions of Hook and Pan, plain and simple. Jamie is a bit of a mother hen, always looking out and caring for the other boys while Peter is selfish, jealous, and doesn’t show any remorse.

Jamie is a very easy character to sympathize with as he is very caring towards the younger, inexperienced boys always helping them out and even burying them when they perish. He gets upset and angry with Peter over their deaths as Peter could care less and always goes off to get more boys as replacements.

Peter on the other hand was easy to dislike, he’s the true villain of this story. He only cares about playing games and having the boys adore and worship him, he grows very jealous if anyone is getting more attention than he is. However, even though he needs the constant attention of his Lost Boys he is very careless about looking after them and shows no guilt when one of them dies.

I have to say it was truly horrifying to see such a twisted, sick version of Peter Pan but I also loved every second of it. However, I can say my childhood may be ruined and I don’t know if I’ll ever look at Peter Pan the same ever again!

As for the secondary characters they didn’t really get a lot of depth but this makes sense as most of them are fodder for the island anyways……However, notable Lost Boys that I absolutely adored were Nod and Fog, Sal, and Charlie.

in conclusion

I need to scream my love of this book to the heavens! It was perfection! It was everything I was hoping for!

What I Loved:

  • Unique, horrifying twists on the original story (and just in general)
  • Complexity of Jamie and Peter
  • Great allusions to the original story
  • Even to fast pacing
  • Horror, carnage, and shockers! (this may not be a plus to some people but it was to me!)

What I Didn’t Love:

  • The world building could have been a little more fleshed out
  • (Other than that it was FANTASTIC!)

RECOMMEND

I highly, highly, highly recommend reading this book if not just checking it out! If you love “Peter Pan”, fairy tale/classic story retellings, or even just horror stories then you most certainly will find something to love with “Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook”!

This book goes on sale July 4th, 2017!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

June TBR

Top Ten Tuesday(61)

Well I think it’s safe to say that I’m getting better about sticking to my TBRs but also I always seem to be a little too ambitious! I still have 2 books left over from May (The Hundredth Queen and In Real Life) I’m currently working to finish too, not to mention I’m getting further behind in my Goodreads reading challenge. However, I do have a couple ARCs that I’m going to read this month as well as some books I feel are more summery-y.

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The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

The Disappearances

After Aila and Miles’ mother dies they return to live in her old hometown of Sterling where every seven years something disappears such as reflections, the scent of flowers, or even the ability to dream. The people of Sterling always suspected Aila’s mother, Juliet, and now Aila must bear the blame as she follows her mother’s clues to find out why the Disappearances really occur.

I actually received an ARC of this book and I’m very excited to get into it! It sounds like a very mysterious and magical story that might have some slower pacing but will probably still be interesting. Sometimes Magical Realism gets boring for me but I’m hoping this one will be good!


Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry

Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook

This is, obviously, a retelling of Peter Pan from Captain Hook’s POV and also sort of an origin story for Hook too. It’s also a very dark, horror retelling about how Hook went from being Peter’s favorite Lost Boy to his greatest enemy.

First of all I am 100% down to read ANY Peter Pan retelling ESPECIALLY a dark, horror-y one, ESPECIALLY if it’s by Christina Henry. This book is basically everything I have ever wanted! I really loved Henry’s retelling of Alice in Wonderland so I’m expecting to love this one too. I will be receiving an ARC here sometime at the beginning of the month and I’m pumped!


Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Dangerous Girls

A senior spring break trip to Aruba with friends, one ends up being murdered and the other is being accused for it. Anna must now try and find her friend’s real killer.

Your typical YA thriller but maybe with a great twist? Who knows, all I know is everybody seems to love this one! Plus it definitely has a very summer-y vibe going on which makes this the perfect time to finally read it!


Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Queens of Geek

Three friends attend SupaCon where they expect to have fun but don’t expect their lives to change forever. The tagline on the cover here pretty much says it all.

Everybody was ranting and raving about this book so I just had to grab a copy especially since it’s only 288 pages! I also feel like this being a more “geeky” book I’ll be able to relate a lot to the characters too!


Bonus Book! (If I’m actually ambitious and get to it!)

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

What We Saw

Kate remembers most of the things that happened at John Doone’s part: pictures with Stacey and Ben getting her home early and maybe becoming more than just a childhood friend….However, a picture appears the next day online of Stacey passed out at the party and presses charges against four classmates, Kate questions if she really had all the details that night especially where Ben was when the crime occurred.

It actually took me a long time to decide I could stomach this book, everyone really loves this one and I wanted to give it a try. The reason I wasn’t too sure about this one is because the central story revolves around a gang-rape and I honestly get really squirmy and squeamish with anything dealing with sexual abuse, but I think it will be a very worth while story regardless.

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Are any of these books on your TBR?

Have you read any of these, what did you think?

What are you planning on reading this month?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top Ten Tuesday: Creepiest YA Covers

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jamie @ The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s theme is covers, anything to do with covers! It’ll definitely be interesting to see everyone’s take on this and I decided to go with the creepiest book covers, because I looooove horror books. Of course there are actually quite a few creepy covers out there and these are just a couple of my favorites, some I have read and some are just on my TBR.

I will link up a review if I have one! These are also in no particular order.

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10.) And The Trees Crept In (or The Creeper Man) by Dawn Kurtagich

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For this book I just HAD to have both the US cover and the UK cover since they’re both creepy as hell! I do love the US cover more because it’s more beautiful than it is creepy but I can’t deny that the UK cover is probably the creepiest book cover I’ve ever seen.

Also the story is creepy and amazing so you can judge this book by its covers! It’s about two girls living in a mansion with their aunt and they notice that the trees are creeping closer to the house and that the entity known as the Creeper Man that watches them from the woods is getting closer too.

You can read my full review here.


9.) The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

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Two Dawn Kurtagich books? Yes! She’s becoming a queen of YA horror in my book and her covers match the stories perfectly too. This is a very creepy psychological thriller about a girl with a split personality disorder or maybe….it’s something more sinister than that.

You can read my full review here.


8.) Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

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Creepy cover? Yes! Creepy story? Definitely yes! This one revolves around a family living out on the prairie, their secretly pregnant daughter, and well…..demons. This one is pretty insane but also scary, highly recommend!

You can read my full review here.


7.) The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

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I’m sorry! I’m done with the repeat authors now I swear! I really love the typography on this cover, it is super eerie. The story is about a girl whose aunt tragically goes missing and her cousin claims she can hear her dead mother’s voice inside the house’s walls…..

You can read my full review here.


6.) Alice by Christina Henry

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I don’t know it could just be me but I find the creepy rabbit head pasted over top a man’s body to be very creepy. This is a very, very graphic horror retelling of Alice in Wonderland and I found it to be absolutely amazing. This one definitely isn’t for the faint-hearted though.

You can read my full review here.


5.) The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco

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Quick story time: when I was 10 years old I made the mistake of watching “The Grudge” and am now forever terrified of Asian ghosts. Therefore this book’s cover (and the book itself) creeps the shit out of me! It’s a very interesting and scary book revolving around the spirit Okiku, who takes vengeance on wrong-doers.

You can read my full review here.


4.) Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke

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Whatever that thing is on the cover it’s disturbing and it creeps me out, but I suppose it fits the stories in this YA anthology perfectly in that case. There are TONS of creeptastic (shhh that’s a word) stories in here and pretty much all of them are amazing with the exception of 1 or 2.

You can read my full review here.


3.) Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

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Is it just me or are mirrors super creepy? So yeah, ghostly reflections in them = creepy. I have yet to read this one but it’s a take on the Bloody Mary urban legend.


2.) Asylum by Madeleine Roux

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Blurred/scratched out old timey photos are creepy, actually a lot of old photos are creepy but especially when they’re blurred or scratched out. This is a pretty popular book that I also have yet to read but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing if it’s any good.


1.) Shutter by Courtney Alameda

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Look at that black, gaping ghost and tell me it isn’t creepy! This is a book I have sitting on my shelf currently awaiting to be read and it’s about teenage ghost hunters basically.

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What do you think of these covers? Creepy or not so much?

What are some of your favorite creepy YA covers?

Have you read any of these books or anything similar?

What cover theme did you choose for you TTT this week?

Let me know in the comments and feel free to link up your TTT as well!

The Sassy

The Harry Potter Tag

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I was tagged to do this by both Michelle @ Book Adventures and Ariana @ The Quirky Book Nerd , these ladies are both absolutely fantastic bloggers so make sure you head over to their blogs and check it out! Seriously, do it.

This tag and all of these lovely Harry Potter themed images were created by Lashaan and Trang from Bookidote! The only rule of the tag: you cannot use Harry Potter books for any of your answers.

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flagrate

A book where you found the theme interesting , but you’d like to rewrite it.

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Unhooked

A darker Peter Pan retelling with a potential love triangle between the MC and young adult versions of Hook and Pan? Yeah that drew me in right away, but it was not dark or twisted, the love triangle wasn’t as great as it should have been, and these versions of Hook and Pan were boring. If it were up to me to rewrite it I would actually add some darker, creepy elements to the story as well as make Hook and Pan a little more swoon-worthy.

You can find my review here. 

alohomora

The first book in a series that got you hooked.

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

I haven’t finished this series YET but as soon as I finished the this first book I went out and bought ALL of the other 3 books. So yeah, I guess you could say I was hooked and I can’t wait to finish!

You can find my review here. 

accio

A book you wish you could have right now.

And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

And the Trees Crept In

There sure are a lot of books I wish I could have right now! Normally I would probably go with “Gemina” but I REALLY need some good old fashioned creepy horror right now and this book is sure to be perfect! I really enjoyed Kurtagich’s other book “The Dead House” and I’m sure I won’t be disappointed with this one either.

avadakedavra

A killer book. Both senses. Take it as you like.

Alice (The Chronicles of Alice #1) by Christina Henry

Alice (The Chronicles of Alice, #1)

This book definitely falls under both senses! It was a five star read for me it had everything I wanted: a dark, twisted plot, morally ambiguous characters, and fantastic writing. Not to mention it is a horror book so it definitely is “killer”.

You can find my review here. 

 

confundo

A book that you found really confusing.

Bliss by Lauren Myracle

Bliss

I read this book a looooong time ago and never reviewed it but I do remember when I read it that I was confused as hell! I felt like there was too much trying to be crammed in and at the same time nothing was explained well enough which all lead up to an unsatisfying ending. Not a fan.

epectopatronum

Your spirit animal book.

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Stormdancer (The Lotus War, #1)

I am a sucker for fantasy novels. Especially when they contain 100% badass heroines, unique and in depth world building/mythology, Thunder Tiger companions, and chainsaw katanas. There’s a lot going on but seriously best way to sum up this book: badass. I just really feel like “Stormdancer” is my spirit animal book, read this and you will know me! Not really but you should read it anyways!

spetumsemtra

A dark, twisted book.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places

Dammit! I already used “Alice” by Christina Henry….well just so you all know that’s my real answer! The next best thing to that, though, is anything Gillian Flynn writes especially “Dark Places”. It shows the very dark and twisty side of human nature.

You can find my review here.

adaasd

A book that surprised you in a great way, reveals to be more than it is.

Lips Touch: Three Times

So at first glance at both the cover and the description you’d think this is some sappy, trope-filled, romance book when in fact it’s so much more. While it IS a very romance focused book it’s very unique, the writing is absolutely gorgeous and the stories are filled with original mythology. This was such a wonderfully surprising book!

You can find my review here.

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nominees

***No obligations to do this tag and sorry if you’ve already done it before, if that’s the case please leave a link to it so I can check out your answers!!***

Brooke @ Brooke’s Books

Isabella @ The Book Pandas

Esther @ Chapter Adventures

Beth @ Reading Every Night

Nessa @ Bookish Nessa

Cassidy @ The Little Book Cottage

Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews

Christine Joyce @ The Book Harpy

Britt @ Geronimo Reads

Hannah @ A Mortal Reader

Donna @ Chocolate ‘N Waffles

Carrianne @ Carrianne’s Cuppa ‘N Critques

 The Sassy

ARC Review: Red Queen (The Chronicles of Alice #2) by Christina Henry

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description

The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found.

Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.

The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen…

review

**** Thank you to Ace Books and Netgalley for sending me an ARC as well as a finished copy of this book in exchange for an honest review****

“There were monsters in the night but there were monsters in the day too, and monsters inside people who smiled and showed you all their teeth like they were nice.”

“Alice” was a five star read for me, it was so completely engrossing and horrific that I couldn’t stop reading or thinking about it once I had finished. So of course I could not wait to get my hands on the sequel! Unfortunately I wasn’t as captivated by it as I was with the first book, however, it has the same compelling writing and a few of the characters I loved from “Alice”. So I’m more than a little conflicted about how I feel about “Red Queen”.

PLOT

The story picks up exactly where it left off in “Alice”, with Alice and Hatcher leaving the Old City to venture off into the East to find Hatcher’s daughter Jenny. So while the plot starts out strongly enough my interest really began to dwindle as it proceeded, I found that the pacing was extremely uneven and was slow more often then not.

The overall atmosphere in this book also felt completely different than its predecessor, it wasn’t as horrific or suspenseful. Where did the horror go? Reading through “Alice” I constantly felt creeped out and disturbed about the things that would occur but in “Red Queen” there wasn’t really any of that it was almost too lighthearted compared to “Alice”. I wanted to be shocked and horrified while reading but it fell a bit short.

I also found there to be less Alice in Wonderland references, while “Alice” had numerous twisted versions of our favorite Wonderland characters “Red Queen” only had a few. With retellings I feel the comparisons are half the fun, right?

 There seemed to be a lot more romance in this book than the first, don’t get me wrong, I love Alice and Hatcher together they make a fantastic team but I felt that Alice spent over half the book just thinking about Hatcher. Not exactly plot relevant thoughts about Hatcher either, just lovey dovey thoughts that felt a little unnecessary.

We also spend a lot more time in Alice’s headspace, in fact the entire book is comprised mostly of her thoughts. Whether it’s her daydreaming or trying to solve a problem I felt we were inside her head more than we were outside of it interacting with other characters. Because of this there was little to no action at all in “Red Queen”. There wasn’t much going on and Alice didn’t have to go through many trials this time around.

Henry’s writing is still the same though and by that I mean it’s excellent, it really grabs your attention and propels the story along. Even if the story didn’t have much going for it this time around I still loved the writing.

So overall with the story it had a strong start and a very slow, dragging middle. It picked up again towards the end of the book with a few surprising plot twists and everything was wrapped up neatly and resolved and left a satisfying ending.

characters

We of course have the same old Alice and Hatcher we know and love as well as a bit of Cheshire (even though I wanted more! He’s my favorite!) but aside from that we don’t see too many other characters. There is the addition of the White Queen, Red Queen, Black King, a goblin, some giants, and a few villagers. Not exactly the slew of twisted Wonderland characters I was expecting, it felt almost like Henry used them all up in “Alice”.

While I would have liked just the teeniest bit more depth to all of the new characters I was still very happy with them and they were the best part about “Red Queen”. Alice is still brave and kind-hearted, Hatcher is still murderously insane, and Cheshire is still as conniving as ever. The new characters had their fair share of interesting back story as well and aren’t quite what you expected, in a good way!

While the White Queen and Black King weren’t exactly the most good-natured characters I still found the Queen’s goblin to be the most villainous and horrifying. I was happy with that inclusion of horror reminiscent of “Alice”.

in conclusion

This may seem like a lot of negative things but I really did like this book, I just didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.

Overall there wasn’t enough horror or action for me to have enjoyed it as much as I did “Alice”, I wanted that shock factor and I wanted that more disturbingly horrific content and I just didn’t get it. For me the characters were really the most redeeming quality of this book along with the writing.

RECOMMEND

Of course, especially if you read and liked “Alice”. However, I wouldn’t get your expectations up too high like I did or you may end up being disappointed.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

If you want to read my review of the first book “Alice” I’ll just leave the link right here…

The Sassy