Book: A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney
Published September 2018 by Imprint|384 pages
Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library
Series: A Blade So Black #1
Genre: YA Contemporary/YA Re-Telling
The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.
Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.
I really liked A Blade So Black! It’s a really cool re-telling of Alice In Wonderland, and I really liked McKinney’s take on the story.
I’m not going to lie, for a while I thought her dad (and his death) were connected to the Nightmares, and everything going on with Wonderland. I really thought, at least for a while, there was going to be a connection between the two. Maybe it was wishful thinking on my part, and even though it didn’t go this way (and it probably won’t for the rest of the series), part of me really wants there to be more of a connection between the two.
I really liked seeing Alice struggle with having to leave to fight Nightmares, and leaving her family and friends behind. She disappears for random periods of time, and you see how much it affects her friendships (particularly with a very high-maintenance best friend) and a mom who worries when Alice disappears and doesn’t answer her phone, it’s because she was killed.
Alice was a little bratty at times, and I don’t blame her mom for being concerned about Alice, especially when a neighborhood girl was killed. I definitely see where her mom is coming from, and a kid like Alice would drive me crazy. It’s hard, because I know what’s going on with Alice, and why she keeps disappearing. But I still really felt for her mom.
It did take me a while to get into the book, and it didn’t get really interesting until the end of the book. I’m very intrigued by this Wonderland, and I wanted more of it. Hopefully, we’ll see more of it in the rest of the series, especially with how things ended. It was slow and a little choppy at times, but overall, it did keep my interest until the end.
4 stars. Even though the book didn’t get really good until the end, I’m still interested enough to continue on with the series. I’m hoping we get to see more of Wonderland, because I did like the glimpses of it that we saw.