February 23, 2019: A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney/A Review

I felt so enthralled by ‘A Blade So Black’. This is a modern retelling of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, set in Atlanta, Georgia. Alice is a young, African-American woman, balancing the stress of high school and an over-protective mother while fighting the Nightmares plaguing the magical world of Wonderland. In this version of the Lewis Caroll classic, Alice is recruited into fighting dark creatures shortly after the death of her father. ‘A Blade So Black’ follows Alice’s path as she learns to understand her abilities, her enchanting mentors broadening her mind on the history of Wonderland and its magical history. A threatening entity enters Alice’s life along the way, causing her to make some choices that alters the lives of her mentors (and her modern world friends) dramatically.

I enjoyed reading this version of Alice. It’s so refreshing seeing a Woman of Color portrayed as a hero, being supported by other figures of power. I also enjoyed reading the modern twists of classic characters like the Mad Hatter and the White Queen. There are brief mentions of the figures that shaped the classic story of Alice in Wonderland, adding on to the plot of this current tale. This story kept me interested down to final page.

‘A Blade So Black’ is a truly enjoyable book. I can’t wait for L.L. McKinney’s second book, ‘A Dream So Dark’ to come out in September!

(5/5 Stars)

February 16, 2019: ‘Ruin and Rising’ by Leigh Bardugo/A Review

I heard so many mixed reviews about ‘Ruin and Rising’. I went into this book bracing myself, since I wasn’t sure whether I would be pleasantly surprised or throw the book down in disgust after sticking with it for this long.

It turns out that I feel…well, pleasantly surprised!

‘Ruin and Rising’ by Leigh Bardugo is the third book in the Grisha trilogy. It follows Alina and her quest in searching for the final amplifier in order to save Ravka from the Darkling. Along the way, Alina discovers more about her powers, and also which characters in her inner circle are truly her supporters in the darkest of times.

There is a major plot twist toward the end of this book, which did make me want to put the book down and say, ‘Really? It’s going down that path?’, but I decided to keep reading. Only because I was almost finished with the trilogy, so I might as well see what happens. As it turns out, the way it all wrapped up was a pleasant surprise. I do wish that I received more input from certain characters, but I wasn’t dissatisfied with it.

I’m glad that I completed ‘Ruin and Rising’, and now on to ‘Six of Crows’. The world of Ketterdam is touched on briefly in Ruin and Rising’, and I’m curious to learn more about this different landscape.

One more thing…so many readers love the Darkling over Mal. As for me, I’m just not into the Darkling. Manipulation is not for me!

Professional Reader