Book Reviews · Books

Book Review: Alice + The Red Queen by Christina Henry

‘In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.
In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…
Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.
Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.
And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.’

These books are definitely not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. But for someone like me that likes a bit of gory violence in their literature, this was awesome. Also trigger warnings for sexual violence and rape. The first book focuses on Alice and her prison buddy Hatcher escaping and finding the rabbit. Alice’s memories of what happened to her all those years ago are very foggy and as the story progresses, she remembers more and more of the horrific events that happened.

I especially liked how the traditional characters from wonderland were incorporated as twisted human characters in this world, unfortunately we run in to them all and they are all as horrifying as each other (Cheshire isn’t quite so bad), but the Caterpillar and the Walrus are pretty nightmare worthy. We finally reach the Rabbit and learn about Alice’s terrible past and manage to escape along with some other unfortunate souls we met along the way.

Enter book 2 and we spend half of it lost in a forest with man-eating giants and something burning everything in sight. Hatcher loses the plot and we are left alone to try to stop the Red Queen, the way to which is through a tree, of course. I can’t say much about book 2 without spoilers but trust me it is just as good and twisted as the first book and I found the ending to be satisfying.

Books I definitely want to re-read at some point in the future. Lost Boy and The Mermaid by Christina Henry are also on my soon to be read list.


My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Book Reviews · Books

Book Review: Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

fireandheist‘Leading your first heist is a major milestone in Sky Hawkin’s family—even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It’s a chance to gain power and acceptance within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated—especially when you’re a wyvern, a human capable of transforming into a dragon.’

What a fun read! It did feel more like reading a middle grade than a YA book at some points and I flew through it. Sky’s mother goes missing and her father won’t explain what happened to her, so Sky has to seek out the answers by herself against her father’s wishes. She has 3 older brothers which are each very entertaining characters along with her new best bud Grabriella (who is a human, not half-dragon like the others) who in my opinion is the best character in this book.

It explores different class systems both in our human world and Home (where the half-dragons originally came from) and quite harshly faces the reality of how we ‘rank’ and treat people based on their worth. Aside from some cringey kissing scenes, the whole book is one big plot and heist after another. Along with the constant humor in this book, I never found it boring and wanted to keep reading until the end. Although maybe a bit more predictable, there were still some twists that caught me off guard.

Recommended if you’re looking for an easy, extremely entertaining read full of plotting, dragons and unicorns. I will personally be picking up some more books by Sarah to read in the future.


My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Book Reviews · Books

Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

thecruelprince‘Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.’

Another book I was intrigued in to reading due to the hype, and I’m glad I did! I haven’t read many stories based on Fae and this one was based on what Fae are really supposed to be, dark and cruel. I’d say 80% of these characters were unlikable, which is the point, they’re not supposed to be likable and I found it quite refreshing to read. The book starts off grim and continues to be grim until the very end which I loved. Not all stories have to be positive or hopeful. This book is full of murder, bullying, betrayal and awful love interests, which thankfully our main character isn’t all that interested in.

The main character in this book is actually a human girl, taken away along with her twin sister and older sister who is half-fae. Taken away to live in faerie where humans are treated as lesser and slaves by the Fae, our main character is quite tired of being treated this way as you can imagine and decides to stop caring and be rebellious, what most other humans living in Faerie are way too scared of being. Beautiful Fae Prince Cardan is the biggest pain in her side and is relentless with his tormenting of her and her twin sister, who is far less rebellious and wants to try to fit in with the Fae.

This book is full of plot twists, non of which I saw coming but I’m not that great at predicting these things. The sequel is on my soon to be read list (The Wicked King) and I’m super excited to continue the journey with all of its cruelty.


My Rating: 4.25/5 Stars