My Rating: 5 Stars
I can’t get enough of the Land of Stories and the adventures of Alex and Connor Bailey!
After the battle, the Masked Man is on the loose. Driven by her need to find and discover the identity and plans of the villain, Alex ends up being thrown off the Fairy Council since no one believes they’re in danger. Together, Connor and Alex discover that the Masked Man is in possession of a potion turns books into portals and that he’s recruiting an army of villains to conquer the Land of Stories. In a race beyond the kingdoms and between worlds, can the twins catch up to the Masked Man and stop him before his plans complete?
In the fourth instalment of The Land of Stories series, emotions run high. The plot is very compelling and engaging, turning and twisting which is great. It’s also very easy to follow and, together with the amazing writing style, I fell in love with new characters and their respective worlds. On the contrary of the other novels, this one starts off with a really bad beginning. Everything goes wrong: Alex is kicked out of the Fairy Council and even her own twin doesn’t believe there is a reason to fear; and the Masked Man reaches out to other classic villains like the Wicked Witch, Captain Hook and the Queen of Hearts. But even so, they manage to hold on to hope and, with a little help of Mother Goose, their motivation.
The characters keep growing in this book and it’s amazing to see, especially with Alex. She goes from child to teenager trying to deal with her growing powers and her unstable emotions while trying to protect the people she cares about. Everyone has moments where they think the world is against them and Alex struggles to both fit into the magical world and still be herself. I was pleasantly surprised to see her chemistry with Arthur; He was able to show Alex that she isn’t the only one that feels the way she does and actually offers advice that comes from the heart and from experience itself. In the end, it was his help that gave Alex the push she needed. Connor is still funny but I have more problems observing his growth as a character. Mother Goose also grew in as a character; she admitted her mistakes and finally has the courage to follow her heart and not the rules of the fairies.
Another great novel by Chris Colfer!
My Rating: 5 Stars
In the sequel to Alice, the Red Queen proves to be a worthy finale for the dark story of Alice and Hatcher.
After escaping the Old City, Alice and Hatcher face the first disappointment: the awaited green fields and the smell of grass and trees are nothing but a desert of ash and dust. On a quest to find Jenny, Hatcher’s daughter, the duo faces a journey filled with obstacles and old curses. From an enchanted forest to unseen creatures, Alice will have to gather all her courage and strength to battle an old evil and save the man she loves from the hands of the Red Queen.
The Red Queen isn’t as dark as the first instalment but it still contains a bit of horror somehow. While in the first novel, the reader is confronted with rape, murder, women trafficking and a lot of dead-body scenes, this one is more of a psychological terror of losing someone that keeps the main character sane. When Alice finds herself having to make her decisions and face cruel environments without Hatcher to protect her, she is forced to grow mentally, accepting herself and her magic. She is genuine and hopeful making her a very likeable character. The Red Queen is a worthy foe even if I have a mixed opinion of her. She is both terrified by the curses she places but also a coward. Even though she has power, she avoids leaving the walls of her castle unless it’s extremely necessary. For me, a terrifying character is the Black King. He’s like a ghost that can see and feel what his victims’ fears and hopes and just play with their minds.
The writing style is very engaging and it’s able to grab the interest and the full attention of readers together with the story-line. I thought at some point that Alice’s journey to actually enter the Red Queen’s palace was a bit too long, but the author managed to create challenges that made a difference, there weren’t just there to fill the pages. The shocking twist at the end made my heart stop, I truly wasn’t expecting that and it was brilliantly thought. I would have like to read more about the what Alice and Hatcher would do next since it ends without much to go on with.
I’m sad that it is only a duology but I’m glad I got to read Alice’s journey.
I highly recommend this collection to all the lovers of the dark Wonderland universe.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Another page-turner! This collection keeps getting better and better, exciting and a bit sad.
After being separated and living in two different worlds, Connor and Alex try to adapt and learn as best as they can without each other. Connor, living in the real world, dedicates himself in writing fairytales and wins the chance to see the Brothers Grimm graves in Berlin. He ends discovering a mysterious clue left behind in one of their unpublished works: a warning about an enemy trapped in time and worlds. Together with his classmate Bree and Mother Goose, Connor will travel far to return to the Land of Stories and stop this new threat. Meanwhile, Alex is a fairy-in-training with few magical attempts turning out right. Can she deal with the pressure of being the next Fairy Godmother and lead the Fairy Council?
The setting is perfect as always and I really enjoyed reading the beautiful descriptions of Berlin, a city I had the pleasure of visiting before. What is really great is that there is always a new part of the Land of Stories that the reader will get acquainted with and secondary characters that we’ve read about in the first novel make a reappearance.
The plot was amazing, very imaginative. The idea of setting the French army from the Napoleon times as a villain and how exactly they end up in the Land of Stories is very well thought and very well executed. An outside enemy from the Otherworld is also a great way to unite the habitants of the magical world and to start a new path, a new era.
The characters continue to grow and it’s very enjoyable to see their transformation throughout the books. Red is still one of my favourite characters, she makes me laugh so much with her comments but I also felt for her when things took an unexpected turn. She is truly a queen at heart and by the end of the book, she grew a bit more. The additions to the story just added more spark and thrill. Bree is very much like Connor: the love for adventure, they both share the ability to see through the lies. Emmerich is sweet and innocent but has the heart of a warrior. He trusts Connor and Bree right from the beginning and jumped into an adventure that he didn’t fully understand. They make a grand team! Alex will always be a heroine for me; the way she takes on her defeats and how she takes control of things when everything gets out of hand is inspiring especially considering her young age.
A very good book just like all the others before it!
My Rating: 4 Stars
What a read! Unique, imaginative and very dark: what is there not to like?
The story takes place in 1910 where occultist and adventurer Ingrid Redstone travels to the City of Angels in search of the Aztec portal to the afterlife. She didn’t count on meeting Death on the side and get on a ride through the history of the city. As their relationship develops and grows deeper, Ingrid realizes that their worlds' weren’t meant to cross and in the end, she will have to choose between a life with the living or amongst the dead.
I admire the author for the work on the organization of the storyline; in the beginning, it was a bit tricky and complex to understand and follow but then it really drew me into the story. I think it’s the first time I read a novel that manages to mix dark fantasy with historical fiction, vintage times, mystery, supernatural and romance. It is a dangerous attempt but the author managed to successfully create a unique, refreshing and new style entirely. There is an exceptional view of the underworld, how it works, how time passes differently; details that built this dark world. The way the characters explore past times and meet several notables of the old days is a great idea. I wish I had the chance to sit with Alfred Hitchcock! The historical settings of the novel are also very well described and I really do enjoy a good story that takes place in the jazz days.
The characters are solid and their interactions are very human. It’s a love story but it’s not a fairytale either; they have communication problems, misunderstandings. It’s easy to see that Death isn’t used to interact with anyone, especially not with a human woman. I see Ingrid has a more quiet type and more hesitant when it comes to Death. She jumps into the unknown without thinking very much about it and how it actually might end for her but at the same time she lets him take all the initiative, which was a bit frustrating at times.
Overall, a great, unique, thrilling adventure that I recommend to all the fans of a more complex romantic fantasy.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Rocket Surgery Books. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.
Disclaim: All the images used serve for illustration purposes only, I don't own them. All the reviews and opinions are my own.