It won’t take long for you to get sucked in by L.L. McKinney’s spin on Alice in Wonderland, entitled A Blade So Black.
There’s really nothing better than a young heroine who isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind, who’s fiercely loyal to the people she loves, and is also unashamed of her appreciation for sharp, shiny weapons (I’m talking fictional world here only, obviously). Alice delivers on all of that and the icing on the fantastical cake is that she’s boasting some melanin as well.
My favorite part about A Blade So Black is how well-crafted the balance is between Alice’s reality and the fantasy world that she dives into in an attempt to save both worlds from Nightmares, the nasty, evil creatures that feed off of humans and their fears. Like any mother, Alice’s just wants her daughter home at a reasonable hour. She’s especially persistent at times because the murders of black people, young and old, by police officers are an ever-present concern. I’d say that juxtaposing the dark reality that we see constantly on our TV screens with one that’s rooted in a fairy tale that many of us grew up with is just what we needed.
On a lighter note, Alice and her friends–from Atlanta, Wonderland, and beyond–are quirky and just plain fun to read about. There’s also a bit of a love triangle between two equally sweet and loyal guys, although one’s got his fair share of secrets (aren’t they always the more interesting ones?)
“She was afraid, terrified, but not of the monster, not anymore.”
Synopsis Excerpt (via Goodreads)
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…
Buy A Blade So Black at The Strand here.
(This happens to be my favorite indie, but please support your local ones!)