Review: A Blade so Black by L.L. McKinney

A Blade So Black Cover

The first time the Nightmares came in A Blade so Black, 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. (via Goodreads)

I received an eARC of A Blade So Black from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve followed author L.L. McKinney on Twitter for a long time, and I have learned so much from her as an activist. When I heard she was publishing a book, I knew I had to read it. My reaction to finding out that it was a badass Alice in Wonderland retelling? A lot of screaming.

Alice in Wonderland is a story that offers so many different options to make it your own story, so I was really excited. McKinney did not disappoint me. She built a Wonderland – and Atlanta – that felt real and wonderful, while keeping it strange in true Alice fashion.

I also really love this cover. It’s perfect for this story, for Alice, and for getting kids who don’t know anything about it to pick it up off the shelf.

A Blade So Black needs some trigger warnings for mentioned parent death, mentions of dementia in a grandparent, dealing with parent death, minor character falling ill, and the kidnapping and death of a Black boy.

I loved that Alice’s mom was actually a present parent as much as she could be. I’ll be interested to see how this plays out in future books, because I can only imagine how much worse the groundings are going to get when Alice keeps this up.

The combinations of the original cast that turned into McKinney’s cast was really intriguing for me. I really want to learn more about all of them, and look forward to spending more time in Wonderland.

 A Blade So Black is action-packed and stunning. Pick up a copy for yourself on Amazon or Indiebound!

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Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links. If you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of the sale.

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