A Blade So Black- Book Review

“Oh, I don’t know. The human world has its charms. Cotton candy for instance.”

“Yeah, and it’s got plenty of problems.”

“It’s got you.

Addison Hatta and Alice, A Blade So Black

Author: L.L. McKinney
Published: 2018
Pages: 370

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Welcome back to the blog, or welcome to the blog if you are new! I spent 4th of July weekend at the lake and to break up reading the Reading With Friends book of the month I decided to start A Blade So Black. I did not expect to finish it 12 hours after starting it, but I did. I spent the day reading on the boat because I was super sunburnt from Friday. I have not been out in the sun for quite awhile thanks to Miss Rona so my skin was not happy with me. Usually I do not thank sunburns, but this time I will.


Goodreads Summary

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. 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


My Thoughts

Two words: Gimme More. This book was great. Five stars. 10 out of 10. No more information needed, just read the book.

But in all seriousness this book was really good. As a lover of Alice in Wonderland I am always a little afraid to read retellings/reimaginings of Alice in Wonderland because I am afraid reading them will ruin my love for the story. This was not true. I still love the original but I almost think that I might like this version a little bit more. I have always felt like Alice In Wonderland should have darker elements to it than it did. It sets itself up so well to be a trippy movie as well as a trippy creepy book. If you have read my blog for any length of time then you probably know that while I read a lot of contemporary and ya romance I love true crime and other creepy stories. This was a good mix of everything. Creepier than the original, yet I was still able to get the essence of the original Characters. I still cant put my finger on exactly who everyone lines up with but we will talk about the ones im pretty sure of later in the post. It also has a little bit of implied romance that is VERY slow burning. Which usually I don’t like but in this case I will let it pass because I really really like the idea of the two characters I am thinking of being together.

The book also touches on police shootings of black teenagers and the worry that black parents feel when their children do not answer the phone or do not come home on time. I think that this book is great for white readers because you get a glimpse into that and can really start to understand how black teenagers and parents really feel. It is also a great book for black readers because they get to see a bad ass black female main character who is going through the same struggles that they are/might be going through.

The one flaw that I saw in this book is that I did not get the world building of Wonderland that I loved from the original story, however knowing the original story I was able to imagine pretty well what the areas might look like. I am hoping that since the second book seems like it will be focused more in Wonderland that we will get more of that world building then.

Overall it was a great book and I really do recommend it to anyone. You should pick it up and read it. You will likely be hooked, so make sure you don’t make the same mistake I did. I did not have the second book ready to read and I am kicking myself because I had to order it and wait for it to arrive.






Now time for everyone’s favorite part: SPOILERS! If you have not yet read this book and do not want to be spoiled to not read any further…..YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!



Alright so lets talk about these characters that I have worked out, and which ones I still have not
Alice- Obviously she is Alice from the original story, though with a little bit more common sense which I enjoy.

Addison Hatta- The Mad hatter. I went back and forth for a few about if he was supposed to be The Mad Hatter, the Cheshire cat, or the White Rabbit. The name gave it away so I knew from the start, but since he is her mentor and says things like tick I thought that he could be the rabbit. Then her talking about not being able to see him when they first went to Wonderland made me think Cheshire Cat. Ultimately when he was cursed with the madness I settled on the Mad Hatter.

Maddie- The Dormouse. This one was obvious to me because she is a bartender who says squeak a lot and who talks in riddles, which is what the dormouse did in the original story. The riddles….not the bartending.

Dee and Dum Tweedlanovs- Okay so they were pretty obviously Tweedledee and Tweedledum from the original story. Though much smarter and also they were not from Wonderland. They are dreamwalkers like Alice, and they are Human.

Those are the only ones I have for sure figured out. I am still at a loss for many of the other Characters. The only other person I am teetering on is Chester. Since they keep calling him Chess and we find out that he has some secrets he hasn’t told the girls I think he might VERY LOOSELY be based off of the Cheshire Cat. I wont say that for sure though because I could very possibly be wrong.

Finally I want to talk about Addison and Alice. I will keep it quick. If these two do not end up together by the end of this I will throw the book out of the window. I repeat I will throw the book out of the window. I can already tell I am going to be frustrated with Hatta because when Alice kissed him he pulled back like he was punishing himself. I just hope that Alice can convince him that he is a good person and that he will just let himself be happy. Oh and you know that Alice can actually save him. Because if she can’t I will also be angry. She has too much muchness and clearly powers unknown to the others for this to not end with a simi happy ending.


All links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, I earn a small commision from each sale using that link which I use to keep this blog running. Using the link costs you no extra money, it is the same price as if you purchased the book without the link.

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