Series: The Collectors' Society #1
Also in this series: The Hidden Library, The Forgotten Mountain, The Lost Codex
on October 23, 2014
Amazon • Goodreads
After years in Wonderland, Alice has returned to England as an adult, desperate to reclaim sanity and control over her life. An enigmatic gentleman with an intriguing job offer too tempting to resist changes her plans for a calm existence, though. Soon, she’s whisked to New York and initiated into the Collectors’ Society, a secret organization whose members confirm that famous stories are anything but straightforward and that what she knows about the world is only a fraction of the truth.
It’s there she discovers villains are afoot—ones who want to shelve the lives of countless beings. Assigned to work with the mysterious and alluring Finn, Alice and the rest of the Collectors’ Society race against a doomsday clock in order to prevent further destruction . . . but will they make it before all their endings are erased?
Before we get into my 5 star review of this wildly entertaining book, we have a giveaway!! You guys REALLY want to enter, because you will love this book!
This was an incredibly fun and engaging ride. I rarely love practically everything about a book, but The Collectors’ Society was almost completely perfect. It is as good if not entirely better than any big name fantasy series out there.
The story follows Alice (of Alice in Wonderland fame) as she is whisked away from her current home, an insane asylum in England, to be inducted into a secret society responsible for keeping literature safe from those who wish to destroy it. It’s not so simple though, as the books we know and love are real people and real lives in other dimensions (or Timelines, as The Collectors’ Society calls them). Alice is from such a Timeline, though she had no idea there was a book written about her. She soon meets other famous characters (Wendy Darling, Victor Frankenstein, Huck Finn, among others) who are also tasked with keeping the Timelines safe. But no one has been able to enter Wonderland, and it is in grave danger. Alice must face a past that she though she’d never see again to protect the home she loves.
When I first started The Collectors’ Society, I didn’t know how the whole ‘characters from literature’ bit was going to work out. FEAR NOT. Heather Lyons manages to create real, engaging people from these classic characters, molding them in to something new and interesting and not at all silly or cheesy (as I feared). I really loved all the heroes here: Alice, Huck Finn, Wendy, Victor…they were very fun and believable characters. Because Alice didn’t know any of them from their books, she was just meeting new people, it didn’t feel forced or name-droppy.
So for a while, Alice is getting accustomed to the Society, and that’s all very interesting to hear how they are going into different stories and saving each timeline and how the Society works…and then. Wonderland. Yep. Alice goes back to Wonderland and goodness, I loved that half of the book so much. Lyons creates a story of Wonderland that seems realistic and plausible, making it seem like a real place rather than a dream world, while still being bizarre. The Wonderland politics and history and such (everyone’s at war) that we get are fascinating and engaging, and it was fun to see some favorite characters in a new way (a rather dashing and romantic White King, an extremely ridiculous and perverse Hatter) as well as a zany setting (talking doorknobs! I just love Wonderland).
We didn’t get a super clear picture of who the villains erasing the timelines are; by the second half of the book, Wonderland was the main focus, so I’ll be interested to see who and what exactly they are in the second book. They seem to be one step ahead of the Society, and I’m quite suspicious there may be a mole in our heroes’ ranks.
There is a love triangle, and I actually really appreciated the conflict it created. The White King is part of Alice’s past, and she has to decide whether to hold onto him, or move forward into her future (the adorable and sweet Finn). The romance with both is believable, though I am definitely Team Finn.
Content wise, this book is technically an Adult book, so there’s some language, a little bit of sex and some violence. But nothing too terrible.
If you love Alice in Wonderland, great sci-fi/fantasy, or just great reading, The Collectors’ Society is for you. I will be impatiently sitting and waiting for the sequel.
Recommended for fans of: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
About the Author:
Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—she’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.