ARC Review: The Hidden Library

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
ARC Review: The Hidden LibraryThe Hidden Library by Heather Lyons
Series: The Collectors' Society #2
Published by Cerulean Books on February 26, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery & Detective, Science Fiction
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Sometimes, the rabbit hole is deeper than expected . . .

Alice Reeve and Finn Van Brunt have tumbled into a life of secrets. Some secrets they share, such as their employment by the clandestine organization known as The Collectors’ Society. Other secrets they carry within them, fighting to keep buried the things that could change everything they think they know.

On the hunt for an elusive villain who is hell-bent on destroying legacies, Alice, Finn, and the rest of the Society are desperate to unravel the mysteries surrounding them. But the farther they spiral down this rabbit hole, the deeper they fall into secrets that will test their loyalties and pit them against enemies both new and old.

Secrets, they come to find, can reveal the deadliest of truths.


The Hidden Library is filling the category “Top book of 2015” in my Full House Reading Challenge.

I think anyone who likes adult sci-fi/fantasy should read this book. It’s easily one of my favorite series. There are great characters, interesting and mysterious plotlines, trips to Wonderland, and lots of romance and action. I mean, how could that go wrong?


Alice Reeve continues to be one of the best female protagonists: she’s smart, doesn’t back down from a fight, cares deeply about people, and she rarely makes dumb decisions (thank goodness, finally someone who actually thinks before jumping into a horrible situation). She has adapted very well to life at the Collectors’ Society, and she is now an integral part of the team. She is also super supportive of Finn and his decisions, and I love how well they usually communicate.

Finn Van Brunt…can you say SWOON? If The Collectors’ Society was mostly about getting to know Alice, The Hidden Library was much more about Finn. And it was delicious. We got to see a lot of his backstory, witness his fears, what makes him angry, what motivates him, what makes him love Alice…I love that Heather Lyons decided to split the POV between Finn and Alice. We got a lot more information about pretty much everything going on in New York, since Alice is still very new to the Society and doesn’t know nearly as much as Finn.

The rest of the crew is still here: Mary and Victor, who continue their ‘on again off again’ dance (though being in Finn’s head gives us some interesting insight into Victor and his motivations), plus some time with the infamous Tom Sawyer, some favorite (and not so favorite) characters from Wonderland, and a stubborn Janeite who won’t leave the Society alone. Also, The Librarian is as mysterious as ever. And can I just say that I don’t trust her? Not one bit.


Heather Lyons writes in such a way that the chapters just seem to fly by. There are certainly some that are focused on character development (especially when Finn and Alice travel into Finn’s timeline; again, this book sees plenty of Finn development), and then there are chapters that are mysterious, giving the reader far more questions about who is really destroying catalysts or what the Librarian truly knows about everything that is happening, and then there are sword and gun fights. One of our heroes ends up in a dangerous position for an extended period of time. Someone has to return to Wonderland for help. Lyons writes each with skill and clear delight; you can almost taste her love for these characters and their stories.

I still don’t think we know who the big bad is. Like, there are all these psycho henchmen running around, and I can’t discern if any of them are orchestrating this whole thing. I have a few guesses, but Lyons seems pretty tight-lipped about who the mastermind is. Like, who do Todd and Rosemary work for? Who is this mysterious Gabe Lygari? WHAT IS GOING ON???


Finn and Alice are seriously the best. They are actually a functioning, loving couple. They communicate. They take time to just be together. They support each other. They have an adorable amount of snark in their conversations. I haven’t swooned over a couple like this in a long time.

Side note: There is quite a bit more sex in The Hidden Library than there was in The Collectors’ Society. Just FYI.


If you couldn’t tell from the rest of this review, I adore this series. I mean, I proclaimed this book a “Top Book of 2015” and it’s only February. It’s a fabulous re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland on top of being a wholly unique and engaging Sci-Fi/Fantasy tale. I will be bugging Heather Lyons for the next book, especially since she left us with a CLIFFHANGER.

It’s rough you guys.

5 Stars


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