I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: The Collectors' Society #1
Published by Cerulean Books on October 23, 2014
Source: the publisher
From the author of the Fate series and The Deep End of the Sea comes a fantastical romantic adventure that has Alice tumbling down the strangest rabbit hole yet.
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?
*This is the first book in the Collectors' Society series.
Every book Heather Lyons has written is amazing. And if you asked me to recommend only one of her books, I wouldn’t be able to pick just one. They’re all amazing for one reason or another. They all hold a special place in my heart for one reason or another. But The Collectors’ Society is different. It’s more than just a story. It’s several stories told within a larger story. It has so many beloved characters and unforgettable worlds and it pulls you into each and every one of those characters’ stories. Most importantly, it breathes new life into old classics, making you want to read them for the first time (if you haven’t already) or re-read old favorites.
I loved Alice pretty much right from the beginning. It was entertaining, watching her adjust to the 21st Century. And it was endearing, seeing her growth from beginning to end. She showed a lot of maturity in the decisions she made. She was also a kick-butt character and I loved seeing that. Alice really shined in the second half of the book, especially. She became the ________ she was meant to be (Eep, avoiding spoilers!). She really embraced who she was and who she was fated to be. I would have loved to see more of this part of her life – and maybe we will in book two! *Stares at Heather…* I also really loved Heather’s version of Wonderland and her take on Wonderland history. I don’t want to go into too many details, but I really loved the way Heather stayed true to the original while building upon it and making it even better.
Finn!!!! I can’t express how much I loved Finn. He was epic and amazing and wonderful and perfect. Which isn’t surprising, with how well Heather writes swoony boys! I’ve never read the original classic his story is based on, but I know enough about it that I was excited when I found out who he was. He has such a haunted past; in some ways, he’s grown from it and in some ways, he’s still clinging to what was. But through it all, he was amazing and loyal and I adore him.
One of my favorite characters was Mary, mostly because I love, love, love the story she’s from. Again, I haven’t read the original classic she’s from, but I used to read the “kid” versions when I was little and I loved, loved the movie version from the 90s. I don’t even think I can put into words how perfect Heather’s depiction of Mary was. She was slightly bratty and whiny, with an adultness to her… Does that even make sense? I think this conversation with Alice best describes Mary:
“Why Mary,” [Alice] said, “Were you not a good girl in your book?”
“I was a wretched bitch when I was younger,” [Mary] says cheerfully. “And I can still be so as an adult. My filter is close to none. But, let us not be fully defined by what some people scribbled down centuries before, right? Books don’t tell every detail, nor can they fully represent us as living, breathing individuals.”
Now, I forgot to mark down where in the book that was and I might not have it 100% verbatim. But you get the idea. Mary fully accepts how awful she was as a child and concedes that she may still be just as bad now that she’s an adult. But she doesn’t care what people thought of her then (when she was a child in her book) and she still doesn’t now. It made her feel so real. I really, really, REALLY want to see more of her and her world in book two! *Stares at Heather again.*
I really want to discuss the White King with you… He was swoony, sexy, epic, wonderful, dreamy… I totally ship him and ___!!!!! But.. As you can see, just from that one little line, it’s hard to discuss this guy without spoilers. So PLEASE READ THE BOOK AND THEN WE CAN FANGIRL TOGETHER!!!! That being said, if you’ve read Heather’s Fate series, you know she writes pretty epic love triangles, ones in which you can’t help but love both guys and wish the girl could just pick both! However, I’ve been told this isn’t technically a love triangle.. A girl can hope, though, right?!!?!
Some other characters that deserve notable mentions are Wendy, Victor, Brom and Katrina – all characters from beloved classics! I could go on and on with this review, doing nothing but talking about the characters because they’re amazing! But where’s the fun in that? If you want to know more, go read the book! I promise, you won’t be disappointed! Also, I want to say that the villian picked for this book was.. Priceless! Perfect and epic and awesome. … I’m using those words a lot, aren’t I? I’m sorry, I can’t help it, THIS BOOK, YOU GUYS!!! But on a serious note, I really, really loved the villians Heather chose and I’m excited to see what happens in book two with them! I can’t name them because it would be a huge spoiler, but it was just.. perfect!
I touched on this briefly in my intro paragraph. But my favorite thing about this book was all the classic literary characters. Seeing how they’ve grown and matured (well, most of them have, anyway), was amazing. When you love a book, it’s hard not to wonder what happens to the characters AFTER their stories end. And with The Collectors’ Society, those characters don’t have an ‘end’ – they continue to live on and become even more awesome. Reading about all my favorite characters gave me this huge desire to re-read some of my favorite classics – even those NOT mentioned in The Collectors’ Society! And there are several classics I have still yet to read that I’m now dying to read twice as much as I was before. Getting to revisit those characters and those worlds made me nostalgic for their original stories.
I have so many things on my Wish List for book two. I’m hoping to see characters from Labyrinth and The Wizard of Oz, as well as several other classic favorites. I’d also love to see more of Mary’s world (as I’ve mentioned) in book two. I think this series is off to an amazing start and it can only get better! If you’re a reader, you’ll love seeing the different stories and beloved characters and how Heather ages those characters and incorporates those stories. I also think non-readers will love this – it’s a wonderful introduction to classics and may spark a love of (classic) reading in a non-(classic)-reader
The ending of this book was… Perfection. It wrapped a lot of things up nicely, so it felt like it could stand on its own. But it left just enough open that I’m excited for book two. I know you can’t tell AT ALL from my review *Stares at fangirly, gibberish review….* but I loved this book. Heather Lyons has once again written an epic story with wonderful characters and an amazing world – or worlds, I should say! Seriously, drop everything you’re doing and READ THIS BOOK!!!!