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It’s difficult taking care of a delusional father by yourself. Sixteen-year-old Shaleigh Mallet would rather explore and photograph dilapidated buildings than cater to her father’s dark episodes. But when she’s kidnapped by a creature who carries her atop a flying bicycle into another world, she realizes this wasn’t the escape she wanted.

In a kingdom known as the Garden, where minotaurs pull carriages and parties are held in hot air balloons, Madam Cloom and her faerie servant, Teagan, rule over the land with incredible but terrifying magic. Shaleigh must prove that she is the reincarnation of a long-dead ruler, not because she believes it, but because it’s her only chance to survive. With the help of a trespassing faerie, a stoatling, and a living statue, Shaleigh hopes to outwit everyone. She aims to break the bonds of servitude and finally make her way home. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that she’s playing right into the hands of a far worse enemy...

Kindle Edition

First published January 22, 2019

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About the author

Marlena Frank

31 books229 followers
Marlena Frank has always been fascinated by monsters, and now gets to write about them. She is the author of young adult fantasy and horror standalone novels, short stories, novellas, and series. Many of her books have hit the Amazon bestseller charts, including her debut novel, Stolen, and her latest release, The Impostor and Other Dark Tales. In 2022, she will be kicking off her young adult dark fantasy series The Wolves of Kanta featuring werewolves, steampunk, and mad scientists. She also has shorter work coming out in several anthologies.

Although she was born in Tennessee, Marlena has spent most of her life in Georgia. She lives with her sister and three spoiled adopted cats. She is an affiliate of the Atlanta Chapter of the Horror Writers Association and is an avid member of the Atlanta cosplay community.

She is also an INFJ, a tea drinker, and a wildlife enthusiast.

She is also a Hufflepuff, an INFJ, a tea drinker, and a wildlife enthusiast.

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5 stars
28 (35%)
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28 (35%)
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15 (19%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 54 reviews
Profile Image for Candace Robinson.
Author 45 books972 followers
January 15, 2019
First, I'll start by saying what a cool and unique book! I mean, you get stone lions, flying bicycles, and a world like no other. This story takes me back to the time when there were actually good fantasy movies: Return to Oz, Labyrinth, Legend. You know what? Probably just go ahead and make this one a movie to bring some creativity back to the world!

Shaleigh was a very strong protagonist. I felt she didn't let getting sent to another strange world break her. In this new place, she grows as a character, figures herself out, and becomes a strong MC. Oh, and the side characters are equally amazing with distinct personalities to make them extremely fleshed out!

Beautiful writing, beautiful description, beautiful cover, and a beautiful story! Also it does end on a cliffhanger that leaves me holding out my hands saying, "give me book two."
Profile Image for JenacideByBibliophile.
208 reviews128 followers
May 21, 2019
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, The Parliament House Press, for an honest review.

Opinion:

I feel as if I’ve just fallen off a Yellow Brick Road into a Rabbit Hole.

Down…down…down…

…into the dark depths of h-

HAH, kidding.

It’s more like the magical depths of WonderOzRinth.

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This author is clever.

While reading Stolen I got INSTANT vibes of Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. A rat-boy creature driving a flying bike through the sky, a garden with an evil “Queen”, a cowardly lion, and a main character with the last name Mallet. Hmmm…something makes me think this book is FULL of little Easter eggs!

Though I loved the world building, writing and direction this author took the story, I was having a hard time getting through it.

Though there was an even pace throughout Stolen, it was a slow pace that seemed to drag on and on without a lot happening. Due to this being the first book in the series, I imagine this might be the grand setup for what is to come. But even so, I was expecting a little more turmoil and pizzazz! I wanted more examples of strange mythical creatures or examples of the differences between this world and the human realm. The writing was flawless and the author succeeded in describing details of the world intricately, but I wanted to know MORE about the world Shaleigh fell into. I felt like I was given a great TASTE of the magic and uniqueness of this place, but wasn’t fully enveloped in it.

I wanted to drown in it, not just stick my toes in.

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I would have liked to connect to the characters more, because they came off as one-dimensional with not a lot of substance. Shaleigh started out as a unique character with an affinity for taking photos in decrepit abandoned buildings. I thought this was such a RANDOM attribute for a character, but one I instantly loved and connected with. But as the story progressed, I felt as if she was just in the background of the book, even though she’s the main character. She doesn’t seem that surprised/scared/in awe of this new world she was dropped into. Why? I would be FREAKING out!

I was also a bit unclear of ages of everyone, except Shaleigh. I know this doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal, but when I have little basis of how old a character is, it takes away from the intent of their dialogue and I am left feeling confused. My human nature wants to predict a love interest or friend/foe from the beginning, and I need ages and more descriptions of body language to do that. Out of everyone, I think Mawr and Colin were the most developed and likable characters, but we unfortunately don’t get a whole lot of time with them.

All in all, this story is a great read…even if I had a few qualms with it. The writing is PERFECTION and it transported me to a new world that feels familiar to my heart. It may not have gotten my heart rate up or made me overly obsessed with the characters, but I would be very interested to see where this series goes. The author left the book in a place where she can go several ways with the plot, and I am very curious as to how she will spin everything together.

I’d recommend it to anyone with a love for Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz or Labyrinth.

With that said…

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Profile Image for Dana-Adriana B..
625 reviews262 followers
February 4, 2019
Wow, I never had thought that a fantasy book will be so enjoyable. The characters, the places, everything was so magical. I can't wait for the next book.
If I would have to choose one character I would choose Mawr.
Thanks to the author for this ARC.
Profile Image for Celia.
Author 6 books470 followers
January 22, 2019
I am incredibly lucky enough to know such great authors and be able to connect with them via social media. I mean, social media is great in this aspect...you know, if you ignore the comments on news articles. (Sometimes I don't, and it's a problem). This is how I won an advance copy of STOLEN by Marlena Frank. Well, not through a news article, but on FB during a launch party for publishing house sister. I'm rambling, so I'll get to it.

Sixteen-year-old Shaleigh is the heroine of this story. She loves photographing old buildings and landscapes and spends most of her time with her best friend and taking care of a mentally ill father. When she discovers a strange mark on her back, things begin to unravel. She is suddenly kidnapped and taken to a world unlike her own-to a place called the Garden. In this strange land, she comes to know it's inhabitants. From a stone lion named Mawr to a High Faerie named Teagan, she realizes that keeping allies close is just as important as keeping your enemies in the same proximity.

Pros:

This book is led by a PoC protagonist, but the amazing diversity doesn't stop there. What I loved is that each character is not identified by their race or sexual orientation, but by their strengths and heart. We also have mental illness play into the story. There are also other things that surprised me, but I won't ruin it. Let's just say I identify with a stone lion that has bad eyesight more than any fictional character ever.

The writing was smooth, and the plot flowed perfectly.

Cons:

I needed more Mawr, and the ending (this is the first in a series btw) had me screaming for more. Marlena, we talked about this, and I'm still not happy :p

I recommend this book for fans for books such as The Narnia Chronicles, Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and more recently, The Hazel Wood and upcoming Waking Forest. For movies, it's akin to Spirited Away and Pan's Labyrinth.
Profile Image for R.J. Garcia.
Author 8 books327 followers
January 16, 2019
I was lucky to receive an ARC of Marlena Frank's Stolen. Sixteen-year-old Shaleigh Mallet is a care taker to her delusional father. Feeling overwhelmed and lonely she wants to escape. When she is kidnapped, a magical and unique adventure unfolds. There is imaginative world building and cool twist and turns. If cliff hangers aren't your thing, this may not be the book for you. If you want a story that will keeping reading to 2 in the morning I gladly recommend this one. Perfect for fans of fantasy.
Profile Image for Shinee'sBack!.
113 reviews24 followers
July 3, 2019
This book ended up being a decent read, which was pleasantly surprising after deciding to stick to the story and see it through.

This book started out dull for me, but the later half of the story was much more engaging. If you like fast paced stories or stories that get straight to the action, this novel may not be to your liking or may frustrate you for the first half.

One of the downsides i noticed early on was that i didn't really get attached to the characters, and i only decided i liked a few of them within the last 30% of the book. That's not to say i hated the characters before this, i just didn't really root for them or have any lasting opinions of them before this.
I will say that Teagan, Talek and Colin were the characters that intrigued me most and had scenes which left the biggest impressions on me.
Shaleigh is the story's protagonist, and her personality and character are best shown in the last 40% or so of the book in my opinion. I liked that the author showed how she struggled with her father's mental health during the story from early on, and how her interactions with Teagan were always a point of interest.

The story itself took a little time to warm to. For me, the first half seemed more like middle grade novel at times, and it wasn't quite as exciting as i'd hoped for the start to be. If you're not willing to at least invest time reading the first half of the book, this may not be the story for you. But i found that the story and characters got more interesting from this point on, especially around 60-70% onwards. Plus, i loved Talek and Teagen's interactions and scenes at the end, and the ending of this book absolutely left me wondering what will happen in the sequel.

It's not perfect, but i did end up enjoying it and i would like to read the sequel.

Many thanks to the author and publisher for allowing me a free copy of this novel via netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Donna (BookDragonGirl).
846 reviews5 followers
January 19, 2019
THIS WAS THE MOST UNIQUE, FASCINATING, BRILLIANT STORY!! The world building!!! It is so well written, enough detail that it paints a wonderful picture in the imagination, where you now start building upon it with your own interpretation!! Which to me is perfection! That is what i want from a book. This world where there are Faeries, Minotaurs, Shadow Wolves and Living Statues, etc. is so reminiscent to me of 80s movies that I loved, like Legend, Labyrinth & Return To OZ. BUT at the same time this one really stands on its own!! I would LOVE to see THIS on this big screen...whoa, that would be awesome!!!

As for characters, they were beautifully written!! Dialogue was written so well that the characters were completely believable and you became totally lost in the story!! I loved Shaleigh, the main protagonist!! She’s very believable. She’s strong, but doesn’t know it. I also loved Colin & Mawr!! Mawr, he is something special. There are so many really great characters, whether good or bad, that are just SO WELL WRITTEN!!!

This is one of those books that once you get into the meat of it, especially when Shaleigh gets kidnapped and taken to the Garden, you can’t put it down!!! YOU WILL SOOO LOVE THIS BOOK, especially if fantasy is your thing!!! I can’t wait for the next book!!!
Profile Image for Danielle Roux.
Author 4 books33 followers
January 22, 2019
What a fantastic novel! I love the strange and magical vibe of the world, it’s like something out of an old 80s fantasy movie. Evil trees, faerie contracts, corrupt rulers, and living statues! Major Labyrinth vibes, but way darker and more political. Love the dialogue, especially the exchanges between Shaleigh and Teagan going back-and-forth about the messed up rules of the Garden. The cliffhanger at the end brings the story into to a whole new world of magic and terror and I am ready!

I’m a fan of loveable complicated characters and there are some phenomenal ones in this book. Morally gray Faeries (are there any other kind?), a strong female of color MC, and a giant cowardly stone lion. I just want to put them all in my pocket and carry them around with me. Two more books right now, please!
Profile Image for J..
Author 1 book55 followers
May 27, 2019
Review on my blog!
Profile Image for Lits.
184 reviews5 followers
January 31, 2019
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is well constructed, beautifully written, and quite original.
I really wanted to like it but I just couldn't get into the story. I wasn't able to connect to any of the characters. I just don't know why. Maybe it was the pacing?
I think this book would please a lot of people but it just wasn't for me.
Profile Image for Suzy Michael.
190 reviews27 followers
May 27, 2019
* I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my fair and honest review.*

Stolen by Marlena Frank was an absolute joy to read! It transported me back to my child, to a world where fairies ride flying bicycles, statues can talk, and has a villain you love to hate! A completely original story that is a breath of fresh air on the YA Fantasy genre!

Shaleigh is 16 yrs old and is tired of her life of taking care of her ailing father. She gets away by taking pictures of abandoned buildings and odd shaped trees she comes across. One day Shaleigh is kidnapped by a faerie on a flying bicycle, and takes her to a new world known only as "The Garden"- no real ruler, but a tyrant named Madam Cloom terrifies everyone into submission. That's where Shaleigh comes in. She's been brought to this world because the people believe that she is the reincarnation of a great ruler, long dead. Shaleigh's only hope for survival is to try to live up to this prophecy, but there is a much darker force at play, one that neither Shaleigh or the people of "The Garden" know is lurking in the shadows. And they are all at risk!

This was a brilliant and unique story that I didn't want to end! Thankfully, there is a sequel! I loved this new world Frank created that was like the Wizard of Oz, Labyrinth, and Legend, with a touch of Narnia all rolled into one! Frank's world building skills are tough to match, and she did a fantastic job with characterization, even the secondary characters can easily be recognized apart. And I loved how Shaleigh was portrayed! She was already a fairly strong character when we meet her, but it was amazing to watch her grow in different ways as the story progressed!
The pace was even; it didn't seem to lag or rush at any point. The story flowed smoothly as we went on this strange journey with Shaleigh!

Marlena Frank is a newish voice on the YA scene, and she commands attention with this strong, original fantasy. She transports you to a place where all of your dreams....and nightmares can come to life. And effortlessly wields her creative prose to dance you into her fairyland!
Profile Image for Amanda.
157 reviews36 followers
May 28, 2019
I want to first apologize for not getting this post out. I thought I had it scheduled and didn’t think anything of it…until I saw it never posted. Yeah, it’s been one of those weeks for me. I would also like to thank the Parliament House and the author for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. Thank you again, and again, I apologize for not getting this out like I promised.

As you all know that I adore fantasy/fairy tale type books. They don’t always have to be retellings. I love retellings, but anything that gives me that kind of feel, is always great for me. So this book is about Shaleigh and her trying to help her father who is highly delusional. It really is heartbreaking when someone goes through such a thing. My grandfather had early onset dementia, but with his congestive heart failure…well, I’m gonna try not to get sad right now.

Shaleigh is strong. And I love the fact that as the story progresses and Shaleigh is taken into a whole other world, she continues to grow. I’ve read a few fantasy/fairy tale like stories that are pretty good, but I’m always left feeling like nothing was really all that accomplished. That’s probably just me.

Anyway…I’m babbling.

I don’t want to give anything away, but I really enjoyed this book. I liked the different vibes of Wizard of Oz and even Alice in Wonderland. Oddly enough, Alice in Wonderland is not my favorite story, but any references/vibes/retellings I’ve always adored. Does that make me odd?

We are all mad here, right?

Anyway, beautifully written story and I want more…and now I wait (im)patiently until there is more. I will definitely want to look into the author’s previous stories. Thank you for the beauty of this story.
Profile Image for Erica (storybookend).
346 reviews287 followers
June 7, 2019
Stolen follows the story of a girl who is kidnapped by a strange creature and taken from the modern world to a new world full of magical creatures where she is seen by some as the reincarnation of an old ruler.

Stolen was an interesting, whimsical book. It seemed like it was in between middle grade and young adult. It felt like a mg book, but then there were more mature ya moments. So, not quite sure what to think about it.

I was hoping there would be more with the relationship between Shaleigh and her father at the end, but I guess they’ll save that for the sequel?

People who enjoy Chronicles of Narnia and Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms might like this book.

Thank you to Netgalley and Parliament House (publisher) for a copy to review!
Profile Image for Blaire Hammond.
Author 18 books59 followers
February 3, 2019
Stolen by Marlena Frank Spoiler Free Review.

*I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for a free and honest review.*

Wow, what an honestly refreshing and unique story! I loved how different and wonderful and fantastical the feeling of this book was. It was really a great read than I just had to award a 4 out of 5 stars to.

Our lead character was a strong, wonderful character to read about and watch grow. In addition, seeing how her story grew, and watching her develop and evolve was really fantastic to see. The story was so much fun and adventure filled. I loved the magic and beauty of the world! All in all, a really worth while and enjoyable read that I highly recommend!
Profile Image for Laura R.
132 reviews10 followers
May 21, 2019
It's been a while since I've read something that even remotely resembled an 80s movie -- which had pretty much been my whole childhood. This felt like a throwback with a kick. A spicy throwback? Maybe?

Anywho, I love odd fantasy, fantasy that stays true to its heart and is twisty and full of darkness. Stolen was just like that and so much more. From shady faeries to weird creatures to oddly normal items being used in fantastical ways, this book had it all.

I cannot wait for the second book!
Profile Image for Paige.
1,696 reviews74 followers
March 25, 2020
Disclaimer: I received this book from Parliament House. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book Series: Stolen #1

Rating: 4.5/5

Publication Date: January 22, 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: 14+ (mental illness, some scary moments, kidnapping, forced servitude)

Publisher: Parliament House

Pages: 258

Amazon Link

Synopsis: It’s difficult taking care of a delusional father by yourself. Sixteen-year-old Shaleigh Mallet would rather explore and photograph dilapidated buildings than cater to her father’s dark episodes. But when she’s kidnapped by a creature who carries her atop a flying bicycle into another world, she realizes this wasn’t the escape she wanted.

In a kingdom known as the Garden, where minotaurs pull carriages and parties are held in hot air balloons, Madam Cloom and her faerie servant, Teagan, rule over the land with incredible but terrifying magic. Shaleigh must prove that she is the reincarnation of a long-dead ruler, not because she believes it, but because it’s her only chance to survive. With the help of a trespassing faerie, a stoatling, and a living statue, Shaleigh hopes to outwit everyone. She aims to break the bonds of servitude and finally make her way home. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that she’s playing right into the hands of a far worse enemy...

Review: Holy cow this book was magical! The characters were so well written and I just loved Shaleigh. I really connected with them and the book just drug me in! The world building was fantastic, the plot was amazingly well done, and the writing was magnificent.

However, I did feel that there were some slow, pace breaking moments but they were few and far between. I feel like realistically someone would have stepped in to help Shaleigh with her father, especially since it was known, but it seemed like it feel into the realm of “the system failed”, which is sadly becoming a cliché in the YA community.

Verdict: Beautiful and unique. Definite must buy.
Profile Image for Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?).
696 reviews173 followers
November 26, 2021
DNF at 12%

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Short version: I couldn't connect with the characters or the story.

The blurb promised minotaurs, faeries, and reincarnation, but I didn't get that far. I stopped reading before the kidnapping occurred, because I didn't want to force myself to read something I wasn't enjoying. The dialogue didn't feel natural, and I had a hard time believing that's how people would interact with each other.

And then there's all the stuff with her dad... Someone, likely and adult, should have stepped in and intervened on Shaleigh's behalf. The man believed his wife was alive and coming home, and even pretended like she'd never left when interacting with his peers. He refused to go to therapy or take medication, and would often sit in the dark and cry for hours or even days. His condition was known, yet no one did or said anything to help him or his daughter. Shaleigh knew how bad things would get, but she didn't push the issue either.

Even though I only read a small portion of this book, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I think something magical and unexplainable happened to one or both of her parents, and now she's dealing with the aftermath. However, no one knows magic is a possibility, so someone should have done more to help Shaleigh and her father.

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Profile Image for Justine Barr.
363 reviews6 followers
May 22, 2019
An urban explorer searching for some peace. A magical city searching for their leader.

Stolen follows Shaleigh Mallet, a young girl haunted by the loss of her mother. She finds herself swept up in the mysteries of a city built on Fae magic and run by a supposed tyrant named Madam Cloom. A cast of secondary characters helps Shaleigh navigate this new world, and they each seek their own ends.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. The pacing and action were nicely done, and there were some intense scenes where I feared for the lives of the heroes. The setting was nicely built and realized, and the writing is easy to follow and fluid.

I did struggle to figure out the main plot/conflict of the story. Was it Shaleigh’s search for the truth about her mother? Her being thrust into this world and “branded” as their possible savior? Madam Cloom and her hidden agendas? Or was it the dangers that lurked in the forests of this realm? It seems this story is made of many threads that are not woven together but instead spool out side by side, and none are resolved since the ending is a HUGE cliffhanger.

This book presents readers with a variety of characters to intrigue and delight, but it doesn’t deliver a complete story for any of them.
Profile Image for Rachel.
1,396 reviews145 followers
September 29, 2019
*thank you to Netgalley, Marlena Frank and The Parliament House for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

3 stars.

What started out as an interesting read quickly became a little dull. I tried to keep pushing through it and while it was entertaining enough, it was pretty borderline. I had wanted to read his for the fairies element. Sadly it did not live up to my expectations and I found it a struggle to get through and while it wasn't bad, it could have been better. The cover I really like though so that's a positive.
Profile Image for KD.
50 reviews
May 28, 2019
**I received a copy from the publisher The Parliament House Press for an honest review**

Stolen by Marlena Frank is a story about a girl who loves spending her days searching/ taking photos of condemned buildings with her best friend while having to basically look after her father who has basically lost his mind who is suddenly kidnapped by a flying monkey ( well he rides a flying bicycle) and is taken to a strange and magical land where she must prove that she is the reincarnation of a past ruler and while doing that find a way home.....

I really liked Stolen! Shaleigh our main character was cool and interesting I liked her! although I wish she actually reacted to the world that she was dropped into she didn't really have a WHOLY CRAP WHERE AM I WHAT THE HECK IS THAT moment she kind of just went with it .the world that Marlena built was amazing it gave me all the vibes of Wizard of Oz/ Chronicles of Narnia but with a gorgeous stone lion who ended up being my favourite character! ( I just wanted to give him a big hug!!) the writing was fantastic but the first part of the book dragged a little bit for me but as I kept reading it just hooked me more and more and with that ending I am looking forward to the next book!
Profile Image for chelsea {chelseareads_}.
63 reviews8 followers
May 28, 2019
Full review on blog!

Thank you Parliament House Press for sending me an eARC and for allowing me to participate in the Takeover Tour!
Profile Image for Permanently_Booked.
756 reviews54 followers
Read
November 24, 2021
DNF 50%. A tad too young for my liking. It starts off intriguing and eerie but once the MC gets to the other land things started losing their momentum for me. I'd definitely recommend to younger readers on the cusp on YA. Frank also has beautiful writing skills. I'm hoping she continues forward with more novels like The Seeking. Total fave of mine!
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 6 books39 followers
May 11, 2019
What an enchanting read!

I feel like I was just kidnapped and taken on a trip to Narnia, only here, there are no ultimately good or evil characters. There are just characters, all with their own motivations and desires, surviving under hostile leadership. Add in a touch of Hunger Games and some mythical lore, and you have Stolen!

With a lovable cast and a well-paced plot, Stolen is a fantastic debut novel! Marlena Frank has proven herself to be an awesome storyteller!
Profile Image for Jill Elizabeth.
1,542 reviews32 followers
July 31, 2019
I was highly intrigued by the blurb and the cover, and the first half of the book was fascinating with great world-building and an interesting plot and cast of characters. But things started to flutter about a bit after that, and seemed to lose focus and I started struggling with it a little... By the final chapters I was more or less back in the story, until things stopped (as opposed to ended) . I've said it before and I'll say it again, the ending in a multi-series book is a very important and delicate thing - you can't just stop in the middle of the story. This one wasn't as abrupt as some, but still felt more like a break between chapters than a break between books... still, generally speaking I found the world in the characters engaging and entertaining and I would probably give the second book ago, with the hopes that now that everything has been introduced the plot will tighten a little and the pacing even out a bit.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my review copy.
Profile Image for K.J. Harrowick.
Author 4 books20 followers
February 8, 2019
I was sent the ARC for this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

What I loved:
The voice in this tale is strong and beautiful. From the first page, Shaleigh and her best friend leap off the page and pull readers into their visceral tale. I really connected with these characters and couldn't wait to find out what lurked in the abandoned building.

Why I disconnected:
20% into this book, the story changed directions. Shaleigh gets abducted from her life and pulled into a new world. As a lover of fantasy I was super excited for this part, but something shifted the moment the main character woke up. The pacing was suddenly very rushed, and all connection to Shaleigh and her plight seemed to vanish. I lost connection with the character as stuff happened rather quick but she didn't really react to her surroundings or her life anymore.

Overall:
My take on the story is very subjective, so grain of salt. I really wanted to be immersed in Shaleigh's new crazy world, but it didn't quite happen. However, I'm still giving this story 4- stars because the writing is beautiful, there's a strong vibe of Narnia present in the new land, and I think a lot of readers are going to love this tale. If anyone is on the fence about it, take a peek at the first few pages and see how wonderful the two best friends are.
March 24, 2019
This book was amazing! The imagery the author is able to conjure up for the reader is fantastic because she does such a great job with the descriptions. While the story may have the feel of familiar elements (think Wizard of Oz), it is actually very unique in it's own rights. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland type feel to a story. I can't wait to see where the sequel takes the characters that I have grown fond of.
Profile Image for Rachel.
598 reviews5 followers
July 24, 2019
*I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review*

Stolen is a higher-stakes more serious Alice in Wonderland. The world Marlena Frank has created is full of intrigue, adventure, and betrayal. The magical creatures Shaleigh encounters are reminiscent of those found in other stories, but her take on them is unique and interesting. After she is done with the series, I would love for Marlena Frank to write a prequel to show more of the events leading up to Shaleigh’s arrival.

Shaleigh is a strong heroine that I know young girls will relate to and want to follow as she tries to find her way back to her family and her own world. Her struggles and moral quandaries add to her believability as a character. Teagan is a complicated character who you are never sure what to think about – is he a good guy who has done some bad things or a bad guy who occasionally does some good things? That same question can be posed about Talek. I am definitely excited to learn more about both of them in the next book. I’m also hoping we get to see more of Colin, especially given his perilous position at the end of book one.

The only thing that would have made Stolen better was a glimpse of what was going on with Shaleigh’s father and friend back in our world. I have already put Broken on my to-be-read list. I have so many questions that I just have to get answered – is there any connection between the other world and what happened to Shaleigh’s mother or her father’s current condition? Is Shaleigh indeed the reincarnated ruler? If she’s not, where did the mark come from – and why do so many others have similar marks? Will Colin and Mawr get out of their predicament? Spring 2020 seems so far away!

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jan farnworth.
1,262 reviews82 followers
February 1, 2019
This turned out to be a very different story then I expected. I was expecting it to be like a changeling switch with a fae creature kind of story. What we got is an interesting adventure into a fairyland that had stone lions, fairies who drive flying bikes, and a land that is influenced by Queen Mab but not ruled by her. The first few chapters really set up the background for our main character Shaleigh who has a father who believes in Fae and suffers from some pretty strong disillusions about seeing them in the real world. We also find out that her mother disappeared and I have a strong feeling we are going to find her in the next book but that mystery is not explored very much in the first book.

Our main character likes to adventure into abandon houses and that how she is so easily “stolen” off to fairyland. I like that all the great elements from fae stories are included in this book. Fae contracts, evil trees, corrupt rulers, living statues, and what you think you know you really don’t.

I think my favorite part of the book is when we meet Mawr the stone dragon he a very unique character that plays a huge role in various part of the stories. I felt really sad for him with him stuck in a destroyed library and an abandoned city. It was really cool to read about him getting his glasses and finding a place to teach and be a librarian of sorts again.

They’re a lot to love in this story and the cliff hanger ending just when you think Shaleigh finally escaped and gotten back home although with a companion along for the ride you find that no it just the next part of the journey. A journey that takes us into the realm of Queen Mab oh joy I am enthused to see where this series goes.

Profile Image for Yolanda.
619 reviews
July 25, 2019
*2.5 Stars*

Thank you to Parliament House and NetGalley for giving me an opportunity to read this eArc.

This book review is way overdue but I finally finished the book. It took me awhile to finish this book which is unfortunate because I thought it started off pretty good. But it just couldn’t seem to hold my interest.

Shaleigh and her friend Kaeja, have an interesting hobby. They go to decrepit locations around town to photograph them. It helps her escape issues she’s dealing with at home. Shaleigh’s father is having problems at work and his mental state is called into question. Then one day Shaleigh and Kaeja are on location when something totally unexpected occurs.

Shaleigh gets kidnapped and taken to the Land of the Fae where she must convince them she is the reincarnation of a long dead ruler. The story reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, with Madam Cloom resembling the Queen of Hearts.

The world-building in the land of Faerie is great but something about the book wasn’t holding my interest, it might have been the slow pacing of the story. I wasn’t attached to any characters in faerie but I did like that there was diversity in the love story being represented between two fae, Teagan and Talek. Other than the world-building I felt like there was a lull in the middle of the story and most of the action comes in the end, with a cliff-hanger ending.

This may have been a case of needing to be in the mood to read this book but Stolen just wasn’t for me. Despite it not working for me, I think a lot of young adult fantasy readers would enjoy the world-building and story of Shaleigh trying to find her way home.
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