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A Blade So Black

(A Blade So Black #1)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  1,687 ratings  ·  574 reviews
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 slippi
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Titan Books Ltd
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3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,687 ratings  ·  574 reviews

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The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
1/10/18 - Holy maple bacon cupcakes batman, that COVER!!! That cover! That cover gives me #BlackGirlMagic feels all up and down my spine! It's everything and it's why #representationmatters.

Not only am I totally looking forward to this retelling of Alice in Wonderland with a Black heroine, but I follow the author on Twitter and she tells some ugly truths about the publishing industry, authors and racism in general that too many people want to bury their heads in the sand over.

PoC authors have t
Tanya Tate
May 08, 2017 marked it as don-t-interest-me  ·  review of another edition
A couple reasons why I'll probably not going to read this.
1. I'm not a big Alice in Wonderland fan so it's already doesn't interest me.
2. The author called out a book on whitewashing Mulan( which yeah good for you here's a cookie) but at the same token is pretty much using the fact that Alice is black in her retelling as the ONLY selling point of her story.....Yay Alice is black but what else? What else about her is going to make me interested in reading her story since I'm already not a big f
Heidi Heilig
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot wait for this book.

May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The amount of negative reviews this book is getting from butthurt white people because the author tweeted saying whiteness tires her so much is fucking ridiculous. Reverse racism does not exist. Plus, the fact that it took a black woman tweeting a pretty valid negative thing about white people caused such an uproar is very telling. Where were all of you people with these negative reviews concerning *actual* problematic books and authors? This is why people of color are so adamant about not givin ...more
Terry Bell
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not to brag, but. *I* got to read an early draft of this, and if you're jealous right now? You should be. Alice is the ass-kicking, Sailor-Moon-cosplaying, out-Buffying-Buffy heroine you didn't know you were waiting for. <3
Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
this is basically just city of bones + twilight (alice in wonderland version)

DNF @ 46%

Review copy provided by Macmillan in exchange for an honest review! Thanks so much!
Joanna J.
Oct 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First, let me start with things I liked about the book: that cover is gorgeous! Any book lover knows a good cover is LIFE, am I right?! I also like the concept behind the book, because Alice in Wonderland has never felt like the tame, docile movie Disney spun out. A darker, more vicious story sounded awesome. I really appreciate LL McKinney's creative take on a classic story, and I'm a huge Buffy fan, so I loved that concept as well! I was disappointed with the actual realization of this charact ...more
J.A. Ironside
Ok, I probably wasn't going to read this in any case because aside from any other issues which have been raised, I've never read an 'Alice' re-telling or re-imagining which has in anyway captured the spirit of the original. So that kinda makes it an automatic pass.

Having said that, I'm really not comfortable with the way people are rating this book when they haven't read it. I ended up reading several books because people were rating them 1 star without reading them - including 'the Black Witch'
Sheila Goicea
Feb 04, 2019 marked it as not-reading  ·  review of another edition
I won't be reading this book due to the author's tactless twitter attack and mob mongering, forcing another author to pull her debut novel from publishing later this year in June. Yet again, a poor example of how one should NOT carry themselves in their profession.
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Aug 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: august-2018
I received an arc from Raincoast Books Canada in exchange for a honest review. 

When I first saw the cover of this book, I screamed. I loved the cover so much and when I read what the book was about--an Alice in Wonderland retelling--I screamed even louder. So imagine my disappointment when I read the first couple of chapters and really, really, really, couldn't push through another page. 

Firstly, the writing isn't very good. It's a fantasy with whimsical elements that if executed well could soar
Tori (InToriLex)
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was written perfectly to appeal to black teens who never knew they could enjoy fantasy. Alice is a courageous teen who discovers her own power to kill monsters called Nightmares from the mysterious Wonderland. She has to grapple with real monsters in Wonderland while also dealing with the trauma of feeling unsafe and gun violence in her neighborhood. Alice's best friends are Courtney and Chess they make endearing jokes about race and try to empathize with her experience. All of the char
I had seen a lot of talk about this one, but didn’t realize it was an Alice in Wonderland retelling until recently and I was so excited for it.

I liked Alice well enough. She’s loyal and she means well, but she came across as bratty and ungrateful. Yes, yes, classic teenager attitude, yet when you’re legit never home and your mom is extra worried due to a neighborhood girl being recently killed, maybe don’t be a dick. There is a pretty large cast of characters here, but I wasn’t really drawn in
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
DNF @ 45%

I was on the promotional blog tour for this book! I received a digital ARC for review via the website NetGalley.

I really wanted to like this one, since my name is Alice, I was named after Alice in Wonderland but for me, I was not connecting with the writing style. The pacing was far too slow for me, with a lot of telling and not showing. Alice is a POC and has two lives: One in Atlanta, USA and the other in Wonderland. I liked the element of battling creatures in Wonderland but it wasn'
Rachel Strolle
is there a rating higher than five stars asking for a friend


Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh man, this book was FUNNY. As funny as it was action-packed, and the incorporation of all the familiar Alice in Wonderland elements was genius. I love me a sassy, courageous girl MC!
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
Yall, no. The writing is not my style. It is choppy, rough, and difficult to get through. There is no fluidity to it at all. This is a book that didn't show me what was happening, it told me. I never connected with any part of this at all.


Full review can be found here:

If you ever want to talk about a book that was an absolute struggle to get through, pull up a chair and get cozy because we’ll talk about this book. And you better clear your calendar
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
updated review on october 4th 2018: i was really excited for this story, but i couldn't get into it, mostly because of the writing. i liked the characters well enough (especially alice and her mom tbh) and the story is interesting, but i only got /really/ interested on what was going on in the last 15% or so. not enough to make me want to read the next book, to be honest, but i admit i'm intrigued by what might happen in this story.

comment made on may 18th 2018: racists are giving this book one
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
Netgalley provided me a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Let it be known that if you write a re-imagining or re-interpretation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, I will read it.

BUT. It either has to be completely original (like Christina Henry's Alice--a shocking, violent romp that leaves a lasting impression) or REALLY good (like Marissa Meyer's Heartless--a prequel story about the Red Queen that is PERFECTION).

Which is why this one was so disappointing. It has original going
Mireille Jacobs
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I want to thank all the people who pointed out the author's Twitter feed, and posted links to Tweets of hers where she expresses honest frustration with the racism of the YA genre. You've convinced me to read this book, where previously I might not have been that interested in it. Anyone who is the target of organized hate campaigns as she clearly is (what is this, high school??), and who still has the courage to speak truth to power, is brave enough to get my interest. And I'm also going to che ...more
Bridget Vollmer
She's not getting my money
As a huge Alice in Wonderland fan the second I heard A Blade so Black is a retelling where it was actually Buffy who fell down the rabbit hole I was all in for this book and I'm so happy to say that it lived up to my high expectations.

Alice is a fantastic character, she's smart and hard working and she knows how to kick butt. She may not always make the right choices but she goes with her gut and she'll fight to the death for the people cares about. Ever since she was attacked by a creature stra
This was just bad. It throws you into a plot with no build up or explanation, the writing is clunky and cringe-inducing, and most of the characters have little to no development. I was so excited to read a take on Alice in Wonderland with a POC has the MC and, while this is ostensibly presented as that, it doesn't really have the qualities you expect from Alice in Wonderland. The setting is barely described, she doesn't spend enough time in Wonderland to make it work, and the majority of her tim ...more
Jay G
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Want to see more from me? Check out my youtube channel:

*I was sent a copy in exchange for my honest review*

Alice, a young African American girl, is trying to balance her regular life with an overbearing mother and a needy best friend while also being trained to hunt and kill Nightmares in Wonderland by a warrior named Addison Hatta.

I was so excited when I originally heard of this book! An Alice in Wonderland retelling with monster hunting?! Sign me up!
"We can change the whole world
Gonna take it over, gonna start it over
Don't you know what we could be?
A new beginning, fight until we're winning
Tell me that you're in it
Don't you wanna be a superhero?"

-Simon Curtis

"Heroes always get remembered, but you know legends never die!"
-Panic! at the Disco, "The Emperor's New Clothes"

The last ARC I traded for online in August, finally reviewing now, and I'm gonna call this one a case of saving the best for last.

Sorry, Splintered, but I think I have a new
Olivia-Savannah  Roach
An Alice in Wonderland retelling with a black representation for Alice? I couldn’t resist – I had to have it! Combined with that cover, there was no way I wasn’t going to be able to read this one. I signed up for the tour straight away and don’t regret it at all. I breezed through this book this summer and I’m so happy to finally have read an Alice in Wonderland retelling that I liked. Because this one actually made sense!

Having said that, I have to admit, the prologue did confuse me a little bi
May 18, 2017 marked it as urban-fantasy-paranormal  ·  review of another edition
I don't want any part of this book nor will I support the author.. Nuff said
Gin Jenny (Reading the End)
"Racebent ass-kicking Alice in Wonderland" is an excellent set of words in an awesome order. Can't wait to get my hands on this one!!
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dark and fresh and way too cool for me, this book was the dream of every Wonderland fan cranked up to a million.

Author Interview:
Full Review:
Feb 24, 2018 marked it as dnf-try-again-later  ·  review of another edition
10/2/18- MY COPY IS READY! MY COPY IS READY! I can't wait! I will be moving all other books on my TBR aside just to read this!
Book Jesus heard my prayers! Urban fantasy. Black female MC. A retelling. I CAN NOT WAIT!
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“Alice spent the rest of the evening up in her room pretending to read a book about a black girl and some dragons. Normally, she’d be all about that Khaleesi life, but a combination of worry for Hatta and just plain old boredom—she’d been trying to get into this same book for a week now—kept her from making it past the first chapter.” 1 likes
“Promise me you’ll be careful. I know you already are, just”—she lifted her hand from Alice’s knee, made a fist, then forced her fingers loose to pat her knee again, squeezing—“even when you’re careful, even when you play by the rules, it might not be enough. Gotta go the extra mile out here.” 0 likes
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