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A Dream So Dark (Nightmare-Verse, #2)
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A Dream So Dark

(The Nightmare-Verse #2)

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4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,036 ratings  ·  227 reviews
Still reeling from her recent battle (and grounded until she graduates) Alice must cross the Veil to rescue her friends and stop the Black Knight once and for all. But the deeper she ventures into Wonderland, the more topsy-turvy everything becomes. It’s not until she’s at her wits end that she realizes—Wonderland is trying to save her.

There’s a new player on the board; a
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ebook, 352 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Imprint
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Staci In interview L.L. McKinney has said that she is working on book 3 right now.

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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,036 ratings  ·  227 reviews


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jv poore
Alice is awesomely authentic, but if Ms. McKinney ever felt like penning a spin-off featuring Alice's mom, I am here for it.
Quinn
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read this book yet, but it's not going to be out for another 6 1/2 months, which means MOST people haven't read it yet, and yet somehow, 57% of the reviews are all 1-star.

Stories that center around straight white males (people who make up 25-30% of America and 5-10% of the world) don't get subjected to these kinds of pearl-clutching censorship campaigns to the same degree as books like this that center around about anybody else (people who make up 70-75% of America and 90-95% of the wo
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Olivia-Savannah  Roach
When I read and reviewed A Blade so Black, I was left with some mixed feelings. While there were elements to the first book that I enjoyed, there were some that I wanted to change too. I took a chance on the sequel and A Dream so Dark pleasantly surprised me! I really enjoyed this one, a lot more than book one. It’s definitely worth continuing the series.

This book continues right where the second one left off. In terms of plot, it’s a lot stronger. I felt like the characters had a drive and a p
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The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
That. Fucking. Awesome. Cover!!! Gimme this now!!! 2019 and The Fountain Pen Diva demands MORE BIPoC on my book covers and in the books I read.
Katie (Bookwise)
This better be the sequel to A Blade So Black . *hard stare* ...more
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Aug 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
I read and adored the first book in The Nightmare-Verse series, A Blade So Black, an urban fantasy retelling of Alice in Wonderland set in modern day Atlanta.  
It was an original take with teen Alice Kingston training with Addison Hatta to battle Nightmares in the realm called Wonderland.  Readers were given an interesting history of the three Queens and then a dangerous foe arrived:  the Black Knight.

A Dream So Dark brings readers back to the action as Alice struggles to keep her two lives sepa
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Samantha Sophia
Dec 27, 2018 marked it as to-read
Jesus,

Can you hear me? It's Sam again. No request is too small or too impossible. So I am praying for an advanced copy, thxkbye!

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Tabi⁷ (ᕗツ)ᕗ
all I ask for is more battles and more Addison Hatta
Cheshire
https://slate.com/culture/2019/01/blo...

How about y'all back off. Read the above link and leave me be.
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Ricky
Well, of course this sequel's happening. Tell us something we don't know. *insert Sherlock Holmes responding how a pig's orgasm lasts up to thirty minutes*



But seriously. I'm super overjoyed that this book has finally graced our shelves.



And with a cover so bloody beautiful, seeing it in person was amazing! Though I didn't get it as an ARC like I did for ABSB, all good things come to those who wait, eh?



And yes, I couldn't help but notice the heart on this one. Just like the first book had a spade.
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Tayla
Oct 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars

I liked this one *slightly* more than the first, but still disappointed.

It's not that A Dream So Dark is bad, it's just... A mess. I'm so frustrated with some of the relationships because, as I mentioned when I read the first book, it felt like they were just thrown in to check a square on a "YA trends to capitalize on" bingo card. Representation is great, but it kinda feels like pandering if it does nothing to advance the plot. But, I'm not a member of the community in question, so I c
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Neeks
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I hate that I find so many editing issues in these books because I genuinely LOVE the premise. I love how McKinney write fights scenes, I love how we go from point A to point B, I ADORE Alice and, by association, Hatta. So WHY do I continue to feel like these books just needed an extra week with an editor?

After my review for A Blade so Black I felt like honest to goodness crap. I truly did. I liked the foundations, I liked what we were building to and yet I just did not LOVE the book. But I com
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CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
Oh, this was good. This was SO good and even better than A Blade So Black. Higher stakes, fantastic developments, and new characters that I loved instantly.

- A retelling of Alice in Wonderland but darker, more sinister, with just the right amount of whimsy and peculiarities of the original story.
- Continues the story of Alice, a Dreamwalker or guardian of the portal between our world and Wonderland.
- Following the events of the last book, Alice is grappling with grief and shock but also faces i
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Elowen
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this series. Alice in Wonderland on steroids.
This second installment was as enjoyable as the first. Prediction: (view spoiler)
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Claire
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Well, this was a freaking soap opera from start to finish.

From 4 “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” reps (out them 5) to poorly handled familial and romantic relationships, and not one but two love triangles that involve the same character—yes, two (2) in one book, you read that right—that were just... terribly written, developed, and resolved, this one was a huge disappointment. After finishing the first book, expectations weren't high, (even though A Blade So Black was a quick and, to some extent... e
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Valerie Fazio
Goodreads giveaway. The language is very casual which seemed to devalue and discredit the author. It felt like a teen writing a YA teen book. Needless to say, it was difficult to get through. I often love fairy-tale, fantasy spin-off novels but this one just didn't do it for me. The first book of this series was borderline bearable, however, I was just happy to be done with this one.

Would not recommend, I'm happy I didn't purchase this book and I was given the opportunity to read it through Goo
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Chris Talbot-Heindl
I wanted to love it, but I just didn't. There didn't seem to be much character development between the first book and the end of the second book. I thought we would have gotten somewhere with them by now.

I'm also kind of sick of Alice falling in love with literally anyone who treats her nicely. There's nothing in the history of what we've been given to suggest that would be a trauma response, so I don't get it.

I appreciate the addition of LGBTIQA2+ identities in this one, but it all seemed poor
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Kymari
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Literally read this all in one go! Couldn’t put it down.

The good: the world of Wonderland continues to be expanded with interesting new characters and we even get different POVs in this book! I loved that things are just as action packed as before and just as riveting. I have some ideas of what the major thing at the end happened but I guess I’ll just wait until the third book comes out.

The bad: I love that this book is diverse and really tries to include everyone but like sometimes when you t
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USOM
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

A Dream So Dark is an action packed sequel to A Blade So Black. An Alice and Wonderland re-telling, A Dream So Dark advances us further into Wonderland. We fall head first into a world of wonder, danger, and conspiracy. A Dream So Dark is non-stop action. There are revelations, betrayals, and new friends. While you can certainly get lost int he action, battle scenes, what I enjoyed mo
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Saniya
I definitely cannot ignore that i forgot most of what happened in the first book when I started this one but MY GOD do I love this series when I’m reading it. Same for the first book. Everyone is queer unless otherwise specified is basically the M.O. for every character in this book and that makes me so damn happy.
Lauren Stoolfire
To be honest, I wasn't terribly thrilled with A Blade So Black, the first installment of the Nightmare-Verse trilogy, but it had enough potential I needed to see where the series went. Plus, there were quite a few great reviews that made it seem like this sequel would be a better fit for me. I'm glad I decided to come back for A Dream So Dark because it takes the best part of its predecessor and turns them up while clearing up some of my issues with details of characterization and world-building ...more
NC Nerd
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a YA, Fantasy for 14+. @401 pages. (May change at final print)
There is violence, some cursing, some LGBT references, and some teenage "angsty" kissing.

I received an ARC from a Goodreads giveaway

First of all, if you loved the cover for A Blade So Black, you are gonna flip your lid over the cover for A Dream So Dark. When I was young bookworm teen, I was feening for a series like this. I read Stephen King, because he was good for adding POC to his novels. These kids now have no idea how l
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Louise
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I am Alice Kingston.

And I am afraid.

But fear cannot stop me."

This is not my favourite Alice  re-telling.
That honour always, always, goes to Frank Beddor's, The Looking Glass Wars .
It was the first Alice re-telling I'd ever read and it burrowed it's frumious Bandersnatch claws into me and never let go.
To this day, I've yet to find another to usurp its place.
A Dream So Dark , though?
A firm second.
A firm equal second with Christina Henry's, Alice ← not the gorefest I was hoping
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Brandie Bridges
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This book was everything. I love this version of Alice being a badass warrior and making sure all the people in her life that she cares about is safe. I really enjoyed the book because there was nothing but action throughout the book. NOw I will say it was hard for me to get into the book but that was probably because I was in a slump, but once I was a few chapters into the book I was immediately hooked. This book brought many aspect to life for me by referencing Harry Potter, and many others th ...more
♡*WithLove, Reesie*♡ ☆~Nikki~☆
"You doing good, Baby Moon, but more importantly, you doing right, like I always knew you would." Alice's Father

I came to book 2 to see Maddi rescued, because she was adorable to me in book one.
I also came for Alice and Hatta's romantic relationship growth but in this book I started to not believe in that relationship, even though I still want to. I started with shipping them, but then there was a possible love triangle (Alice, Hatta, Chess) but then there was a possible love square [Alice, Ha
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Jackie
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think I enjoyed this one more than the first!

“A Dream so Dark” takes us back to Wonderland to face off against this who wish to see Nightmares roam free and create an unstoppable undead army and it be up to Alice and her friends to save the day before the darkness consumes everyone in both worlds.

This book still played a lot to the Buffy like elements especially bringing in more of the mundane responsibilities of normal life while trying to figure out how to stop the darkness without your mot
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Allison
"Don't ever let fear steal anything from you, because it'll sure try. Sometimes fear lies and tells you you can't do something when you can do anything."

This book injected some necessary muchness into my life. It dialed the Wonderland up to 11, which is frankly the only way to do it well. Alice continues to be the tender-hearted protector and badass I came to love in the first book. It also expands the cast of delightful characters and even lets us peek inside some of their heads. Some mysteries
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Susie
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Freaking ChromeBook Distribution gettin in the way of my reading this sequel to an OHMYGAWD amazing story!
Had my time been my own since this book arrived (it’s the first and only book I’ve ever won by entering goodreads giveaways for the last 6 years!), I’d have finished it in a flash. This story is so rich with surprises and so yummy with unexpected relationships that I always feel just slightly off-kilter. And that’s a GREAT thing. I really really really love this take on Alice and her Wonder
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Uudenkuun Emilia
A quick and entertaining enough read, although not as charming as the first book. Alice's mother and grandmother were fab, though, and I am so glad that (view spoiler) Alice's interactions with her family felt real, even as some of the other relationships didn't.

This instalment got me thinking about how despite the indebtedness to Lewis Carroll's Wonderland, McKinney's series actually only takes some of the least weird surface leve
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Susan
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was everything I hoped the first one would be! This was excellent!! Adventure, intrigue, magic, darkness, lightness, magical creatures, kick ass women: it’s everything I could want in a fantasy book. I loved seeing all these characters fleshed out and enjoyed the new additions. Loved it!

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Other books in the series

The Nightmare-Verse (4 books)
  • Untitled (Nightmare-Verse #0.5)
  • A Blade So Black (Nightmare-Verse, #1)
  • A Crown So Cursed (Nightmare-Verse, #3)

Articles featuring this book

Dhonielle Clayton is a YA author, a 2018 Goodreads Choice Award nominee, and the chief operating officer of We Need Diverse Books, a...
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