I have to tell you, this book had so much potential for me. It grabbed me, right away and made me begin to binge read a story and an author, I was unfamiliar with at literally 2 a.m.
Basically this woman is plucked out of her life, practically mid-step, awakening with no recollection of how it occurs. As she regains consciousness, she finds herself surrounded by a group of men, who for all intents and purposes plan to rape and eventually murder her.
Luckily.. or, not so luckily, they're caught by someone higher up the chain of command in their line of work, who steps in and takes control. Dispersing the others, and taking her for himself. As it turns out, what they run is something like an exclusive sex club, and their specialty is submissive slaves.
Now initially, this guy is a real hard case. He tells her he'll keep her safe, but his expectations are in line with what she'd be expected to do at the club. And he's hot as hell in the process.
The problem with the story comes well past the halfway mark, when she discovers who and what he really is. Suddenly, all of those behaviors pretty much cease to exist and it becomes sappy at best.
I actually skimmed through the ending pages, because I was no longer invested, but kept hoping there'd be some glimmer of this aspect of him that supposedly he picked up while he was there. Unfortunately, it turned out to be more of an illusion and I never saw what attracted me in the first place, again.
Still.. I'm glad I discovered the book. If for no other reason than it makes a great cautionary tale about what not to do as an author. But also.. because those initial scenes were scorchers.. and this could have been a fantastic read.
This book, which is the first in the A.G. Howard series, is an inspired re-telling of the Lewis Carroll classic, Alice in Wonderland.
The story centers around a teenage girl named Alyssa and a curse on her family line, but the approach is more about how Carroll really just got it all wrong. How Wonderland is much darker and much more dangerous than we were originally led to believe.
We spend the majority of the book trying to discern the true intentions of a being called Morpheus, while young Alyssa makes her way through the world trying to live up to a prophecy of sorts. Jeb, her real life love interest, does his best to help her accomplish what she enters the world to do. Ultimately, that goal is to save herself from a lifetime spent in an institution, and to find a way to prove that her mother isn't insane either, before shock therapy destroys what seems to be left of her mind.
Now, don't get me wrong. This book isn't perfect. The writing is simplistic and the dialogue can be a little weak at times, but it's technically a YA title, and so it works. The writing is obviously geared toward the YA demographic. All that aside, it's still a fantastic, mesmerizing read. I didn't want to put this book down long enough to do anything. I fell in love with the characters, especially our dark anti-hero and Chessie, and agonized over every tragedy that befell our heroine along the way.
Long story short, I highly recommend checking it out. I definitely intend to read the next book in the series, and I'm currently in the middle of the novella which is from the perspective of Morpheus. I'll keep you posted.