Review: Splintered – I’m out of this rabbit hole

splintered-ag-howardSplintered (Splintered, #1) by A.G. Howard
Publication date: January 1, 2013 by Amulet Books
Genres: Fantasy | Retellings | Young Adult
Pages: 371
Links to: Amazon | Goodreads

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence.

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

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Review: Prince of Shadows – a refreshing and intense retelling of Romeo and Juliet

Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine
Publication date: February 4th 2014 by NAL
Genres: Fantasy | Historical Fiction | Retellings | Young Adult
Pages: 368
Links to: Amazon | Goodreads

A thrilling retelling of the star-crossed tale of Romeo and
Juliet, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires series. In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power.

The boys are born to fight and die for honor and—if they survive—marry
for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely.
Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are
born.

Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him.
At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona—and he
risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on
convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the
lives of many in Verona…

…And will rewrite all their fates, forever

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Review: The Child Thief

The Child Thief by Brom
Publication date: August 25, 2009 by Harper Voyager
Genres: Fairy Tales | Fantasy | Horror | Retellings
Pages: 496
Links to: Amazon | Goodreads

Peter is quick, daring, and full of mischief—and like all boys, he loves to play, though his games often end in blood. His eyes are sparkling gold, and when he graces you with his smile you are his friend for life, but his promised land is not Neverland.

Fourteen-year-old Nick would have been murdered by the drug dealers preying on his family had Peter not saved him. Now the irresistibly charismatic wild boy wants Nick to follow him to a secret place of great adventure, where magic is alive and you never grow old. Even though he is wary of Peter’s crazy talk of faeries and monsters, Nick agrees. After all, New York City is no longer safe for him, and what more could he possibly lose?

There is always more to lose.

Accompanying Peter to a gray and ravished island that was once a lush, enchanted paradise, Nick finds himself unwittingly recruited for a war that has raged for centuries—one where he must learn to fight or die among the “Devils,” Peter’s savage tribe of lost and stolen children.

There, Peter’s dark past is revealed: left to wolves as an infant, despised and hunted, Peter moves restlessly between the worlds of faerie and man. The Child Thief is a leader of bloodthirsty children, a brave friend, and a creature driven to do whatever he must to stop the “Flesh-eaters” and save the last, wild magic in this dying land.

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Review: Snow, Glass, Apples

Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman
Publication date: September 17, 2011 by Biting Dog Publications
Genres: Fairy Tales | Horror | Mythology & Folk Tales | Retellings | Short Stories
Pages: 57
Links to: Amazon | Goodreads

A young princess … her skin as white as snow … her hair as black as coal … her lips as red as blood … an innocent young girl victimized by her evil stepmother.

Or is she?

Neil Gaiman’s “Snow, Glass, Apples” turns the traditional “Snow White” fairytale on its head and tells the story from the point of view of the “wicked” stepmother, who knows the truth about this less-than-innocent girl and attempts to save the kingdom from her unnatural and monstrous stepdaughter.

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Review: Spelled

Spelled by Betsy Schow
Publication date: June 2, 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire
Genres: Fantasy l Magical Realism l Retellings l Young Adult
Pages: 352
Links to: Amazon l Goodreads

Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse…before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

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Review: Crimson Bound

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Publication date: May 5, 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Genres: Fantasy | Retellings | Young Adult
Pages: 448
Links to: Amazon | Goodreads

When Rachelle was fifteen, she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

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Review: Spinning Starlight

Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis
Published: October 6, 2015 by Disney Hyperion
Genres: Magical Realism | Retellings | Young Adult
Pages: 336
Links to: Amazon | Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it’s hard to escape it. So when a group of men show up at her house uninvited, she assumes it’s just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired.

Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi’s vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word and her brothers are dead.

Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home-a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers’ survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back?

Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans strings the heart of the classic with a stunning, imaginative world as a star-crossed family fights for survival in this companion to Stitching Snow.

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