Release Date: January 22, 2019
It all came down to me.
The one who followed the rules, never went looking for trouble – I kept to myself. I just wanted to take care of my family. To not constantly look over my shoulder, worried about the things that went bump in the night.
I just wanted to survive.
But that wasn’t meant to be.
As luck – or fate, or something – would have it, the trouble found me.
I followed a rabbit through the wreckage of a half-ruined world to get back what was mine, and wound up at the end of it.
But there’s nothing magical about it.
(While Wonder does feature a central love story, it is not a contemporary romance novel)
ROMANTIC ORIENTATION: heteroromantic
TROPES: meet disaster, attraction at first sight/instalust, the damsel saves herself
TAGS: adult, retelling, Black romance, ownvoices, dystopian, romance, romantic suspense, best side character to ever side character
WARNINGS: death, violence, classism, racism, kidnapping
Well, hit me with a feather and kick my shins, this was one fantastic book.
Alice in Wonderland has never been my favorite tale, and yet I was desperate to read this dystopian, thrilling spin on it with an all Black cast. When we follow Aly down the rabbit hole in this book we enter a different world, but one that has little to do with the fantastical little bubble you might be imagining.
No, we fall down a rabbit hole of what happens in a futuristic world in which the rich keep getting richer, the poor are kept as poor and occupied with surviving as possible, and there’s hell to pay for everyone who even thinks of questioning the status quo. And smack in the middle of it all a white Bunny tricks Aly’s sister into going into the part of the world nobody even really knows exists. So what is Aly to do but to follow in order to get her sister back?
Enter a cast of characters that was so full of complexities and life I couldn’t stop turning the pages deep into the night. I refuse to give anything away with spoilers, but one thing I thought was brilliantly done were the little nods and references to the original tale. The clever plays on names and places and things that happened in the original story, but were done in a completely different way here. The whole story was… so unique. The two Queens, their soldiers, the conflicts. All of it was so cleverly done without ever getting to be too much or even too obvious or clumsy in any way. All elements just… fit perfectly for me.
The romance was steamy and also slow at the same time, and gave me the chance to really get invested in Aly and Maddox’ journey together. I *wanted* these two to get through everything, and I got everything I wished for and more.
Although one thing I have to admit is that I got just as invested in the story surrounding their budding romance. And I’m not saying Ruby is the most intriguing side character I’ve read in forever and stole the show, but y’all. I was *invested* in this character’s story arc. I wanted to know everything about her, and I would pay very good money to one day read her very own book. It’s not that her feud with Chez, the story arc surrounding them took away in any way or form, it just made the whole reading experience that much richer and more intense for me. Because at the heart of it this book is a story about power. Who has it, who keeps it, who can handle it. It’s as much about romance as it is about betrayal, loyalty, trauma and absolution.
And I loved every single second of it. It kept me on my toes, it made me doubt my own perceptions about who is a villain and what even is right and wrong. It shattered me and melted my heart. A wonderful story, skillfully crafted and brilliantly executed. I would love to read a whole series of books set in this universe.
Christina C. Jones is a modern romance novelist who has penned almost 30 books. She has earned a reputation as a storyteller who seamlessly weaves the complexities of modern life into captivating tales of black romance.
Prior to her work as a full time writer, Christina successfully ran Visual Luxe, a digital creative design studio. Coupling a burning passion to write and the drive to hone her craft, Christina made the transition to writing full-time in 2014.
Christina has attracted a community of enthusiastic readers across the globe who continue to read and share her sweet, sexy, and sometimes scandalous stories.