A Blade So Black
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 slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice's handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she'll need to use everything she's learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.

A Blade So Black Details

TitleA Blade So Black
Author
ReleaseSep 25th, 2018
PublisherImprint
ISBN-139781250153906
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Retellings, Fiction

A Blade So Black Review

  • The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 to jump through hoops to get recognition, much less a chance to be published. A PoC author can't afford to be mediocre, even though there are lots of mediocre White authors with huge contracts and publicity. I will read White authors who write inclusive characters and who do so in a complex, non-stereotyped fashion. They don't deserve a brownie button for doing so because the world is diverse and contrary to popular belief, so is the readership. That's not my problem. I just want to see more PoC authors spreading their wings and imaginations and not being told "we have our quota of Black/Brown/Asian/Middle Eastern/Native American characters", only to fall all over themselves when a White author pens a work with a PoC character, especially when that PoC character lacks any sort of nuance or serves as magical negro status. There is no PoC equivalent of E.L. James (which is a good thing in my opinion). Still they should be given the chance and not held to an unfair standard. Nor covers whitewashed. Asking for inclusion and equity in the industry has some whining about "reverse racism" (no such thing by the way). #OwnVoices is about PoC authors writing the kinds of stories they want to tell - and not the New York publishing cabal pushing limited subjects such as slavery, poverty, war, arranged marriages, tiger moms and other stereotypical themes. There's a certain irony about people who are upset with McKinney for not being politically correct when there's an Orange Shitgibbon sitting in the White House who bragged about the same thing (and people liked that). The hypocrisy should escape no one. She's not personally angry at authors (unless they commit epic racefail). She's angry, and rightfully so, at an industry that refuses to get its act together and be more welcoming of diverse voices.
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  • Heidi Heilig
    January 1, 1970
    I cannot wait for this book.
  • Tanya
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 fan anyway? Oh she can kick ass! Yay! *eye roll* So thanks but no thanks.I'm all for diversity but don't let diversity be your only selling point while your story and characters lacks..Edit:Two definitions people need to know Racism: a system in which a dominant race benefits off the oppression of others. Prejudice:an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge. To all intended purposes, L.L Mckinney is prejudiced against whites but not racist due to the fact that she DO NOT have the power to oppress them aka keep opportunites away from them. Yes her comments are extremely unacceptable and should be called out like it but it's her being prejudiced against whites. She doesn't have the power to keep someone from having a job or in a bad economic situation.
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  • Jeanne
    January 1, 1970
    Apparently rating a book before reading it is okay, if it's written by a black woman who calls out racism and makes white people face their whiteness and white privilege. Guess that means I can give it 5 stars, because I know the actual definition of racism (and a bunch of white people trying to sabotage a black woman's career because they don't like what she said about whiteness on social media is a textbook case of racism).
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  • Terry Bell
    January 1, 1970
    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
  • Kaylee
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 giving a fuck about us white people. The minute they say something negative about white people we feel the need to make their feelings all about us. So, please, for the love of God, when a person of color says something negative about our race, stop a minute and actually think about why they feel this way because, after all, we did some pretty fucked up things to people of color.Anyway, this books sounds right up my alley. An Alice in Wonderland retelling with a black MC? I'm in 100%.Edit 1/10/2018:We have a cover and it is gorgeous! <3AND the little snippet sounds amazing! I need this book ASAP.
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  • Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
    January 1, 1970
    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!
  • Tere
    January 1, 1970
    Y'all. This is the tiresome (and predictable) whiteness she was talking about. "What happened to her?" people keep asking. Well, she had to grow up in a country that values the mediocre contributions of white people in arts and entertainment—and the rest of life—over the amazing contributions of people of color. If you're really not racist, then you're not the white people she's (rightly) venting about, so pat yourself on the back and try to keep being one of the good ones. Honestly, I question Y'all. This is the tiresome (and predictable) whiteness she was talking about. "What happened to her?" people keep asking. Well, she had to grow up in a country that values the mediocre contributions of white people in arts and entertainment—and the rest of life—over the amazing contributions of people of color. If you're really not racist, then you're not the white people she's (rightly) venting about, so pat yourself on the back and try to keep being one of the good ones. Honestly, I question the open-mindedness any of the authors or writers commenting negatively on this author (particularly since they haven't read the book), and hope they decide to follow more black writers on Goodreads and Twitter before they decide to write diverse books that have a better chance of being published than books by people of color.
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  • J.A. Ironside
    January 1, 1970
    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' 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' and 'Carve the Mark' - just so I could give an honest review. Personally, I really don't like the author's attitude and how she delivers her rhetoric is deplorable and just doesn't help her case at all. BUT it would be just as dishonest to rate this 1 star without reading it as it was for all those people who leapt on the band wagon over 'The Black Witch' and rated it 1 star without reading the book. (Incidentally rating it 5 stars without reading is a bit squicky but hey that's probably not going to harm sales so if you're comfortable doing it then, who am I to stop you? I'm not your Jimminy Cricket, that's for sure.) So maybe we could all just not rate the book before it's even available to read?
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  • Rachel Strolle
    January 1, 1970
    is there a rating higher than five stars asking for a friendrelated: F*CK THAT WAS GOOD
  • Tia
    January 1, 1970
    I am sooooo excited about this book!!!
  • ren
    January 1, 1970
    racists are giving this book one star for no reason, so here are five stars. gonna update it with my real rating when the book is out ✌🏻
  • Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
    January 1, 1970
    Full review to come but DNF at 40 pages. Yeah. It didn't take long for me to drop it lol and I'll tell you why.
  • Mireille Jacobs
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 check this book out because I despise bullying, and seeing a bunch of people who clearly haven't read the book showing up to trash someone's reviews IS BULLYING, and disgusting. Which is hilarious, since so many of you are accusing her of bullying. What am I going to believe, the words of strangers or their deeds?Anyway, great job folks. You're giving her lots of free publicity with this behavior.
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  • cae
    January 1, 1970
    fuck y'all for trashing the book of a black author who kicks ass. where were you when (black) woc and native women were being harassed off twitterand a retelling of alice in wonderland with a black teen mc? hells yeah
  • Bridget Vollmer
    January 1, 1970
    She's not getting my money
  • Jay G
    January 1, 1970
    Want to see more from me? Check out my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer...*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! Want to see more from me? Check out my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer...*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! Unfortunately, it fell very short for me. I didn't like the writing style and felt that it was chunky and didn't flow well. I kept thinking that the plot would begin to make sense and become more interesting as the story went on... but as it progressed, nothing got better. I found the plot boring and I felt as though nothing actually happened. Half the time I honestly didn't even know what was going on in the story line. I liked the attempt at bringing in characters from the original story of Alice, but I didn't find any of the characters to be anything of interest and felt that they didn't develop in anyway. I didn't relate to any of them or care about what happened to them.
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  • Erikka
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 time is spent dealing with her whiny best friend and her mom (who is rightfully concerned that her teen daughter is literally never home). I related more to her mom than to her. I think the worst part, though, was the clunky dialogue. The random swear words that were supposed to make her seem tough, but really just made her sound like a little kid getting away with something. The words that were either not something kids say (she calls someone a goober. No kid does that.) or were painfully "this is something the youths say, correct?" The covered lulled me into a false sense of badassery that didn't come to fruition.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    I am so excited for this book! Cannot wait to read it and buy it for my friend's little girl, who is Haitian and an avid reader. I know she'll be pumped for this one!
  • Gin Jenny (Reading the End)
    January 1, 1970
    "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!!
  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 for it, for sure: Alice is trained by Addison Hatta to hunt and kill Nightmares in Wonderland. She's African American. She has Buffy-like responsibilities.Unfortunately, the originality wasn't enough to overcome the boring, convoluted plot.There are lots of inconsistencies...and while I suspect some of them might be fixed in the final editing process, there are some things I just did not enjoy. Like...what, exactly, is the point of having the first chapter take place several months after the prologue and then EVERYTHING else happens a year later? At first you think it's going to be about Alice's training but...nope. We get to see NONE of it. Then there's the weird "Alice tries to balance real life and Wonderland" story line that is just so boring--every time Court and Chess were on the page I just wanted them to go away so we could get back to the magical stuff. And the end "battle" was so anticlimactic...even with the twist thrown in in the epilogue. I mean...I literally didn't care.Finally, one of my favorites things about reading New Alice stories is finding familiar characters who maybe show up in different ways/forms. But other than Alice and the Tweedle twins (who here are a pair of handsome Russian Nightmare slayers), I didn't particularly like how any of the characters were handled. Some of them (like Chess) seem to share a name and nothing else...which is fine, if they're interesting. But they aren't.Honestly, the only reason this wasn't a DNF for me was because of my love of the original. I kept waiting for a character or scene I would love, but it just didn't come.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I saw someone on Twitter saying this is an Alice in Wonderland retelling but what would have happened if Buffy fell down the rabbit hole instead of Alice. I love Alice retellings anyway but that description immediately jumped it to the top of my wish list!
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  • Roger
    January 1, 1970
    I don't want any part of this book nor will I support the author.. Nuff said
  • Hayley
    January 1, 1970
    Racism against white people doesn't exist you absolute cretins.
  • Katherine Locke
    January 1, 1970
    I'm super super excited for this book. It sounds incredible.
  • Sara (A Gingerly Review)
    January 1, 1970
    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: https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com...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 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: https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com...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 beforehand because it will be a long conversation.Short recap: Alice in Wonderland retelling but Alice is a POC and has Buffy-like responsibilities. What more do you need to know?Here is the biggest thing to know about this story: disappointing. I was so excited for this as it was a fairy tale retelling and who doesn’t love those? So why was this such a rough story? Number one: the writing was choppy, unstructured, confusing, and just all around bad. Number two: unoriginal take on the well known plot. It was boring. Number three: so many inconsistencies within the storyline itself. Number four: no development or explanation or backstory or anything. I will elaborate a little further…The writing had absolutely no clear structure to it. Instead of the words flowing and pulling the reader (me) into the story, it felt like a metric ton of sentence fragments. Picture interrupted thoughts strung together in the hopes that it just makes sense. There were no similes, no creative descriptions. This was a hard core case of the author telling the reader (me) what was going on instead of showing me. I’m not a fan of that.The overall storyline was just not that original. I can see what the author was trying to do but failed big time. With the writing style being as choppy as it was, it made it that much harder for me to really understand what was going on – ergo – I didn’t care about the actual story. What a shame.The inconsistencies peppered throughout the entire story left me with a headache. The reader (me) was told in the beginning of the story about some big fight scene (remember – the writing simply told me a fight took place so I couldn’t picture it) but apparently that first chapter took place several months after the prologue but it was not ever stated. I just had to come to that conclusion on my own. HUH? The reader (me) was never given the backstory on Alice’s training, I just had to go along with whatever was written. That’s difficult to do when I’m told how much of a badass Alice was but never given any true reason to believe it. I didn’t see any of her history. Again, I’m not a fan of that writing style.The author tried to keep some of the original Alice in Wonderland characters in this story but they were weak as weak could be. There was a set of Tweedle twins but they were given to us in the form of Russian Nightmare slayers … so… yeah. I did not buy that for one hot minute. None of the characters were handled well at all, let alone portrayed in a way that did them justice.I kept wanting to DNF this because it was just all over bad. The cover is very pretty and the blurb was brilliantly written, but the entire execution was not good. This story needed to be reedited several more times because it was lacking in every possible way.
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  • Lana Pattinson
    January 1, 1970
    Can't wait for this to come out!😍😍😍
  • alice (arctic books)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. Full review to come!
  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    Book Jesus heard my prayers! Urban fantasy. Black female MC. A retelling. I CAN NOT WAIT!
  • Kira Simion
    January 1, 1970
    This cover though....so aesthetic. I see a spade, a lady, a blade, and can feel anticipation coursing through my veins.
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