A Dream So Dark by L. L. McKinney

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Cover of A Dream So Dark by L. L. McKinney
Cover of A Dream So Dark by L. L. McKinney


In L.L. McKinney’s A Dream So Dark, the thrilling sequel to A Blade So Black, Alice goes deeper into a dark version of Wonderland.

Still reeling from her recent battle (and grounded until she graduates high school), Alice must cross the Veil to rescue her friends and stop the Black Knight once and for all. But the further she ventures into Wonderland, the more topsy-turvy everything becomes. It’s not until she’s at her wit’s end that she realizes—Wonderland is trying to save her.

There’s a new player on the board; someone capable of using Nightmare creatures to not only influence the living but raise the dead.

Dreams have never been so dark in Wonderland, and if there is any hope, Alice must confront the worst in herself—and in the people she loves—and face the very nature of fear.

My Thoughts

I want more! After finishing this I have decided L. L. McKinney is a new favorite author. A Dream So Dark continues the story we started in A Blade So Black, and it’s fantastic.

The plot is well thought out. Some of my favorite moments are actually between Alice and her Mom. Her Mom doesn’t know Alice is a capable warrior who fights off nightmares in Wonderland. It’s one of those, “you wouldn’t believe me if I told you” kind of things. Since it’s hard to explain without hard evidence, Alice doesn’t tell her Mom. As things unravel more and more in Wonderland though, the relationship with her Mom gets more and more strained since Alice has to keep lying and keeps then getting caught in lies. The hoops Alice and her friend Courtney jump through to try and keep Alice out of trouble though get more and more crazy. I was sure Alice would be caught on more than one occasion. In this book, Alice’s Mom does eventually find out about what Alice has been up to, but this still leaves things iffy between the two.

Then we have the ending. I can’t say much about this without spoiling things, so I’m going to try to keep things somewhat vague. I have a hypothesis of who Alice may be related to, outside of the characters we see on a regular basis. Something happens, leaving the characters confused as to how it works. I had two possible options, and I think this has confirmed who she is related to.

We do get a new book of this Nightmare-Verse world next year. On Target.com they list April 11, 2023 as the release date for A Crown So Cursed. I’m hoping we see a bit more of Alice’s family, and how she is related to who I’m fairly confident now she is related to. I also have a loose hypothesis, the necklace given to her by her grandmother, may have something to do with this family relation.