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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Blog Tour & Reviews: The Underground Series by Erin Bedford

Title: Chasing Rabbits
Series: The Underground #1
Author: Erin Bedford
Publisher: Embrace the Fantasy Publishing
Publication Date: September 29, 2016
Pages: 324
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retellings, Fairy Tales
Source: ARC
Goodreads | Amazon

Alice was wrong – Wonderland wasn’t so wonderful after all.

Kat never expected to be back in her hometown, but when house sitting turns into a mad rabbit chase, Kat finds herself with a whole new set of problems.

A two-headed bird with a Game of Thrones obsession, a party full of tea addicts, and a Cheshire Cat who could seduce the pants off her grandma? And if the citizens weren’t bad enough their prince was off his rocker.

This wasn’t your run of the mill Wonderland. This was the Fae world, where rules are rules, and some things are exactly as they seem.

I received this book for free from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Alice in Wonderland has always been my all time favorite fairy tale story. On this retelling I am landing right in the middle. On one hand, there were some things that I felt needed improvement, and on the other hand, the premise of the story is incredibly unique and I enjoyed this book a lot.

In this retelling, the first thing that you will notice is the very original premise. The fae angle was quite clever for a Wonderland retelling. The plot is fairly strong, only needed a little clarification in a few spots throughout the story. I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that the final twist at the end of the book did not have a great explanation. I definitely thought that more details were needed there, and throughout some other parts of the story. The author does a great job with the flow of the story. It never felt too slow, or too fast. The plot was compelling, and I was desperately turning the pages to find out what would happen next.

The world itself was very creative. There were some instances where more detail was needed, but for the most part I liked the world building.

The writing itself could have been more polished. I found many spelling and grammatical errors. I also felt like it read more like an text message than a novel. There was slang every other paragraph, and some of the wording did not seem appropriate for the context.

I enjoyed many of the characters in the book, but the main character and I were at odds throughout the book. Kat was snarky, foul mouthed, and quite annoying at times. She lusted after every attractive male in the story, which I hated. She claimed to be a "one-man" kind of girl and that a "casual" relationship is not her thing, yet at the beginning of the book she admits to having had friends with benefits which is as casual as it gets. Yet, at other times she was very likable. I very much liked the Cheshire Cat. He was a very interesting character that I had many different opinions of as the story progressed. The Mad Hatter is a character that is briefly touched upon in the book, which I liked. In most retellings, the Mad Hatter is one of the main focuses of the story. He makes a brief cameo in this story, and we don't even get to hear him speak. We just get a physical description, which I also liked. The Unseelie Prince was another character that I enjoyed, although I felt he could have been more developed. Trip and Mop were darling little characters. Alice was a little mysterious, and I didn't entirely like her. She seemed very daft. "The Shadows" was an interesting and mysterious character.

There was a scene in the book where Kat is almost rapes by a fae, and I felt that is was totally unnecessary. It didn't connect with anything else in the book, and if I am honest, it was rather disturbing.

Overall, this book has a lot of promise. I enjoyed it very much, all of the quirks aside. I would definitely recommend it on the originality alone. There are sexual situations in the book, so this one if not for a younger audience. I think that with some polishing, this could be an outstanding novel. I definitely plan on continuing this series.

Title: Chasing Cats
Series: The Underground #2
Author: Erin Bedford
Publisher: Embrace the Fantasy Publishing
Publication Date: September 27, 2016
Pages: 250
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retellings, Fairy Tales
Source: ARC
Goodreads | Amazon 

Sometimes the smallest debt comes with the highest price.

Kat went down the rabbit hole and came out changed. Now everyone wants something from her and she is hard pressed to give in to any of them.

Only the irresistibly mysterious Cheshire Cat seems to be on her side. But even he has secrets of his own. Secrets that cause him to show up beaten and bloody on her doorstep.

Dancing around lost friends and determined ex-lovers will be a feat on its own. Doing it and staying sane? Impossible.

Warning: For mature readers.

I received this book for free from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Chasing Cats is a very interesting sequel to Chasing Rabbits, an Alice in Wonderland New Adult re-imagining/retelling. 

The most amazing thing about this book, as with the first book, is the very original concept. I think that Wonderland being a Fae world is extremely interesting and original. Since Wonderland is so whimsical, the Fae aspect really works extremely well. 

The plot this time around was a little slow moving, and fell a little flat. While I liked where things ended up at the end of the book and I am excited to see what comes next, I felt that the buildup to the end was almost nonexistent. It felt like the entire book was just about Chess and Kat's sexual tension and relationship. I would have liked more interactions with Dorian, or some more about him and his struggle with his feelings for Kat/Lynne. I would also have liked to see more of Mop and Trip, as well as the Shadow Man.

Chess is still my favorite character in the series. He is very mysterious, and he is hard to figure out. I am hoping that he doesn't turn into a villain, because that would destroy me. I adore Chess! He seems so conflicted and sad inside. He has been through some terrible things and I really feel for him and his sorrowful past. (At least, what little we know of it.) While I don't hate Kat's character, I liked her less in this book. I did like Kat's kindness to Alice when she appears again. It made me like her a little more. Alice in another mysterious character that is hard to figure out. I would have liked more of Dorian in the book, as I said before. I liked him in the first book, but his treatment of Kat in this book made me really dislike him. Though, I guess that is not a surprise by the end of the book. I am really hoping that things turn around with Dorian. The Seelie Queen is the epitome of a villain. She is heartless and evil at the core. 

While the idea for this series is excellent, the writing falls a little short. It is more conversational than literary. There is a lot of slang that really takes away from what the book could be. If the colloquialisms were polished up, then the writing would be great. The parts where there is no slang sound fine. I did find a lot of misspelled words and grammar issues, but those are also easily fixed with editing. 

There were many surprises while reading, which I enjoyed. I hate predictable books, and Chasing Cats has plenty of twists to keep you guessing. It really grabs your attention and makes you want to keep reading. 

This book slightly touches upon prejudice, and I liked that it did. Most of the Fae look down up "half-breeds" and some of the characters struggle with the prejudices against them. 

Overall, this was a very fun book with a lot of action and discovery. I am very invested in this series, and I cannot wait for the third book! I recommend this book to all that like New Adult fantasy and fairytales/retellings. Keep in mind that this is a New Adult book and contains explicit scenes, so it is recommended for a mature audience. 

Both books are FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

Erin Bedford is an Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance author, a computer programmer by day, and a hobby hoarder.

Creating fantastical worlds have always been a secret passion of hers and she couldn't imagine writing any story without some kind of lovey-dovey or smexy goodness in it.


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