Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Hidden Library by Heather Lyons Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Hey readers! HAPPY WEDNESDAY! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Hidden Library by Heather Lyons. You guys surely remember how much I raved about book one in the series a few months ago. I listed THL as one of my most anticipated reads of 2015. Did it live up to the hype? Keep reading to find out! Before we get there though, here's a bit about the book and Heather before we get to my thoughts:

Sometimes, the rabbit hole is deeper than expected . . .
Alice Reeve and Finn Van Brunt have tumbled into a life of secrets. Some secrets they share, such as their employment by the clandestine organization known as The Collectors’ Society. Other secrets they carry within them, fighting to keep buried the things that could change everything they think they know.

On the hunt for an elusive villain who is hell-bent on destroying legacies, Alice, Finn, and the rest of the Society are desperate to unravel the mysteries surrounding them. But the farther they spiral down this rabbit hole, the deeper they fall into secrets that will test their loyalties and pit them against enemies both new and old.

Secrets, they come to find, can reveal the deadliest of truths.

Heather Lyons

Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—she’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.

Find Heather Lyons

My Thoughts:

About 7 months ago, I first heard than an author was going to be attempting to write a New Adult adaptation/sequel of sorts to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Of course, I was all over it. I will admit I was a little iffy at first. As any of you who know me will know, I am obsessed with fictional worlds. Oz and Wonderland are my two biggest. Of course I'm going to be thrilled with anything new that comes from those two worlds, but only if the author can stick true to the original manuscript. Who is this "Heather Lyons" and what can she bring to the table that so many others have failed? Well. I devoured The Collectors' Society and almost had to eat my hat. I don;t remember having such profound feeling after reading a novel in a very long time. It was ranked one of my top 3 reads of 2014, I loved it that much. I loved it so much, I bought TWO copies. (Go read my review at the link above).

Did I ever imagine Heather would strike gold a second time? I didn't know to be honest. Sophomore outings in a series are oftentimes tricky subjects. That being said, nothing could have prepared me for how much I loved The Hidden Library. I finished it in one sitting people. ONE sitting. *sigh* And oh how I wish I could re-read it again for the first time!

Let's start out with some negative critiques I had from the novel. Oh wait... I didn't have any. I LOVED IT ALL. Heather Lyons is a God among readers. Carroll himself would be proud to read these novels.

Let's get to raving!

Just like The Collectors' Society, The Hidden Library is filled with more characters than you could shake a stick at. There aren't too many more additions from book one, and unfortunately I can't discuss any of them without giving away spoilers, but I will give you this piece of advice: Never trust anyone. Don't expect anyone to end this novel the same way they started it! As per my favorite characters? Of course I loved Alice, but this book REALLY pulled out all the stops with Finn. This is not the same Huck Finn who floated down the Mississippi with Jim all those years ago, this Finn has seen the true horrors of life, both in and out of St. Petersburg. Finn has so many issues and in THL, we finally get to see the roots of some of those issues. It was an awesome experience. Heather has such a way with character development, that you can't help but fall in love with her novels. Victor Frankenstein Jr (Victor), still remained my favorite character. I would really love to see Victor get his own spin off series, just saying. I think I'm the biggest fan of Victor! Alice and her Wonderlandian life come into the story in a huge way. The round we find Wonderland caught even farther into its' war, but can the White King (Jace) really do what's necessary to save both his court and the Queen of Diamonds'? When Alice falls victim to a heinous crime, it will take both her past and her future to help her survive. Even with the help of a giant arachnid and magic, will it be enough to save our heroine?

Talk about a non-stop plot. Once you start reading this novel, you seriously cannot put it down. It's so fast paced, you won't be able to find a pause point. Be it our team in pursuit of villains who seek to destroy the catalysts, or life saving missions to save our heroine, through twists and turns, The Hidden Library is everything you'll want in a great read, and more! I won't go too far into detail here, but if you thought you were going to walk away with substantial answers to all your burning questions, think again! Lyons has weaved quite the intricate mystery, and I fear we haven't even begun to see it unravel! In true fiction-fashion, Heather leaves us with quite the cliffhanger, leaving me BEGGING for book three. Woah. Seriously folks, have I mentioned how much I loved this read?

The last thing I want to touch on is the setting. Lyons does such an incredible job interpreting the works of the authors who's stories have inspired hers. From Mark Twain's St Petersburg, to Bronte's Yorkshire Moors, Lyons not only sets the pace for her novel, but also the tone with just a few words. It's incredible, to me, how one moment I can be in 1860s Missouri one moment, and the wet swampy field the Moors the next. From the battle-striken fields of Wonderland, to the amazement of twenty-first century New York City. Heather Lyons doesn't just create a single setting, she creates multiple settings, each with it's own importance to the novel. I believe that any fan of classical literature will find great enjoyment in this series. Lyons does not try to change the original story, only add her own special twist. It is very evident in her every word that Lyons has great respect for the original authors, and for that, I have great respect for her!

I've tried to keep this review on the short side, as I'd like to sleep at some point tonight, but I know I could rave on and on about this read for many, many pages. Heather Lyons is a literary genius on so many levels. Beautifully crafted settings, gripping plots, and enough emotion to satisfy even the coldest of hearts, Lyons has taken elements from some of the greatest novels in history and fashioned them together to create herself a spot on the shelf of future "Great American Classics". Heather Lyons has woven together a story that transforms history, bringing a new-found love of classical literature to a whole new generation of readers. Kudos to you for that Heather Lyons, massive kudos to you.

All-in-all it should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that I am granting The Hidden Library by Heather Lyons a 5+-star review. Yes, I said FIVE PLUS stars. As in, drop-what-you-are-doing, don't-eat-don't-sleep-ONLY-read-this-novel, kind of awesome. What am I expecting from "TFM" (Heather's code name for book three?) I don't know for sure, but with Heather at the helm, I know that I will be absolutely blown away. The fate of the NA-Fantasy genre rests well in her extremely capable hands!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of The Hidden Library by the incredible Heather Lyons. I know you guys probably think I'm crazy with the wave I rave about this woman, but every second of it is true. She is a literary genius. I cannot say enough wonderful things. If you haven't been convinced by my review, I encourage you to check out all the other awesome stops on the blog tour. Special thanks to Heather and the team at InkSlinger PR for allowing me to participate. Don't forget to enter the giveaway before you leave! Until next time, Happy Reading!

P.S. I'm meeting Heather for the first time THIS weekend at the Austin Book Bash and I'm so excited I can't hardly stand it! You guys be on the lookout, there may be some massive TCS series swag to give away soon!


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