Title – The Collectors’ Society
Author – Heather Lyons
Publication Date – October 23, 2014
Series – The Collectors’ Society, #1
From the author of the Fate series and The Deep End of the Sea comes a fantastical romantic adventure that has Alice tumbling down the strangest rabbit hole yet.
After years in Wonderland, Alice has returned to England as an adult, desperate to reclaim sanity and control over her life. An enigmatic gentleman with an intriguing job offer too tempting to resist changes her plans for a calm existence, though. Soon, she’s whisked to New York and initiated into the Collectors’ Society, a secret organization whose members confirm that famous stories are anything but straightforward and that what she knows about the world is only a fraction of the truth.
It’s there she discovers villains are afoot—ones who want to shelve the lives of countless beings. Assigned to work with the mysterious and alluring Finn, Alice and the rest of the Collectors’ Society race against a doomsday clock in order to prevent further destruction . . . but will they make it before all their endings are erased?
Much like the majority of the world, I have always had some morbid fascination with Alice in Wonderland. Being able to escape into some illogical, non-sensical world even for a few hours has always seemed incredibly ideal. Based on the synopsis, I just knew that when The Collectors’ Society by Heather Lyons was available, I would feel the need to consume it. Then I saw the cover, and I was one hundred percent sold!
“People like this are often accused of living within their fantasies. They’re said to have their noses stuck in books. But the reality is that some of these people actually do escape into books.”
The Collectors’ Society is a novel that seamlessly intertwines elements of fantasy within a modern-day setting. When we are re-introduced to Alice, she is an asylum attempting to recover from the madness she experienced while in Wonderland years ago. Though she is now functioning, she still has memories to contend with and prefers the comfort of the institution. That is, until her therapist introduces her to a gentleman who forces her to re-evaluate everything that she has ever known, both in and out of Wonderland. What follows is a suspenseful, intriguing, and quite honestly fun journey, particularly for avid readers!
“No, Alice. It has always been your intent to be more than. That is why you are here, with fellow members and their intentions, and it those which bind us together.”
One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the surprise guest appearances. Heather Lyons integrated all the different characters together so impeccably. There were heroes and heroines that readers both love and hate, and they maintained that integrity. However, they also were more mature and grown up at the same time. It’s an amazing talent that Lyons exhibits in that she sticks to the character someone else has created, yet added her own twists. Even though we were familiar with them, I still felt like I was getting tremendous character development throughout the book. Nobody finished the same way that started and I loved being on that journey together.
“Sometimes our pasts are chains we cannot let go of, even if the key is in our hands. They define us in ways we resent, and yet they are somewhat precious, too. Because, logically, we understand that our pasts have made us who we are, even if we want nothing more to close our eyes to them.”
The whole premise of the story was beyond innovative, like nothing I have come across, and the suspense element was incredibly well-suited! It was so captivating and really glued you to the pages. As a reader, I wanted to piece the puzzle together and figure out how actions and interactions would play out. The romance also had the perfect touch. It never felt overbearing or exaggerated. Somehow, each relationship seemed organic and to just flow naturally – which I was fairly shocked about. Again, it speaks to the true talent that Heather Lyons has in her writing.
“Each of us here has a story, but it’s not necessarily the one people think they know.”
I went into The Collectors’ Society not quite knowing what to expect. What I found was an enchanting tale with characters that I’ve fallen in love with previously, but somehow now adore even more. We are brought back to Wonderland, but it’s nothing like what we experienced in the past. The book will also speak to readers on more than just a literary level as well. Lyons has a way of taking versions of history and spinning them to bend to her will. She has quite a vivid imagination with an extraordinary talent to back it up. I really can’t wait to see what is next for Alice and the rest of the members of The Collectors’ Society!
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Don’t miss the rest of The Collector’s Society series:
The Hidden Library (The Collectors’ Society #2)
The Forgotten Mountain (The Collector’s Society #3)
The Lost Codex (The Collectors’ Society #4)
“Do you find my ability to converse lacking, Doctor?”
He chuckles softly, no doubt remembering how I wasn’t chatty with anyone, himself included, for the first month of my stay. To be fair, it is difficult to carry on an invigorating discussion when one is shaking so hard from withdrawals they fear they might shatter into thousands of painful pieces before a single word can be uttered. Plus, there was the whole bit of how once I did open up, I raved liked a lunatic about things no normal person could imagine being true.
“Certainly not,” he says to me. “But as I must stay at the Pleasance and you must go forth into the world, it will do you good to practice on somebody new.”
“Then send in one of the orderlies. Or one of the nurses. I’ll happily chat with a staff member.”
One of his bushy, out-of-control eyebrows lifts high into his forehead.
“There are people out there who are quite content being solitary,” I point out. “Who do not need to converse with anybody but themselves and their dogs.”
He sets his pen down. “What about cats?”
Rigor mortis sets in ever so briefly at this question.
“You father said you were quite fond of cats growing up. There was one in particular that you favored. Dinah, was it not?”
“I’m—” I have to clear my throat. “Lately, I wonder if perhaps I’m more of a dog person after all.”
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.