Thursday, August 2, 2018

REVIEW: Umberland by Wendy Spinale - Paige

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM
Disclaimer: None, I got this on my own accord!
Rating: 
Genre: YA Fantasy/Dystopian/Steampunk
Recommended Age: 15+ (violence, murder, slight gore, sexual references, drug references)
Pages: 275

Synopsis: 
Gwen, Pete, and the others have escaped from Everland. Except the safe haven they hoped to find at Alnwick Castle doesn’t exist. With the Queen of England on her deathbed, Duchess Alyssa has stepped in, but things have gotten worse as the cure Doc created for the Horologia virus has mutated into something even more deadly. The only possible solution he can think of is to go back to the virus’s origin: an extinct poisonous apple.

Legend has it, though, that a tree bearing the apple might be found at the center of an impossible labyrinth hidden deep within Germany. A place no one in their right mind enters. With no other options, Alyssa sets out with only her sword, her wits, and the help of Maddox Hadder, a wild boy who oversees the castle gardens. To get to the center of the maze, she’ll be forced to battle monsters more terrifying than her darkest nightmares.

But can anyone truly survive the madness of the maze? And what if there’s no apple to be found there?


I adored the first book in this series and seeing as how Alice in Wonderland is one of my faves I decided to give this book a try. For the most part is was okay. The steampunk elements were still there, the plot was okay, and for the most part this was a pretty good book.

However, there were a lot of issues with this book.  For starters, let’s just say that if you’re going to read this book make sure to read the first one right before. The book begins immediately with no backstory information/helpful hints for the reader who might have not read the last book in a bit. The characters are flat and boring, the world building is super confusing and too much of a reach for what this book needed, the continuation from the first book felt super forced, and the plot was awful. I don’t understand what happened between book 1 and book 2, but there’s a stark contrast between the two. I don’t understand what makes it possible for any of the events that happen in book 2 to happen in book 2 and I like how the author tried to cram everything Alice in Wonderland into this book. Retellings are supposed to borrow things from their originals, not take everything and recreate it. No one complained when the shoes were turned from silver to ruby and no one complained when Belle became an inventor. Some of my favorite retellings are those that have just some elements from the originals, not everything in it. This book needed a complete overhaul to be as good as the first book, but I wonder if there ever should have been a continuation at all.

Verdict: Don’t fix it if it’s not broken.


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