The Wonderland Trials: Book Review

The Wonderland Trials by Sara Ella is a whimsical and exciting reimagining of Lewis Carroll’s renowned Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Already arguably eccentrically lovable in its original form, Sara Ella transforms Wonderland to a riveting and mysterious dystopian fantasy that pulls you in immediately–It is destined to become a classic in its own time.

Book Blurb

All Alice Liddell wants is to escape her Normal life in Oxford and find the parents who abandoned her ten years ago. But she gets more than she bargained for when her older sister Charlotte is arrested for having the infamous Wonder Gene—the key to unlocking the curious Wonderland Reality.

Soon, Alice receives a rather cryptic invitation to play for Team Heart in this year’s annual—and often deadly—Wonderland Trials. Now she has less than twenty-four hours to find her way into Wonderland where nothing is impossible… or what it seems.

The stakes are raised when she discovers players go missing during the Trials each year. Will she and her team solve the clues and find the missing players? Or will betrayal and distrust win, leaving Alice alone in a world of her own? Follow the White Rabbit into this topsy-turvy fantasy where players become prey, a sip of the wrong tea might as well be poison, and a queen’s ways do not always lead one where they ought to go.

What I Enjoyed Most About The Wonderland Trials

Some of my favorite elements of The Wonderland Trials include:

– Dystopian premise set in London
– Multi-layered mysteries
– Secret identities
– A will-they-or-won’t-they friends to lovers romance subplot
– Found family
– High stakes games (including escape rooms; an “archaic” form of entertainment-IYKYK)

My favorite thing about The Wonderland Trials, however, is the themes embedded in this coming-of-age narrative. I think the central theme is faith, and it is explored in such a beautiful and unique way. It is with no doubt that this book is full of whimsy and courage that revolutionizes possible and impossible.

Physical Copy or Audiobook?

I listened to the audiobook version, but I plan to get a physical copy. If I had first read a physical version, I know I would have marked several quotes! The narrator did a fabulous job, and I found myself going “Oh, I love that!” at numerous points because the prose is just wonderful. Though I loved the audiobook, I recommend a physical copy–I think you are going to be happy to have this book on your shelf!

Concluding Thoughts for The Wonderland Trials

Overall, I highly recommend this book! If you, like me, enjoyed the dystopian worlds of the Hunger Games and the Divergent series, but also like depth, mystery, and a bit of wonder in your books, then you definitely need The Wonderland Trials! There is nothing that would deter me from recommending to young adult readers, and it is an intriguing start of The Curious Realities series that adults can also enjoy!

Highly recommend!

Connect With Sara Ella

Book cover of The Wonderland Trials.

Be sure to get your own copy of The Wonderland Trials here, and request a copy at your local library! You can learn more about Sara Ella and her other books through her website.

Lastly, you can connect with Sara through her Instagram and Facebook.

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Published by Kayla E. Green

Kayla E. Green is a school librarian, speculative fiction author, and poet. When she isn’t writing, reading, or going on adventures with her husband, she loves singing loudly and off-key to KLove Radio, snuggling her dogs, and pretending she’s a unicorn. Her award-winning YA fantasy novella, Aivan: The One Truth, and her inspirational poetry collection, Metamorphosis, are now available through book retailers. Kayla also has stories and poems featured in various anthologies. Follow The Unicorn Writer's blog for book reviews, author interviews, writing advice, and more bookish fun!

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