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Review--The Looking-Glass Illusion

Title: The Looking-Glass Illusion

Series: The Curious Realities (Book 2)

Author: Sara Ella

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 stars

I’ve been waiting eight months for this book.

The Wonderland Trials ended on such a cliffhanger, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the time when I could finish the story! And this sequel did not disappoint. I was hooked from the beginning, and the ending left me quite satisfied.

Characters: Alice is still not my favorite, but she grows so much in this book. She’s learning to trust, and though she’s still too quick to cry, she’s definitely maturing. It was fun to watch her grow into a confident young woman!

Getting to read from Chess’ POV was a neat experience. We learn so much more about him in this book, and while his flaws are subsequently even more pronounced, he’s also more understandable. So at the end of the day, we like him very much, indeed.

All the side characters are amazing, too. I especially loved all the sibling dynamics!

Content: There are a couple of undetailed kisses. Characters flirt, wonder about their relationships; all the things that teens go through.

There’s some violence, at the same level as in the first book. The villain is a bit of a psychopath, reveling in pain and death.

Characters are said to swear. There are a few made-up curses (like “treacle and feathers and tea”).

Writing: The plot flows so well! I was hooked from page one with that incredible prologue, and it kept me intrigued all the way to the end. And there are so many fun plot twists to keep things exciting!

I will say, though, that the big villain reveal felt a bit out of nowhere. I would have liked more foreshadowing—though maybe I’ll pick up more of that during a re-read. I was also a bit confused about the timeline.

Summary: This is a satisfying conclusion to the duology, an exciting reimagining of Lewis Carroll’s wacky tale of Alice stepping through a looking-glass. I loved the quiet allegory, the character development, and the twisting plot. I’d recommend this to fantasy fans aged 14+!

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