Review & Discussion: The Hidden Library by Heather Lyons

Title: The Hidden Library (The Collector’s Society #2)
Author: Heather Lyons
Pages: 284
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, New Adult
Published: by Cerulean Books on February 26th, 2015

The Hidden Library (The Collectors' Society, #2)Goodreads Synopsis

‘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’


(Little disclaimer: I have a lot of things in this book that I want to discuss, and because most of those things are quite spoiler-y, I’ll leave them till the end.)

This book starts off where the first book ended: Finn van Burnt is running the Society while Brom is recovering in the hospital, and Alice and the other members of the Society are trying to get some answers out of the villains who were tormenting the Society. However, the more answers they get, the more questions they have. Who are they dealing with? And, even more important, how can they stop him?

The Hidden Library was a wild ride from start to finish. We got so many twists and turns, and it was very action packed. They’ve also traveled to various different timelines, like Finn’s hometown and another trip to Wonderland. Through visiting Finn’s hometown, we got to see a bit more of his backstory and what happened between him and Tom Sawyer, and it was heart-wrenching.

I love the characters in this book, especially the very protective spider Grymsdyke. I also have a very special place in my heart for the White King, and everytime we get a scene with him my heart breaks a little. I also really like the relationships between the characters, because you can really see them getting closer. 

The Hidden Library ended with a bang, and a big cliff-hanger, so once I finished this one I immediately ordered the next book in this series: The Forgotten Mountain. I cannot wait to see what else Heather Lyons has in store for us!

Discussion (warning: spoilers ahead!)

I have no idea where to start this discussion, so I’m just going to start with the one thing I really disliked about the book: the mystery surrounding Victor. Throughout the whole first book, and half of this book, there was this mystery surrounding Victor. Finn, Mary and Brom kept whispering about him taking his ‘protocol’ and just acting suspicously towards him. I thought there was this big thing, that Victor wasn’t who he said he was, and I literally thought that he wasn’t Frankenstein’s son, but Frankenstein’s monster himself. I mean, what could be that big and bad that they had to act so mysteriously?? So when we found out what was going on with Victor, it was a bit of a buzzkill (I’m not even sure if that’s the right word but oh well.) It also made me feel a bit sad to see mental health portrayed like this. It’s a very important subject, and I don’t want people to act like it’s a taboo, and that bookcharacters/they have to whisper about it and be all mysterious. Sorry about rambling about this, but mental health issues are important to me.

Also, WHO IS THIS LIBRARIAN WOMAN? I didn’t trust her from the beginning, because from reading books and watching tv-shows, I’ve learned to not trust the mysterious person. But who is she? She obviously already knows Alice, since she told her she ‘failed her’ and that she always has to trust her insticts. What did she fail her with? Is the librarian from Wonderland as well? Or someone from Alice’s childhood? Ahh, I just want to know! And who is this Gabe-person? I kind of have an idea because of the use of pipes, but if he is the person I think he is, then why is he doing this? One of my theories is that he feels offended that the Society isn’t searching for his timeline or something. Or maybe he’s just plain bad and wants to make people suffer. But how did he get connected with Sweeney Todd? I have so many questions! I’m also a bit scared for the White King. No character is so pure and good without turning evil or getting killed, or at least, in most cases.

I really hope Finn lives in the next book. I first didn’t like him with Alice, because I adored the white king and I felt so bad for him, but now that I’ve seen him and Alice interact more I really think they’re good for each other. I’m sure that Alice will find him, but because the book is written in dual perspective when the first one was from one POV, I’m a bit scared that they’ll pull a Divergent on us. 

Anyway, I’m going to start The Forgotten Mountain tonight and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Review: The Collectors’ Society by Heather Lyons

Title: The Collectors’ Society
Author: Heather Lyons
Pages: 355
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, New Adult, Retellings
Published: by Cerulean Books on October 3rd, 2014

The Collectors’ Society (The Collectors’ Society, #1)Goodreads Synopsis

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?’

Heather Lyons’ The Collectors’ Society tells us the story of Wonderland and other bookish-worlds in a way I’ve never seen them before. It sheds a new light on these bookish worlds and characters, and answers the question ‘What happened to these characters after their book ended?’. 

So, what do you think happens if all the worlds you’ve read about are suddenly real? Because that’s what happens in The Collectors’ Society. A timeline is created where every book that is embraced by a big number of people is real. The world, the characters, everything. The only problem is that there is a mystery person (or people?) that want to destroy these worlds, and that’s where the Collectors’ Society comes in.

The collectors’ society consists of a group of people from different bookish worlds (Huckleberry Finn, Victor Frankenstein, etc.) who are trying to save these worlds from destruction. The book starts of with the society gaining a new member: Alice Reeve, aka, Alice in Wonderland. 

Alice has been staying in a mental hospital for quite some time after escaping Wonderland, and wants to leave it all behind. But when a mystery man comes to her, telling her that her world might seize to exsist, she can’t resist going on another adventure, and is brought to modern day New York, where she learns the truth about herself, and her world. 

In New York, Alice meets the fascinating group of people that is the collectors’ society, while stuggling with her new truth, and soon learns that there is more to them that meets the eye. She also finds herself being very attracted to her new mysterious partner, Finn, and is determined to learn more about him. 

With danger right around the corner, and not a lot of time left, Alice finds herself tumbling into a whole new rabbithole altogether. 

“Knowledge is always one of the fiercest of advantages a lady can have.”

In this novel the characters, and especially the character-building, are out of this world. Heather Lyons crafted a beautiful background for each of the characters, and knowing what happened to them after their books ended was utterly satisfying, and sometimes heart-wrenching. She also perfectly captured the struggles Alice went through after learning the truth about her life. 

Alice is everything I like to see in a heroine. She’s loyal, strong, independent and a fierce fighter, and the world-building in this novel is phenomenal, even though I wish Wonderland was a bit more eccentric and wonderous than it was described as. Nevertheless, this book keeps you on the edge of your seat, and is full of suspense and mystery. 

I personally cannot wait to see what the rest of the series holds, and I hope we’ll get to explore more bookish-worlds in The Forgotten Library.