The Collectors' Society (Collectors' Society #1) by Heather Lyons

The Collectors' Society


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?

* This is the first book in the adult romance/fairy tale Collectors' Society series. 


The Collectors' Society was my one book club read for this month and I loved it. I was hooked right from the beginning and I cannot wait to start reading the next book!

The story opens with Alice in a mental institution and a man comes with a proposition for her. She is needed to help save Wonderland. Without her help, without her going back, everyone she is trying to protect by staying away will die. How can she let that happen? 

Alice is whisked away to modern day New York and this wonderful story really begins. I loved Alice. They way she thought about everything, how she dealt with all the new technology and modern ways, how she always tried to walk that line between madness and not, just everything about how she was. I just loved her voice. I couldn't put the book down once I started reading it. Alice is kind of broken by what happened in Wonderland, what made her leave, but also very strong. She doesn't worry much about what is happening in the modern day as she knows she has faced so much worse in Wonderland. Nothing now can be as bad as what she has been through. 

When she gets to New York she starts finding out about this world she didn't know existed. She didn't know there was a book written about her and her adventures. The whole popular stories are real in their own timelines, their own worlds, was fascinating. The characters in stories are real people living within their story world, though others can come into their world and interact with them. Each story has an artifact or object that represents their story. If it is destroyed then everyone in the story at that time is destroyed as well. And someone is destroying artifacts. That is where the Society comes in. They are trying to collect as many as they can to save people's lives. 

I found it really fascinating the discussions in the book about how you shouldn't read your own book. How a story is what an author thinks of a situation, not necessarily how the characters themselves would have shown it or thought about it. I really loved it. At first I thought oh, imagine if I could go into my favorite stories and interact with my favorite characters! That would be so much fun. Then I thought what would they really be like? Would they be like the author wrote them? Would they be different? Would they hate their stories? It was very interesting to me.

Everyone in the Society that goes out on missions is paired up with a parter. When Alice arrives she is paired with Finn. Oh how I loved Finn. Right from the beginning you can just see there is something there between these two. Alice tries to fight it as long as she can as she shouldn't feel this way, not with everything that has happened to her, but oh it was fun to read. Finn is wonderful. I loved him to pieces. I don't really remember Huckleberry Finn very well, but he makes me want to go back and re-read his book and see what it says about him. He was so sweet and kind and just wonderful. They work really well together. They are a wonderful us.

"Us. Two letters combine to make a tiny word whose connotation is massive. There is an us here. He and I, we're partners. We are also part of the Society and have a shared sense of being misunderstood characters in beloved books. But when he says this word, when these two letters combine to make a single syllable from his mouth, it feels more than that. It feels both broader, more significant. And yet smaller and exclusive all at once. 
Us is a heady, dangerous word."

There is a lot to love about this book. It was interesting that when Alice does go back to Wonderland it is not as crazy as I would have thought. Having read Alice in Wonderland not too long ago I remember loving it for how whimsical it was, but this Wonderland was more normal. It just comes across as a normal place with a magical element. Very much fun to read. And I loved how the author dealt with the whole White King/Finn situation. Very well done. I loved most everything about this story. How everything was revealed slowly. How you get Alice's story as it is revealed to the reader. How you are not quite sure what had happened to her, but by the end you get the whole picture. Such fun. 

The one small thing I didn't like? The story identification codes. I could never figure out what story they were referring to until I was told by one of the characters. But that is just a minor thing. Really a great read. I cannot wait to see what happens next!

Rating: ★★★★1/2

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