A review by theespressoedition
The Wonderland Trials, by Sara Ella

adventurous emotional hopeful mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


The overlapping worlds from Shades of Magic.
The high-stakes puzzles of The Hunger Games.
The utter whimsy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Mash those things together and you'll get the phenomenon that is The Wonderland Trials

This book was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. From the very beginning of the story, I was sucked in. Alice is such a wonderfully unusual character, with a knack for getting herself into trouble and not quite belonging anywhere - not that she really tries.

The Wonderland Trials is a character-rich story that makes you want to understand everyone's motives. You're perpetually trying to unravel mysteries and identify where certain people fit into the narrative. There are relationships that don't seem quite right and friendships you just want to pack away in your pocket because they're so sweet. It was actually really fun to me that I could never truly place whether someone was trustworthy or not. This kept me on my toes from beginning to end!

My imagination was stretched beyond belief while reading this, much like actually reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It was fun to tap into that "childlike wonder" (pun very much intended) to really embrace the creativity and whimsical aspect of the story. There were certain scenes - such as when a character had the ability to create their own wardrobe just from thinking about it - that reminded me of my own wild imagination. It kept a constant smile on my face!

While the characters were fantastic and the setting was wonderful, my very favorite part was the riddles. Attempting to "solve" my way through the story was an absolute delight! I'm a naturally inquisitive and observant person, so having something that pushed me to think while also just having a good time made reading The Wonderland Trials such a blast.

By the time I reached the last few chapters, I noticed myself slowing down because I didn't want it to come to an end. This is absolutely the type of story to give me a major book hangover. I immediately wanted to turn around and read it again once I finished it. I'm writing this review at a time when this first book has yet to even be released and I'm already anxious for book two!

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