Review: “A Blade So Black” by L.L. McKinney


Release Date: September 25, 2018
Publisher: Imprint
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy


The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head…literally.” (via Goodreads)


My Thoughts

9781250153906_JKT.inddAlice as a hero in a supernatural novel is a political act—it is a refusal to accept the roles forced upon her by society. But that’s not the only way she’s in glorious yet dangerous defiance of the status quo. She likes geeky things and used to cosplay with her father. And, importantly, she’s middle class. We don’t often get stories about Black people who aren’t poor or super wealthy, especially with a single mother involved. McKinney doesn’t bother explaining or justifying Alice’s class or interests. Why should she? She’s speaking to us, her fellow African Americans. We already know how diverse the diaspora is. And for those who don’t know, for those who are bystanders to this internal discussion, well, now you do…

To read the rest of my review, head over to

No, this was something else.

Alice held steady. Listening. Waiting.

It came at her from the right.

The ring of metal against metal filed her ears as an inky blade clashed with her silver one. Hera ttacker pressed the advance, driving her back with the momentum from a lunge. She stumbled, unable to plant her feet.


When their blades came free she twisted to avoid another strike and tumbled to the ground. The sound of her heart blasted in her ears.

Get up! She swept around to a crouch, her blade lifted and ready.

Thanks to Imprint for sending me a review copy.

Do the world a favor and buy this from an indie bookstore or borrow it from your local public library.

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