By Cynthia Ayala
One year ago, Cadence fell into Wonderland. But she wasn’t able to stay, her heart torn between her love and the love of her family. Now her sister, Melody, has fallen into the hole, and Candence uses the opportunity to chase after her, hoping to find Gareth along the way. But with an evil Queen destined to stop her at every turn, can she survive her journey or will she be expelled from Wonderland twice?
Published on December 4, 2015, by Rebekah Lewis, The Unraveling follows two sisters on a journey to find each other and more.
This takes place a year after the short story The Vanishing and expands on a lot that was hinted at in the previous novel but was not in the actual story. There was so much material to work with and Lewis worked with it. She has wonderful characters and a wonderful story to expand upon and it worked out beautifully for this novel because it gave the characters more life, more room to live in and more room to explore their dynamics with one another. Lewis took a short story and gave it vibrancy, much like with the cover which is an accurate depiction of the story. Cadence has more depth than in the previous short story. That’s not to say she wasn’t a believable character, but given everything she has been through in the past year, with everyone treated her like she was insane, her character has developed in a very realistic manner. It’s like the kid saying there’s a monster in the closet and no one believes him and there is a monster in the closet. She was in an unbelievable place and it was taken from her, leaving her alone in the world despite the close connection with her family.
Of course, she’s not the only character that develops in the novel. Her sister brings out a lot in some of the other characters and makes it richer as far as the dynamics go. She also changes a lot herself and the connection between her and Cadence deepens into something more. Not to mention the changes the turn the Hatter in a dull jerk into a warm character. Lewis brings out the best in the characters, allowing them to grow into wondrous characters.
There are many changes to the characters making this a very character-oriented story. There are tons of reveals, all of which make for a rich story. So much happens in such a small span of time and Lewis captures the pacing and the tension with excellence.
Admittedly the ending was a little lackluster. Not everyone got a happy ending, but the instance with the Jabberwocky, it felt needless and was really just a plot device to close one aspect of the story and rid two of the characters of the tension between them. That’s not to say that it came out of left field, but it felt too neat. There was no explosive ending, it just ending, like a tablecloth falling into the table perfectly. And that’s probably the only issue in the novel; the ending was just too neat.
Overall, a great retelling of the story and a rich one at that. (★★★☆☆ | B)