The premise of the series is this: all books are really little gateways into parallel dimensions and by entering into the book world you can interact with, but careful because if you find the one special object in each world and destroy it, you will destroy the whole book world.
The first book, The Collector's Society, opens with a grown up Alice living in a mental hospital in England where doctors have tried unsuccessfully for years to convince her that all the adventures she has had were all made up in her mind. One day she is given an opportunity to leave with a very mysterious man for a very interesting job in New York. She takes the job and learns all about the book worlds, including her own. Adventure ensues, villains are afoot, and lively characters are introduced, and the next book is waiting to be read.
From the book back:
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?
The second book in the series, titled The Hidden Library finds our heroine Alice, and her new partner, Finn, still pursuing the evil unknown villain all over literary worlds unknown. Wreaking havoc on classic book worlds, as they try to save the legacy that lives within them. Alice and Finn are both hiding secrets, which lead to more secrets, which lead to some very interesting truths, which leads us to the third book in the series.
From the book back:
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.
The third book, The Forgotten Mountain find our beloved Collectors fighting for their lives and losing some friends along the way. Alice learned long ago in Wonderland that the impossible could happen, and she will have to make it happen again to save everyone.
After years spent in Wonderland, Alice Reeve learned the impossible was quite possible after all. She thought she left such fantastical realities behind when she finally returned to England.
Now Alice has become a member of the clandestine Collectors' Society, and the impossible has found her again in the form of an elusive villain set on erasing entire worlds. As she and the rest of the Society race to bring this mysterious murderer to justice, the fight becomes painfully personal.
Lives are being lost. Loved ones are shattered or irrevocably altered. Each step closer Alice gets to the shadowy man she hunts, the more secrets she unravels, only to reveal chilling truths. If she wants to win this war and save millions of lives, Alice must once more embrace the impossible and make the unimaginable, imaginable.
Sometimes, the rabbit hole leads to terrifying places.
Now, I do NOT do these books justice with me quick recaps, I'm an editor, not a writer. Besides, I'm not here to give you the CliffNotes version, I want you to go read them yourselves. What I can do is tell you how I felt about them and encourage you the best I can to GO BUY THEM!
Ms. Lyons does an amazing job with world building and imaginative word play. You can truly picture what she is talking about as if you are watching a movie instead of reading a book. Her characters are lovable and real. They have human emotions and feelings and characteristics like real people. Alice and Finn are the couple the live down the street, Mary is the girl next door, Victor could be your brother. The characters FEEL like real people, with real emotions and REAL flaws. She doesn't sugarcoat her people in a world where everything is perfect. Even some of her villains aren't all that bad (but some are pure evil). Just real people out making real livings doing the best they know how with what they have at the time. I love that you can really immerse yourself into her world. I thought about these books long after I was finished reading them. There is one more book in the series, set to be released soon, called The Lost Codex. Don't worry, I WILL LET EVERYONE KNOW as soon as it comes out. Until then, start reading the first three and get ready.
OH! And just in case you get a little confused on what character is which or what classic novel-world they came from, Heather Lyons also gave us a nifty little guidebook. The Collectors Society Encyclopedia talks about all the characters, their backgrounds, and a few little fun facts about each of them. It's a cute little companion book that any fan of the series will love. I bought the paperback one so I could refer to it if I got confused on character while I was reading a Kindle version of the books. I liked it so much though that I ended up buying paperbacks of the rest of the books too. That artwork was so lovely.