Book Review: Chasing Rabbits (The Underground Book 1) by Erin Bedford

Kat thinks she's finally going to catch the rabbit that's been stealing carrots from her garden, but instead he ends up accidentally leading her to "Wonderland," or rather, the Fae realm. Once she's there, all she wants to do is get home, but between the seductive Cheshire Cat, the surly prince, the crazy creatures, and all the even crazier rules, not everything is quite as it seems, and getting home won't be as easy as getting in.

Title: Chasing Rabbits
Book Number: Book 1 of TBA
Pages: 326
My Rating: 3 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


*I received a free ecopy of this via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I don’t always have the best luck with this type of paranormal romance, but I do like retellings, and the main reason I was interested in this one was because I had literally been wondering why every Alice in Wonderland retelling or inspired book makes the Hatter the sexy character when the Cheshire Cat has always seemed like the far more interesting character to me and the one who would be a lot sexier if he were given a human form. And then *WHAM* this book, with it’s blurb about a seductive Cheshire Cat, falls into my lap. (Or pops up on Netgalley for review. Same thing.) And I have liked some paranormal romance, plus sometimes it’s fun to take risks because books can surprise you.

Ultimately though, this one didn’t work for me. It was just a little too typical, as far as the romance and characters went. The men were all amazingly hot and swoony, and the protagonist was immediately turned on by all of them, even when they were being jerks. The protag was feisty, brash, and spunky and ran her mouth off even when in life-threatening situations. The love interest was mysterious and brooding with a tragic backstory, but he was immediately drawn to the protag despite not knowing her yet. And about halfway through the book I predicted the “twist” that came at the end.

As for the main character herself, Kat, she acted feminist in the sense that she didn’t want to be a damsel in distress, kept telling herself to stop swooning over the men she couldn’t trust, etc., but I actually found her to be rather anti-feminist & judgmental. For a few examples, she mentioned that she hates crying women because “tears were meant for children and mourners,” she joked about how the fae men were all over the place emotionally and the fae women were already “perpetually pissed off” so “it had to make that time of the month a frightening experience for everyone around,” and she insinuated that committing suicide is shameful. It made her unlikeable to me.

There was also one strange near-rape scene that disturbed me a bit. I think it was the way it just didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the story and the way Kat then made light of it that bothered me. She mentioned that the sarcasm was her way of coping, and eventually it hit her how serious of a situation she had been in, but I still felt uncomfortable with the joking.

But, aside from a few typos and a few small things that didn’t quite add up, this wasn’t poorly written or a bad story. It was a neat take on Wonderland (not a retelling, but still the same land that Alice visited with some familiar characters). And for all my griping about the hot, swoony men, they were still some nice eye candy for my brain (brain candy?) and kind of intriguing. And though Kat was turned on by them, there was at least no instalove—no love at all, actually. There were also some plot threads left for the next book that could turn out interesting. As it is, I don’t see myself continuing the series, but, had I liked Kat more, I might’ve because I’m curious to know more about Chess (the Cheshire Cat), how things will turn out, and who Kat will end up with.

So not my favorite book, but I think anyone who likes the typical PNR genre more and who is ok with what I mentioned about Kat’s character will probably enjoy the book.


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  1. Greg

    This one got my attention with “fae realm”. A fae version of Wonderland? Yes please. Too bad it didn’t work for you, sounds like it has potential (or maybe I just like the premise). It cracks me up how editors always say show them something new, but we get the same stories with the same character types. The setting does sound like the high point, and I’m curious about the crazy rules. I was never actually a big fan of Wonderland but the reimaginings with dark or fae elements do intrigue me a bit.

    The Mad Hatter doesn’t strike me as sexy at all, so I’ll go with Cheshire (in female form). That could be interesting…

    1. Kristen Burns

      I should’ve known that would catch your attention! And they were kind of darker fae. But yeah I think it had potential but just fell kinda short. You make a good point though about wanting something new, but then there are certain types of characters and stories that sell, so what can you do, I guess? There was a lot of descriptions and emphasis on the setting though—a little too much for my taste, but I didn’t want to knock the book down for that since it was Wonderland afterall, the setting is supposed to be magical and whimsical and I can understand including descriptions.

      I’m 99% sure the Mad Hatter became the sexy one all because of Johnny Depp in the movie. And everyone’s just piggybacking on that. Or maybe not, maybe people were making him sexy before that, who knows? But I’m glad you agree that the Cheshire Cat would be the sexier one, in whichever gender lol.

  2. Lola

    I’ve seen this one around a few times, but as I am not much of a fairytale retelling reader I never picked it up. I do like the idea of a seductive Chesire cat. I always liked the cat, although Alice never was one of my favorite fairytales, it was too weird for me.

    It’s too bad this one didn’t quite work for you and it was a bit too typical. And that’s too bad you predicted the twist halfway through the book already. And even as a coping mechanism I don’t think I would’ve appreciated a character joking about an almost rape. That sounds like it would be uncomfortable.

    That is neat to hear there was no insta love at least, despite the instant attraction. I don’t think this would be a book for me even though I do like Paranormal Romance as a genre. Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I hated the original, I just read it the other week lol. But I still like retellings, even if I don’t like the originals. And I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes the idea of a seductive Cheshire Cat!

      But yeah, I’ve started mostly staying away from straight-up PNR and moved more to urban fantasy with just a romantic element because I don’t like those typical things. And the joking, idk, I guess it suited her character, but it just made me too uncomfortable.

      It was nice to see it differ in that it didn’t have the instalove though. That’s part of the reason I’m curious how it’ll turn out. Thanks!

  3. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I was interested from the blurb (because I completely see why the cheshire cat would make a better sexy hero, I mean, that grin) but I am less interested from your review. I hate when characters are portrayed as being feminists and then fall into all the usual traps which demonstrate they’re not. I don’t like to be told things about a character without them ever demonstrating that it’s true so I think I may skip this read. It’s annoying, though, because by the sounds of it if the MC had been a bit more likeable I would have given this one a go.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels the Cheshire Cat is the sexier one! But yeah, I just didn’t find her to be much a feminist. I don’t know if she ever actually said she was a feminist, but she did think things about how she shouldn’t be swooning over men who are jerks and stuff like that.