2023 International Book Awards Winner in Fiction (Fantasy)

The Byways

. . . a smart, delightful novel that features a pinch of danger, a spoonful of political unrest, and a dash of romance . . . A fun, charming, and modern twist on an old classic.” —Kirkus Reviews

Neurodivergent high school student CeeCee Harper has a temper and a reputation for trouble. Angry at the rumors and afraid she’ll never fit in, she makes a wrong move—and lands in the byways, a world of alleys, magic, and forgotten people . . . some that aren’t even human. And if she doesn’t escape quickly, CeeCee learns, she’ll be trapped for good.

Searching for a way out, she gets lost among monsters, drug pushers, the homeless, and political upheaval, and soon finds there are those who will stop at nothing to keep her from leaving. But the byways pull people in for a reason. CeeCee must figure out why she got stuck in the first place—before her loved ones are put in danger and she loses them forever.

A dark retelling of Alice in Wonderland meets Neverwhere, this contemporary fantasy will enchant Neil Gaiman and Christina Henry fans.

Awards for The Byways

2023 International Book Awards Winner in Fiction (Fantasy)

2023 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards Finalist in Young Adult (Fantasy – Urban)

Praise for The Byways

For anyone who has ever felt miscast or bypassed, set down or let down, this story about a girl who feels just a little too much is exciting and weird and beautiful and wise.

Sean Stewart, New York Times best-selling author of Galveston and Mockingbird

The agility and caliber of imagination Mary Pascual exhibits in this book are impressive. Move over, Lewis Carroll!

Maki Morris, author of Blood and Brume

CeeCee is a worthy and powerful heroine—filled with grit and determination. As she combats weird, dangerous, and frightening challenges in the byways, readers will root for her from beginning to end.

Fatima R. Henson, author of Love in the Age of Dragons

Tautly paced, The Byways has aspects of both The Lightning Thief and Alice in Wonderland with a protagonist who must learn the language and laws of another realm in order to find herself and her way home. This lush, well-written YA fantasy tale follows CeeCee as she overcomes her feelings of being an outsider by courageously embracing herself through a series of trials rife with humor and action—all within this gorgeous paranormal universe.

Susan Wands, author of Magician and Fool

A fun and imaginative twist on a classic tale. Pascual’s world is dark and gritty, and her characters are full of spunk and charm. You’ll love getting lost in The Byways!

Lenore Borja, author of The Last Huntress

From the first page, Mary Pascual captivates and enchants with this modern, edgy take on Alice in Wonderland. Her rich and complex characters shine brightly in the dark world she paints in The Byways. The tension and the twists will keep you reading until the very end. A true delight! Wildly original!

Stacey L. Tucker, author of The Equal Night Trilogy

The Byways is a fast-paced fantasy ideal for readers craving a perfectly mysterious adventure through a magical and unknown realm. For both the young and young at heart, this urban retelling of Alice in Wonderland guarantees gasps, laughter, chills, and excitement—and will leave you dreaming of a new self to discover.

Yodassa Williams, author of The Goddess Twins