I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when this book came up. I’m a huge Alice in Wonderland fan but I’ve only read one other re-imagining before this novel.
In this version of Alice, we meet a broken young woman locked away in an asylum. She is unsure as to why she is in such an awful place but she does remember endless tea parties, a terrible man with long ears, pain and blood.
One night, a fire takes hold at the hospital and Alice makes her escape with a strange young man, Hatcher, who has a bloody, messed up past of his own. Along with their own jailbreak, a dreadful beast is also unleashed, leaving a path of terror in its wake.
Navigating the treacherous Old City, Alice and Hatcher must negotiate with mob bosses, magicians and criminals to face their pasts, uncover hidden truths about themselves and go against the mysterious beast.
I had no idea just how brutal and graphic this novel would be and I devoured every page of it. It is definitely a more adult take on the popular novel with plenty of nefarious characters who torture, butcher and manipulate their way through the story.
As violent and disturbing as some events are described, this book is not mindless violence or shock-mongering. There is an incredibly creative storyline running throughout about a young woman becoming a heroine in light of everything she has been through and everything she is yet to face. Much more Alice.
Familiar characters and ideas from the original Alice in Wonderland story have been delightfully twisted into a dark, fantasy hybrid that is literally unputdownable. This would make a trippy screen adaptation, maybe by Tim Burton if he made it 18+ or Guillermo del Toro would totally do this justice. Alice in her new form is messed up yet brave and the flaws in her character make her all the more likeable.
My only issue with the story was that some of the challenges she faced seemed to be overcome so quickly. Not to say that everything she and Hatcher face is an easy task, but I would have liked the fight scenes to be more drawn out. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I couldn’t get enough of Alice and her twisted adventures and I wanted more of everything! Needless to say, I can’t wait to get my greedy little hands on the second book, The Red Queen.
Wildly imaginative and disturbingly dark, this is an original twist on a quirky classic that is sure to stun, shock and entertain even the hardiest of Wonderland fans. Check out my guest post for the Alice blog tour exploring the cover art for this fantastic series.