Sep 2nd

Alice by Christina Henry

Posted in Reviews
Alice

Title: Alice
Author: Christina Henry
Publisher: Ace
Date Published: August 4, 2015
Where I got the book: Borrowed from the public library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A mind-bending new novel inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll…

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

What a dark and disturbing new take on the traditional story of Alice in Wonderland! I was thankfully prepared for the dark tone and pervasive rape references by Emily at The Book Geek. This is my own trigger warning for anyone looking to read Alice. It does vividly describe the fallout from numerous rapes. If that is a trigger for you, please stay away. I was, however, not quite prepared for how dark and twisted it would get. The bad guys in Alice are truly bad. They are the scary men that haunt every female’s nightmares. I think I found this to be scarier than any slasher movie or made up monster, because while this is a fantasy novel set in a fantasy world, there are people like that in our own world. Reading about the terrors visited upon Alice and some of the other female characters was difficult. Some found strength and got their revenge, others could not survive the horrors they were forced to endure. No matter how dark, scary, and twisted this book was, I could not stop reading. It was definitely a well-written, engaging story that I devoured in one sitting.

My favorite part of Alice was the world-building. The Old City is a version of Wonderland that is dirty, dark, and fascinating. The setting is vividly described, while the history and the grand layout of the world are not. This makes it feel almost as if the reader has tumbled down the rabbit hole with Alice. Not everything makes sense right away. You have to keep reading to figure out why things are happening and what Old City actually is. I also loved this world-building style because it makes you focus on Hatcher and Alice even more. It withholds information so the action is the only thing you can focus on.

My second favorite thing about this book was Hatcher himself. He is so dark, dirty, and rough around the edges. I love a bad boy and Hatcher is an unstable, fantasy version of a bad boy! I would actually love to read a spin off involving only Hatcher, or just a novella told from his point of view. I love the history the author gave Hatcher; he is by far the best version of the Mad Hatter I have ever read. I wasn’t as fond of Alice. Part of what makes her unlikable may have to do with the trauma she has been through and the loss of her memories. However I have read other books told from the perspective of a female trauma survivor where the main character made the story amazing instead of detracting from it. Her character development was very well done and by the end of the book I enjoyed her point of view, but it was a rough start. Cheshire was also a really fun, if dark, character and I really enjoyed his part in the story. I like that this book focuses a lot on Cheshire and Hatcher, it makes it a little different than other Alice in Wonderland retellings.

I was surprised to find that I absolutely loved Alice. I am not a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, but this story was engaging, dark, and twisted. It was completely unique and character driven. While I had some issues with Alice’s point of view in the beginning, I grew to love her and quickly picked up Red Queen (The Chronicles of Alice) and devoured it as soon as I got done reading Alice. This is a must read series for lovers of dark twisted tales and fans of Alice in Wonderland retellings.

Have you read Alice? What did you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Alice

Title: Alice
Author: Christina Henry
Publisher: Ace
Date Published: August 4, 2015
Where I got the book: Borrowed from the public library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A mind-bending new novel inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll…

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

What a dark and disturbing new take on the traditional story of Alice in Wonderland! I was thankfully prepared for the dark tone and pervasive rape references by Emily at The Book Geek. This is my own trigger warning for anyone looking to read Alice. It does vividly describe the fallout from numerous rapes. If that is a trigger for you, please stay away. I was, however, not quite prepared for how dark and twisted it would get. The bad guys in Alice are truly bad. They are the scary men that haunt every female’s nightmares. I think I found this to be scarier than any slasher movie or made up monster, because while this is a fantasy novel set in a fantasy world, there are people like that in our own world. Reading about the terrors visited upon Alice and some of the other female characters was difficult. Some found strength and got their revenge, others could not survive the horrors they were forced to endure. No matter how dark, scary, and twisted this book was, I could not stop reading. It was definitely a well-written, engaging story that I devoured in one sitting.

My favorite part of Alice was the world-building. The Old City is a version of Wonderland that is dirty, dark, and fascinating. The setting is vividly described, while the history and the grand layout of the world are not. This makes it feel almost as if the reader has tumbled down the rabbit hole with Alice. Not everything makes sense right away. You have to keep reading to figure out why things are happening and what Old City actually is. I also loved this world-building style because it makes you focus on Hatcher and Alice even more. It withholds information so the action is the only thing you can focus on.

My second favorite thing about this book was Hatcher himself. He is so dark, dirty, and rough around the edges. I love a bad boy and Hatcher is an unstable, fantasy version of a bad boy! I would actually love to read a spin off involving only Hatcher, or just a novella told from his point of view. I love the history the author gave Hatcher; he is by far the best version of the Mad Hatter I have ever read. I wasn’t as fond of Alice. Part of what makes her unlikable may have to do with the trauma she has been through and the loss of her memories. However I have read other books told from the perspective of a female trauma survivor where the main character made the story amazing instead of detracting from it. Her character development was very well done and by the end of the book I enjoyed her point of view, but it was a rough start. Cheshire was also a really fun, if dark, character and I really enjoyed his part in the story. I like that this book focuses a lot on Cheshire and Hatcher, it makes it a little different than other Alice in Wonderland retellings.

I was surprised to find that I absolutely loved Alice. I am not a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, but this story was engaging, dark, and twisted. It was completely unique and character driven. While I had some issues with Alice’s point of view in the beginning, I grew to love her and quickly picked up Red Queen (The Chronicles of Alice) and devoured it as soon as I got done reading Alice. This is a must read series for lovers of dark twisted tales and fans of Alice in Wonderland retellings.

Have you read Alice? What did you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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