Author: Christina Henry
Series: The Chronicles of Alice #1
Publisher: Titan Books
Date Published: 4th August 2015
"In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo with the screams of the poor souls inside.In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blonde, 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." - GoodreadsThis book was sent to me by the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Well well well... I have literally zero words. Goodbye.
Nope I'm just kidding, but really I am a little bit speechless. I finished this book a few days ago, and couldn't bring myself to write up the review just yet, I needed time to gather my thoughts. So obviously this is a kind of Alice in Wonderland retelling, and it's one of the best that I have ever read. It really is, it's so unique and well thought out, it's interesting and dark and creepy and yes, weird too. It's everything that I absolutely love. Except the ending. The ending was awful and it pretty much ruined everything that I thought about this book. It was an amazing book, but the ending was so anticlimactic I wanted to scream.
The beginning of the book was absolutely captivating, I was so intrigued to know more about what happened and where the story was going. I wanted to spot the tie-ins with the original Alice in Wonderland and I wanted to connect all the dots. I quickly found out that other than the names of the characters, there was very little connection to Alice in Wonderland which was slightly disappointing but also really refreshing. I hate the books that just copy the fairytale and change the names of characters, this was the opposite and it was really unique and interesting.
From the offset, I knew I didn't like Hatcher. There was something really off about him and just the way he spoke to Alice made me want to punch him in the face, but then again he was mad... I'm interested to see where the next book will take Hatcher's character and if he will remain loyal to our Alice.
My favourite parts of the book were when they came across the different characters, Cheshire, the Caterpillar, and the Rabbit. They were really interesting, I just wished we could have seen more of them and learnt a little more about them and their background.
Speaking of the Rabbit... I expected a huge revelation, a big reunion, a grande finale you know? It's not a big thing to ask, but it just... it wasn't great. I'm just going to leave it at that, I don't want to spoil anything but it wasn't an amazing ending and I just wish it could be re-written.
The last issue I had with this book was the amount of rape and sexual abuse towards women. I mean, there are definitely other ways to portray a horrible and cruel world, I feel like the author kind of ran out of ways to make the world bad and just kept throwing in bits of rape here and there. It was a bit much, and it didn't really contribute to the feel of the world after the first mention of it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was dark, a little gruesome, kind of weird but definitely a good read. I rated this book 3* on Goodreads!