Review: Alice by Christina Henry

24434446A 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.

Rating: 6 Stars | The Chronicles of Alice #2 | Fantasy, Adult

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Review

This book just clicked with me. I certainly don’t consider myself a dark or twisted person, but I cannot help but think that the darkest tales are the most enticing ones. It was crude and gruesome.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the novel was the decadent and almost crumbling setting.

“The Old City seemed to have no beginning and no end, a circling maze of stairways and narrow alleys connecting buildings that had been patched and rebuilt on top of crumbling ruins for centuries. There was nothing gleaming and new there, not even the children, who seemed to be birthed with haunted eyes”

The story is not like the original tale, but we encounter some of its characters in a whole new personification, like the The Caterpillar, Cheshire, The Walrus, and The Rabbit. The magic although significant for the story, wasn’t the main focus.

“But the roses,” Alice said. “How can those roses be there, like that, in the middle of all this filth and fog?” Hatcher gave her a crooked half smile, his grey eyes glinting in the morning light. “Magic.”

Throughout the book we follow Alice and Hatcher after they escaped the asylum, when they embark on a not-so-pleasant quest, in which they try to remember their past selves, for they knew very little of who they were before the asylum, and where we get know that group of disagreeable and horrid characters.

I loved Alice and Hatcher. Probably one of the best pair I’ve read in a long time. They were in a position where they needed to be at their strongest state of mind, and the author gave us these two vulnerable, broken and faulty yet determined and kind characters.

The writing was fantastical and flowed accordingly.

This will consist of two parts, the second coming out next year, according to the author, and it will be called ‘Red Queen’ where I assume we’ll meet another set of characters of the original tale.

Now, this one had a significant amount of rape, do I think these type of books promote it? No. It honestly, depends on the approach, and this book had the right one, meaning it showed rape for what it actually is.


About The Authorauthor

CHRISTINA HENRY is the author of the national bestselling BLACK WINGS series (BLACK WINGS, BLACK NIGHT, BLACK HOWL, BLACK LAMENT, BLACK CITY, BLACK HEART and BLACK SPRING, Ace/Roc) and the two CHRONICLES OF ALICE books, ALICE and RED QUEEN (Ace Trade). She enjoys running long distances, reading anything she can get her hands on and watching movies with samurai, zombies and/or subtitles in her spare time.  She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.

 

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