[Review] Alice

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Title: Alice

Author: Christina Henry

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Retellings

Published: August 4, 2015

Source: Purchased for Kindle

Quicklinks: Amazon Goodreads

NOTICE: Alice is intended for an adult audience. Recommended for those over 18.

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.

Alice is an amazing, dark twist on an original classic that I've loved since I first laid eyes on it. Upon first reading the summary, I immediately began thinking of two games American McGee's Alice and Alice: Madness Returns along with the newer game Alice is Dead, however, for anyone else thinking this, get the thought out of your head this instant. I'm not saying thinking that is going to kill your expectations, but this book is nothing like either of those games and slightly more disturbing. 

As a reader who grew up loving the works of the twisted Edgar Allan Poe, I find comfort and love for the dark and gruesome tales. Ms. Henry does a wonderful job taking a much-loved classic and turning it into a nightmare with fluid details, capturing scenes, and a thrilling plot. The spin on the characters was perfectly executed for each; Hatcher, Cheshire, The Rabbit, The Walrus -- all amazing with their own type of madness. 

In case you didn't first get it upon reading the name, Hatcher is a clever replacement for the Hatter (duh). I must say that the companionship between both Alice and Hatcher is great, but rushed and sudden despite their madness. No matter which tale of Alice is being told, I always love the Cheshire. He's such a fun character, even if he appears differently in each story. 

I had a wonderful and fun time reading this book, as I am mad in my own way. I don't usually read a lot of dark tales such as this one, but I always find the good ones that keep me reading until I've realized I hit the end. 

Speaking of the end, I have to say that it was also perfectly executed. A good ending to such a ghastly story such as this, but it makes me wonder if the author has any thoughts into continuing the story, or leaving us readers to wonder what happens next... allowing us to drive ourselves mad with curiosity. 

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