This is a spoiler free review.
Author: Christina Henry
Publisher: Ace (Titan Books in UK)
Publication Date: 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 women. 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 women 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.
Thoughts and Feelings
I am a huge fan of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and this is a perfect revisit to the beloved children’s story. It is equal parts dark and disturbing. I don’t think I will ever be able to think about Alice in the same way ever again.
There are all the same characters, Alice, the Mad Hatcher (instead of Hatter), the Cheshire cat, the Caterpillar and of course the Rabbit.
The Old City, is the Wonderland from nightmare. It does contains wonders, just the ones that you wished you had never wished for in the first place. As Alice makes her way through this upside down Wonderland, you see her slowly emerge into the person she was never given the chance to be.
Since Alice was sixteen when she was put in the hospital, she never really grew up. It was interesting to see a very naive girl, realise that she isn’t as innocent as her madness led her to believe.
I don’t want to give anything away anything else, as a lot of the plot has bits and pieces from the original tale, but reimagined in such a new and interesting way that it would be a shame for me to spoil it.
I will say I was hooked from the very beginning and I can’t wait for the next instalment: The Red Queen.
For a person who doesn’t want to grow up Alice is a perfect mix of childhood nostalgia and adulthood reality.