Book Reviews, To My Reader

Book Review: Alice by Christina Henry

AlicePublished: August 4th 2015 by Ace.

Format: Kindle Edition, 304 pages.

Goodreads Summary: 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.

Thoughts: Forget everything you know about Lewis Carroll’s beloved childhood story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and prepare to be thrown into a much darker tale that is sure to drive anyone mad. In this retelling Christina Henry has created a new world so disturbing it’s hard to imagine the beauty of the original novel even exists. The author brings back characters we recognize, but fair warning, no one is safe anymore. This is a different story. A very bloody one.

“Alice dreamed of blood. Blood on her hands and under her feet, blood in her mouth and pouring from her eyes. The room was filled with it.”

Wonderland has disappeared under the grime of the Old City where horrors await for the next unfortunate soul. Ever since Alice returned home after going missing at sixteen, covered in scarlet and talking madness about a rabbit, her parents fear she has gone around the bend. Years later, Alice finds herself locked in an asylum with others society has deemed crazy. Her only friend goes by the name of Hatcher. He talks to her through a small mouse-hole from the cell next door and admits he knows little of his past before this place. The only thing he’s sure of is the reality of his nightmares, and the monster at the very center of them. They are presented a chance to escape when the asylum is engulfed in flames, but their suffering is far from over. Something has escaped with them.

Alice and Hatcher are forced to enter the bowels of the Old City, a place ruled by terrifying lords – the Cheshire, the Walrus, the Carpenter, and the Caterpillar. Leaders waged in a war against each other, and it’s no surprise when they take an interest in sweet little Alice. This novel is full of eerie descriptions that will make your hair stand on end. I also want to mention a trigger warning for future readers. This book features scenes of rape and although I understand why such a horrid action was spread throughout the story it can be off-putting to some readers. It is recommended that readers be 18+.

I must say that I absolutely loved Alice by Christina Henry and I can’t wait read more from her. This book was horrifying and fueled by nightmares. I read this book in one sitting! It was that good. A second part to this story called Red Queen will be released sometime next year. Grab your vorpal blade before you get pushed down the rabbit hole again.

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