In a warren of crumbling buildings called the Old City, a hospital echoes with the screams of the poor souls inside. Inside, 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, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.
Trigger Warning: Very in depth discussions about Rape throughout nearly the whole book
This book is definitely not what I expected. I knew this was an Alice in Wonderland retelling but I did not read a synopsis and had not heard talk about it. I read The Girl in Red by Christina Henry a month or so ago and really enjoyed it! So when I was looking for something to read and saw Alice I decided why not.. Needless to say this was completely unexpected!
So at first it was a bit of a shock discovering that this was a dark gory horror retelling of Alice in Wonderland. However after the shock I actually really enjoyed it! There were definitely some messed up parts throughout but still super interesting & I got super hooked on this one from early on.
This book was completely unpredictable even though it was loosely following the Alice in Wonderland story line. The story was simply gripping and I found myself not wanting to put it down and just wanting to find out what crazy shit was going to happen next.
I enjoyed the 2 main characters we follow, Alice & Hatcher. They were both really well written and developed nicely over the course of the book. I also enjoyed the side characters (as characters, most of them were horrible people, let’s be real). There were such a mixture of traits in the side characters and they were very well written. I found myself absolutely hating some of then and then questions over motives. Christina Henry just has a way of writing characters that make you super invested in what happens to them (whether good or bad).
My only real downfall for this book and the reason it didn’t receive 5 stars was the ending. I had the same experience with The Girl in Red as well. For me the ending just seems a little lacklustre. There were tonnes of build up to the end but then the end just happens in one chapter and that’s it. It was a little disappointing after such an interesting and gripping book.
Overall, I really enjoyed this and definitely will be continuing the series sometime in the future. I can’t wait to see what Christina Henry does with the story of the Red Queen in this dark retelling and there is also a novella bind up, Looking Glass, available which I’m super keen to suss out. If you are into dark fantasy then I highly recommend but be warned that there is a very high trigger warning for Rape in this book…
Have you read Alice or any of Christina Henry’s other works? Let me know in the comments what your thoughts were! I’m definitely interested in picking up other books by Christina Henry but not sure where to go next.
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