47237735._sy475_Alice’s stories of Wonderland did more than raise a few eyebrows—it landed her in an asylum. Now at 15 years of age, she’s willing to do anything to leave, which includes agreeing to an experimental procedure.

When Alice decides at the last minute not to go through with it, she escapes with the White Rabbit to Wonderland and trades one mad house for another: the court of the Queen of Hearts. Only this time, she is under orders to take out the Queen.

When love, scandal, and intrigue begin to muddle her mission, Alice finds herself on the wrong side of the chopping block. 

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
Netgalley eARC 351 Red Rogue Press Fantasy/Retelling August 1st, 2019

My third attempt at a retelling and unfortunately I have to admit defeat to my sixth sense which kept me away from retellings and at the same time made me feel unjustly judgemental. How can I say I don’t get the vibe of retellings when I haven’t tried any? So, I got on a mission and we find ourselves here, 3rd book in to my experiment and my mind’s made up. No more retellings for Liis. Unless you can convince me real good.

Everybody loves Alice.. and Mad Hatter and the Chester Cat and all the wondrous madness! And I was ready to be immersed in this story where Alice escapes the asylum, has to kill the Queen and ends up in danger again because OFF WITH HER HEAD but instead I found myself enjoying the start of the story, the ending of the story and some bits and bobs from the middle. The elements of Wonderland are definitely there. Uncomfortable is comfortable, unimportant is important, disgusting sounding tea is delicious and so on… but with all of the adventure for Alice to have and the big, Mission-Impossible-like plot underlining the story, I still felt the pacing was a tad slow. I wasn’t glued to the book when I wished I was…

Of scandal and intrigue there is aplenty in the court! Oh, and how much scandal and intrigue. We have a Marilyn Montague (the Wonderland copy of Marilyn Monroe down to singing an ‘unbirthday’ song in the sultry, drawn out tones) who wants to get in to the Prince of Hearts pants. Literally. It seemed like. And, we have the unexpected pregnancies – like in a proper telenovela! And, we have the Queen of Hearts who is .. you know, Queen of Hearts. Off the rocker!

When it comes to love? The attempt to make something sizzle in between 2 characters did not feel realistic, it felt more like a tool to use in advancing the plot at convenient times. Then again, they’re all bloody mad at Wonderland and if unimportant is important then maybe love is unlove, you know?! I am questioning myself now.. and for that I take my hat off to the book 😉

Alice herself is a solid character. The introduction of the asylum into this retelling is, in a sense, the logical thing to do to tie in with her first visit to Wonderland and how she ends up there again… But I have to say, with the twist of the asylum I also actually pity the character now. The Wonderland doesn’t seem all the wonderful and quirky no longer. The ending really left me reeling, and sad… Like, stunned silence sad. Hmm…

Ever Alice has a great, and I mean GREAT, fairy tale feeling. It has the vibe of the peculiarity that made us all love the original in the first place whilst also including the darker twists without which Wonderland wouldn’t be the same. No fairy tale would be the same without the darker undertones, come to think of it.

For me, the book was OK 🙂 I am glad I read this- there was many a time it made me crack a smile, but ultimately, I found I wasn’t eager to return to the story. Maybe because it was too close to the original? Maybe. And maybe this is exactly what will appeal to the wider readership about this retelling! 🙂