By Frank Beddor
The Myth: Alice was an ordinary girl who stepped through the looking glass and entered a fairy-tale world invented by Lewis Carroll in his famous storybook. The Truth: Wonderland is real. Alyss Heart is the heir to the throne, until her murderous aunt Redd steals the crown and kills Alyss? Parents. To escape Redd, Alyss and her bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, must flee to our world through the Pool of Tears. But in the pool Alyss and Hatter are separated. Lost and alone in Victorian London, Alyss is befriended by an aspiring author to whom she tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Yet he gets the story all wrong. Hatter Madigan knows the truth only too well, and he is searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland so she may battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.
Before we begin, I have a confession: I hate Alice in Wonderland. It has a few quotable quotes in the story, but I’ve always disliked it, starting with the Disney version that gave me the willies as a kid. One word. Cheshire Cat. Just sayin’. Then I read the book a few years ago and all I could think was “what?” I do, however, like some of the re-tellings I’ve seen or read. Sci-Fi’s “Alice” was a fun take on the story (though very psychedelic on the drug thing). So, when I saw this I thought, hmm. I liked a lot of the choices that were made with the story. The revolution and violent nature of this book intrigued me, with the playing cards and the chess pieces fighting. I didn’t really understand the power of imagination thing that Alyss and the Queen had going on though. It was a little too up in the air for me (though that was probably the intention) I like rules to magic so I know where I stand as a reader. By far the coolest character was Hatter Madigan, bodyguard supreme. I wish he’d had a bigger role. Overall it was interesting, but fell flat for me toward the end. Expectation was built up and then fell. I didn’t even have the urge to read the next book, so probably won’t finish this series.
I give it a 3 out of 5