Format: E-Galley, 304 pages
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Dark Fantasy
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.
Alice is the first installment in Christina Henry's mind blowing new series featuring Alice from the world of Lewis Carroll. Alice is not young adult. Alice is dark, action packed, bloody, and one of the best stories that I've read this year. I am so eager to read the sequel, that I am jumping around like a Mexican kidney bean in anticipation. Alice picks up 10 years after she went out for her 16th birthday with her best friend Dor and returned alone bloody and babbling about a Rabbit, a tea party, and a rather nasty scar on her face. Her parents ended up locking her up in an asylum where she remained not really knowing what happened to her.
While at the hospital, she meets a fellow inmate named Hatcher, who has his own story to tell. I won't spoil it, but I will say that Hatcher's name should give away what he's been put away for. Alice and Hatcher become friends. So, it's no surprise that when the hospital catches fire, Alice escapes with Hatchers assistance and their journey to discovery begins in earnest. The journey leads Alice and Hatcher through Old city where they head to stop the Jabberwock from terrorizing the city, while Alice is also trying to understand her own abilities and regain some memories she buried deep within her psyche.
Alice is definitely on a mission. She wants revenge for what happened to her. She wants to help Hatcher track down and kill the Jabberwocky who is reigning terror down on Old City. She wants to go after the Rabbit and make him pay for what he did to her. She finds some romance with Hatcher as well. Nothing in your face. It's there, and you know that the two have connected on a very different level after spending so much time together. I think that there is a whole world ahead for these two characters, and a happy ending would not shock or surprise me.
Alice is such a wonderfully dark, brutal, and fun story with plenty of bloodshed, debauchery, and characters straight out of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Characters like Cheshire, Jabberwock, Caterpillar, Walrus, and of course, the Rabbit. I would rate this book R for bloodshed, brutal scenes of rape, and sexual situations that are in your face. Please, please don't labeling this novel as Urban Fantasy. That is the not even close to being factual. You want to call it the Adult retelling of Alice as an adult, so be it. You want to call it Dystopian or Fantasy? That works as well. I really do hope that this is the beginning of a brilliant new series by Henry. I would definitely love to see this become a hit. Another positive? This is a self-contained story that has a beginning and an ending. No blarking cliffhanger folks!