Early Review: Alice by Christina Henry


Alice by Christina Henry // VBC ReviewAlice
Christina Henry
Published: Aug. 4, 2015 (Ace)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amanda

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

What if Alice wasn’t a silly girl who’d chased after a white rabbit?

What if she was crazy instead?

Christina Henry takes Lewis Carroll’s classic tale and turns it on its ear, giving us a dark and occasionally disturbing story about a young woman who let her curiosity get the better of her. Alice made a mistake ten years ago, following a trusted friend on an adventure into the walled-off Old City. What happened on that fateful trip shattered her mind and confined her to an asylum, where the only thing keeping her halfway sane was the man next door, who calls himself Hatcher.

When a fire allows them to escape and burns the asylum to the ground, Alice and Hatch strike out on a quest to bring down the Jabberwock, a mythical beast Alice isn’t quite convinced actually exists. But something is bothering Hatch, something that takes control of his mind and renders him mute and helpless, and if finding and slaying this creature will free him, Alice will do whatever she has to do to help him.

I’m just going to get this out of the way. Stop what youre doing and go one-click this title. Go on. Ill wait.

This ain’t your mother’s Alice in Wonderland. The characters populating Henry’s Alice bear some resemblance to their namesakes, but it’s all done with a clever, clever hand. Cheshire is charming and tricky, much like the cat we’re used to, and Rabbit…like, whoa. Sadistic. Cruel. Thats Rabbit.

Alice’s mouth gets them into murky waters on occasion, almost as often as it gets them out of trouble. There’s magic and mean, sick men, men who prey on girls and women and turn them into playthings. Playthings that sometimes end up broken. There’s another rabbit that only Alice can converse with, and roses and tea and cakes make you shrink, along with tonics that make you grow.

Henry sets a quick pace, weaving a story of revenge and redemption around the familiar pieces. Hatcher needs to slay the shadowy Jabberwock, and as more of the events that sent Alice to the asylum come to light, he’s determined to right the wrongs that were done to her. In between the chaos and grime, somehow Alice and Hatcher grow closer, and it’s surprisingly tender–or as tender as a crazy axe murderer can get (who’s actually a pretty sweet guy).

Hands down one of the most imaginative and entertaining books Ive read all year, Alice is a fantastic new addition to Henrys backlist, and I cant recommend it enough.

Sexual content: kissing

4 Responses to “Early Review: Alice by Christina Henry”

  1. Margaret says:

    I have this but haven’t started it yet. This week for sure, though. Reading your review, I think it sounds like a story that would often be YA. I’m excited to see a more adult take on it.

  2. I can’t wait to dive into this.

  3. Amy says:

    I loved this one! Great review! I think this is an awesome example of a re-telling done right. I would be ok if Christina Henry decided to put her spin on other classics.

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