Alice by Christina Henry
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.
“Careful, this white rabbit will lead you on a psychotic journey through the bowels of magic and madness. I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the ride.”—Brom, author of The Child Thief
“I loved falling down the rabbit hole with this dark, gritty tale. A unique spin on a classic and one wild ride!”—Gena Showalter, New York Times bestselling author of Alice in Zombieland
“A dark, delightfully disturbing fall down a rabbit hole of madness and mystery. This is not your mamma’s Alice…If you’re looking for a book that will make you feel like you were just on a bender with the blue caterpillar, I highly recommend Alice.”—R.S. Belcher, author of Nightwise
“A horrifying fantasy that will have you reexamining your love for this childhood favorite. Smooth velvety prose blends well with the deliciously complex characters and interesting storyline…A world that is nothing like Lewis Carroll ever imagined.”—RT Book Reviews (top pick)
“Hands down one of the most imaginative and entertaining books I’ve read all year.”—Vampire Book Club
“A dark and deeply disturbing revisit of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Who wouldn’t like it?”—Kirkus Reviews
“Henry retains all the surreality of Carroll’s tale but makes it even darker, leading readers down a scarier rabbit hole and into a city that’s fantastical, scary and frankly more satisfying than Carroll’s original…The writing is brisk, the story compulsive…A fun, chilling, exciting, magical read.”—The Oklahoman
Review By Biblioholic Beth TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE
Alice. Even just saying the name often conjures up one of the best-known classic works ever written: Alice in Wonderland. She of the blonde hair, falling down the rabbit hole, having tea with the Mad Hatter, conversing with the Cheshire Cat and the Caterpillar – so many “impossible things”, written with whimsy and more than a little suggestion of cruelty.
But what if the Mad Hatter wasn’t the only one that was mad? What if Alice herself was possibly crazy, imprisoned in a crumbling mental hospital, only remembering someone with blue-green eyes and long furry ears giving her a cup of tea at a tea party…then blood…then nothing? In a twisted new take on Lewis Carroll’s classic, Alice is mad, the Hatter is actually Hatcher (a fellow inmate at the asylum), and there is more cruelty than whimsy. When the hospital catches on fire, Alice and Hatcher escape – but so does something that has been locked away for longer than either of them have been alive. The Jabberwock is dark, evil, and seeking the one thing he needs to cement his power. As Alice tries to find her mind, and her memories, the Rabbit waits and the Jabberwock hunts.
Frankly, new versions of classics have the potential to be either awesome – or to go very, very wrong. Even worse, there is the possibility of the “remake” being boring or bland because the author was afraid to fully commit. I’d rather a spectacular failure than a boring one. However, in the case of Alice, Christina Henry did an amazing job. Alice is the black-as-pitch alternate reality to Alice in Wonderland’s light tale. I ended up reading it, without pause, until I finished it (the same night!). Yes, the story is dark. There is violence, and not a small amount of it. Cruelty is what, in large part, keeps the people of Old City functioning. But none of it truly felt gratuitous. Instead, it felt like Henry took the bleak parts of the original, twisted them into a whole new story while keeping the heart of what Carroll created. That may not make much sense, but trust me – it will after you read the book. And you *should* read the book. Now that I have, I will be looking up more of Henry’s work, because if even half of it is done as well as Alice is, then I have some reading to catch up on.
CHRISTINA HENRY is the author of the national bestselling Black Wings series(Black Spring, Black Heart, Black City), featuring Agent of Death Madeline Black and her popcorn-loving gargoyle, Beezle. Christina lives in Chicago with her husband and son.
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