by A.G. Howard
Genre(s): Retellings, Young Adult, Fantasy
Published: January 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books
Review: I had mixed feeling going into this. I have been curious about it for some time but the feedback I kept hearing was very mixed. I ended up on the side to enjoy this twisted retelling, as additional telling to the story of Alice in Wonderland.
We should, by now, all know the story of Alice in Wonderland (if you do not go read the book or watch one of the many renditions of the movie). What we do not know is how some of the points are a bit...skewed, to say the least. There is no White Rabbit. There is a Rabid White. Yes, I said Rabid..you know the crazy, foaming at the mouth, don't let it bite you... Yep. and that is only the beginning as Alyssa finds herself traveling further into Wonderland.
She goes there to save her mother from a curse of madness laid upon their family. She is the descendant of the original Alice and her childhood friend Morpheus has beckoned her to his world. Her friend, and romantic interest, Jeb travels after her.
It was quick to see Alyssa is going to have guy trouble. On one hand we have Jeb. He is sweet, friend to the family and all around good guy. However he is also possessive and has a girlfriend even though he wants Alyssa more. Then there is Morpheus. Hot mothman of wonderland, childhood playmate of her dreams. He is the enigma of this book. And, like Alyssa, my feelings toward him are of hate and love. To understand this you will have to read the story. Regardless, he is a very interesting character and I cannot wait to read more about him in the next book.
Alyssa must set right the wrongs of the original Alice to save her mother. She meets many wild, crazy characters. if you thought the original story was wacky, you have read nothing yet.
At times this book read a bit slow and at others a bit fast but the adventure was fascinating! AG Howard has a unique voice and I have never read things described in a similar manner to how she pulls things off. A couple of my favorite short descriptions she has are:
"We turn to find Morpheus standing there with enough rage to send the Devil packing for heaven."
"I feel lost yet strangely at home, like a flea who has taken up residence on a zebra."
Some amusing, others bizarre, but they are all entertaining.
Last thing to discuss is the cover. This is what first drew me to the book. I love it. And when I took it off the hardback copy I have I found a lovely surprise! this inside is etched beautifully too in a title design! So either way, it is appealing to look at.
Overall I am pleased with this first book. While not the greatest writing in a literary sense, the story is twisted an draws you into the madness of it all. I am eager to read book two very soon.