I finished this book a while ago, but haven’t written the review yet because I don’t really know what to say. I’m torn about the whole thing, and so nothing is going to come out in a coherent, well-planned statement. So this one is going to be a bit of a ramble.
Let’s start by saying that I’m not a huge Alice in Wonderland fan. Sure, the story is good. It’s a classic, and I don’t have anything against it. I just don’t love it the way some people do that makes it hard for them to get on board with a retelling. I was able to come at this with an open mind and not worry too much about what’s the same, what’s different, and how much it offends me on a deeply personal level.
So there were parts that I liked. I thought the reworking of the story was clever. It had all the people you would expect, but with a more complex history to Wonderland and the politics of what is going on there. Alyss escapes Wonderland during her Aunt Redd’s invasion and lives among us regular humans for years, growing up as part of the Little family. She tells people about Wonderland and everyone thinks her a little mad, so she stops talking about her past and eventually starts to forget. As she gets older, she becomes engaged to Queen Victoria’s youngest son, but before the wedding can take place, she’s brought back to Wonderland and is set to fight for her throne.
There’s a great moment at the end of the book where Alyss/Alice has a moment of confusion and thinks that maybe Wonderland never existed at all, and I thought it would have been great if the reader was likewise confused about whether one of the realities was entirely an illusion. This would of course have resulted in an entirely different story. Oh well, it wasn’t meant to be.
I’m not sure that I’m going to go on to Book 2…