Book Review: Alice (The Chronicles of Alice #1), Christina Henry

This is an unusual post for me as I don’t tend to write book reviews, despite having a rather extensive Goodreads account. However, the novel I have just finished deserves more than a simple shout out. It deserves to be hailed from the rooftops! Flown across the skies! Spread by messenger bottle, carrier pigeon, deep-sea submarine, or whatever method of transport will take this story to every nook and cranny on the globe!

However, not being a superhero (to my knowledge) means that a book review on my little corner of the internet may have to suffice for now.

Behold ‘Alice’, the most horrific adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s fantasy adventure that you will ever lay your hands upon. I will keep this review spoiler free, so it will be short and sweet, but if anyone would like to discuss the book further, do send me a note! This novel is a MUST READ. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, which says something considering I’ve just finished four years of studying literature. I have read many Stephen King horror/thriller novels, but other than those, I usually stick to fantasy and adventure stories. That being said, I could never resist a fairy-tale adaptation, so I was extremely curious to discover this new, bad-ass Alice.

The book was creepy, disturbing, horrific… and absolutely enthralling. From the outset the reader is plunged into a gritty, terrifying, and quite frankly disgusting world of the ‘Old City’. Following Alice and Hatcher through the gang-led territories, and stumbling across awful creatures each more gruesome and disturbed than the last, had me hooked until the very end. I was totally invested in the character journeys as Alice and Hatcher found not only their true selves, but rediscovered their past selves through the cruel assistance of the Old City puppeteers. Alongside realising their complicated pasts, Christina Henry intertwines her dystopic world with clever and witty references and links to the original Alice in Wonderland. It is with grim enjoyment that we recognise characters much darker and disturbed than the bizarre but non-threatening personalities in Carroll’s original. ‘Alice’ is by no means a fairy-tale (if anything it was a nightmare) yet it was engrossing to read, and I for one can’t wait to read the sequel book: ‘Red Queen’.

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