An adaptation of Alice in Wonderland you say? Count me in! Ever since my introduction to Lewis Carrolls’ excellent world building, I have loved Alice and her Wonderland. Giving her stories a dark twist makes it all the better. Ever Alice promised a twisted, sinister tale, an evil Red Queen, and a host of obscure minor characters reimagined. While the story delivered all that, it also fell flat in connecting the pieces.
Ramsay switches viewpoints between Alice and the Red Queen. This should’ve worked but Alice was so boring and the Red Queen had only one defining characteristic – being paranoid. The ending while being a logical twist to Carroll’s world, was utterly predictable, taking away the page-turning suspense. Coupled with the fact that the characters didn’t carry the story, the book was a bit of a dredge to get through.
To make this book a 5 star read, Ramsay should’ve made the queen as evil as can be with a hint of chaotic and Alice a strong-willed, stubborn, and flawed girl (not a doormat!). In fact, this novel could’ve been entirely reliant on complex characters while maintaining the weird and strange Wonderland aspects Carroll already created. There isn’t a need for a big plot development.
Overall, I am giving this book 3 stars because it has good bones but failed on the assembly.
I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.