ARC Review: Alice Takes Back Wonderland – David D. Hammons

Alice Takes Back Wonderland – David D. Hammons

22590207After ten years of being told she can’t tell the difference between real life and a fairy tale, Alice finally stops believing in Wonderland. So when the White Rabbit shows up at her house, Alice thinks she’s going crazy.
Only when the White Rabbit kicks her down the rabbit hole does Alice realize that the magical land she visited as a child is real.

But all is not well in Wonderland.

The Ace of Spades has taken over Wonderland and is systematically dismantling all that makes it wonderful. Plain is replacing wondrous, logical is replacing magical, and reason is destroying madness. Alice decides she must help the Mad Hatter and all those fighting to keep Wonderland wonderful.

But how can she face such danger when she is just a girl?

Alice must journey across the stars to unite an army. She discovers that fairy tales are real in the magical world beyond the rabbit hole. But they are not the fairy tales she knows.
Fairy tales have dangers and adventures of their own, and Alice must overcome the trials of these old stories if she wants to unite the lands against Ace.
With the help of Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Snow White and heroes old and new, Alice may have the strength to take back Wonderland.

Release Date: September 28th, 2015

Thank you to Curiosity Quills for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

I love all things Alice-inspired, so obviously I jumped at the chance to read this ARC. It was so good!! Especially because there was a lapse between when I requested it and when I actually read it so I had time to forget that other fairy tale creatures showed up and made the whole thing AMAZING.

What I liked:

-the cover, obviously, is gorgeous.

-the other fairy tale characters and the differences between their real stories and the “echoes” we have in our world. Loved Peter Pan (I shipped them hard), loved the twist on Pinocchio, loved the whole thing with the princesses…I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but it was really well done and integrated seamlessly with the plot.

The seven dwarves were especially awesome. Two words: pinstripe suits.

-Alice herself. She ended up being funny and smart and tough and pretty much exactly how you’d want a grown up Alice to be. She reminded me a lot of Tim Burton’s Alice (actually, the whole concept reminded me of that movie, so it’s a good thing I really enjoy Tim Burton’s take), which led to me rewatching the movie this weekend (never a bad thing).

I especially liked how, when she was changing outfits because her dress was ruined, she turned up her nose at the other dresses that were offered to her, choosing instead pants and a shirt because she didn’t “need it to be pretty”. Plus her pants had pockets for her shotgun shells, so it was more convenient than a frilly dress.

-at first I, along with other characters, was perplexed as to why exactly Alice wanted to take back Wonderland. It was like she had a goal, but she herself couldn’t reason why this goal was so important to her. That should have been annoying, but it actually made sense in a confusing way. I think this quotation from the book sums it up:

Magic, it seemed, showed no sign of scientific reason. It was frustrating, yet made me feel joyful to know that something existed in this universe that was completely devoid of rational explanation”.

-this quote

If acting outside a set list of thing to do is what you call mad, then we’re all mad here.

Sidenote: I already love the original “we’re all mad here” line (enough to get it permanently inked on my skin), so of course I liked this more detailed version.

What I didn’t like:

-attacking the pirates’ ship in Neverland seemed to take a long time, plus I don’t know what a Gatling gun is, so I had a hard time imagining it.

-there were some emotional moments that felt like they were glossed over so that it didn’t slow the action down which was understandable, but they were the moments where I actually wanted Alice to stop and process what was happening. Chalk it up to her being mad, I suppose.

Overall, I think he did a fantastic job capturing Alice’s whimsical voice, even making me laugh a few times, and as a fan of mixed up fairy tales, I loved seeing other characters outside of their stories.

I wish I had read this a couple of weeks earlier so that I could have added it to my top ten list of fairy tale retellings.

Rating:

4 interrobangs

4.5 interrobangs

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