Author: Cameron Jace
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Length: 254 pages
After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll's paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland's real whereabouts.
Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamonds, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.
Protagonist: Alice Wonder is insane, or is she. Alice only remembers one week of her life at the beginning of this book, and has no idea who she truly is. Is she the mass murderer the world thinks she is or was it all a big misunderstanding? So I was a bit hesitant to Alice at the beginning of the book, even though she's kind of kick-ass in the beginning, I didn't see the potential she truly had, mainly because I wasn't sure how the story was going to progress. After a while though I began to really like Alice as she began her journey of self discovery and she tried to find out where she belongs in her mad world.
Romance: So the romance in this book is incredibly light, in fact Jack Diamonds, Alice's love interest of sorts, only appears in a small handful of scenes the entire book. Now you'd think I'd be upset that Jack sort of has an insta-love experience with Alice, but actually it fits really well with the madness and insanity of this book. It also helps that Alice realizes that his forward advances were out of place for the small amount of time they knew each other. Even thought they only share a small sampling of scenes I'm very interested and invested in seeing where this romance goes in future installments.
World-Building: This book really likes to screw with your head. I'm not joking, by the end of this book I don't know what's real or what I'm supposed to believe. Now sometimes the insanity aspect of this book comes on too strong, too gimmicky, or just so confusing that it detracts from the story rather than helps it. However when it's spot on, it really brings this book to a whole new level. Now I'm not an Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass scholar or anything, in fact as much as it pains me to say it I have yet to read the source material, however it's easy to tell that this isn't your average Alice retelling, in fact it seems like, while the author did take plenty of creative liberties in terms of how he decided to interpret the characters and story, this story seems to resonate as very true to the original tale, though again I haven't read the original source material so what do I know.
Predictability: With it's focus on madness and insanity it was very hard to figure out where this book was going to go. There were some things that I had theories on but it was hard to concretely predict things, or call them far enough in advance to really feel like I cracked the code in this book. However, since the chapters are so short and they usually leave off at a really intense moment, it's hard to really worry about what's coming next.
Ending: So the ending is really where EVERYTHING happens, where I'm left wondering what in the world I just read and how much of it I can actually believed happened in the world set up by this author. I have a gut feeling about where this book is headed, and I'm really interested in seeing what happens next and maybe if I'm lucky clearing up some of the madness presented in this book.