Wow. When you start this book, you can’t put it away – although it’s quite a disturbing story (don’t read it before bedtime!). Everyone knows the classic tale of Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland – where a blond girl who chased a rabbit, got into the rabbit hole and his world. Christina Henry turned this fairy-tale into a very dark and sometimes disturbing world, although I must say that this story is not very similar to the original Alice in Wonderland.
Meet Alice: a sad girl who has vague memories of a rabbit and removing his eye. She is friends with the Hatcher, who killed several people with his axe and isn’t quite the sweetheart. They go on an adventure together, to find and kill the Jabberwock and face the rabbit. Names you know from the classic story are in this book – they’re not animals, but the author has transformed them into (sometimes terrible) people. So the Cheshire cat is not a cat and the Rabbit is not really a rabbit… But you still recognize their gestures and voices. The author has made sure that you can see Alice’s world in your mind by just reading (which I think is awesome) – a gloomy city where you as a woman can not just cross the street. Rapes, beatings and torture are common, and are defined by Christina Henry (sometimes too good, bleh).
“The wings were not attached to her shoulders by straps. The girl’s back had been cut from the top of her shoulder to the bottom of her rib cage on both sides of her spine. The beautiful butterfly wings were neatly sewn into the exposed muscle. As the girl flexed her shoulders, the wings would beat.”
The world building in this book is fantastic and the story itself is great. The only thing I found quite annoying to read, were the rapes and torture. Because the story is so well and detailed written, I couldn’t read this book before bedtime. But if you can handle it, this is definitely worth the read.