Alice — Julia Crane

Another tale from the anthology Once Upon A Curse.

I’ve quite enjoyed the previous tales from this anthology, and was quite looking forward to one that was “Alice and Wonderland” inspired.   Oh my, how utterly disappointed i was.

To begin, you’ll realise when you get to the apparent end of this tale that this is simply the beginning of one of Julia’s books and you’re supposed to be so impressed with this that you go running off to Amazon to buy it.   Julia, and/or the editor of the anthology, should — in the very least — have had the decency to warn the reader of this fact at the beginning of the tale.

It wouldn’t be so bad if this were any good and one was left wanting to go and buy the full story, but it’s an utterly childish love story and one soon finds oneself just wishing it over and done with.   So yes, there’s a part of me that’s very pleased that this is just an excerpt and i was therefore relieved of having to wade through the whole tedious story.

Furthermore, it doesn’t have anything to do with “Alice and Wonderland” other than the protagonist is called Alice and her adoptive mother is referred to as the Red Queen.   It’s an insult to your readers to take a half finished story you had lying around and rename the characters and try and pass it off as a “Alice and Wonderland” tale.

I’m putting this in “The Deleted” even though i can’t delete this as it’s part of an anthology that so far i’ve been enjoying.   But seriously, all “Alice and Wonderland” fans, just avoid this tale if you come across it.

Julia’s Page

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The Clockwork Alice — DeAnna Knippling

I really enjoyed All the Retros at the New Cotton Club, so i was really happy to discover that Deanna’s also wrote some “Alice and Wonderland” stuff.

Instead of the fun clockwork story about Alice and all things Wonderland that i was expecting, i found a story heavily biased towards the real life of Alice Liddell and her relationship with Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll): this story is set several years after Charles’ death.

I’m not going to get into my views about Dodgson here, this is about DeAnna’s views, and she does a fairly good job of brushing over things (sweeping them under the carpet) and tidy things up in making a story out of Alice’s and Charles’ final years.   Although, to be honest, i think that DeAnna just makes things worse: i’m left with the opinion that this story could be a nice little dose of Streisand effect for a lot of its readers.

And for those of you feeling the effects of Streisand, you can begin at Wikipedia.

All that aside, it’s a fairly good read, and a must for all Alice and Wonderland fans: just expect it to be more about Alice reminiscing, through thoughts and dreams of Wonderland, than a pure Wonderland adventure.   Sadly, there’s a few typos that detract on occasion, and that are so obvious they should have been easily fixed before publishing.

Final words, other than those few annoying typos, DeAnna’s a very good writer.   The Queen of Stilled Hearts is in “The Pile” and i’m looking forward to giving that a read soon.

DeAnna’s Page

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — Lewis Carroll

When i read this last time i never wrote a review for it: possibly because i’d only just written a review for Alice’s Adventures Under Ground and didn’t really see the need to say much the same for this book.

So what brings me to reading this book again and writing a review now, you may ask.   Well, it’s because i just finished reading Heartless by Marissa Meyer and i so wanted to see how well it would flow into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland if it was read as a prequel.

Now i’m certainly not saying that this book needs a prequel, but if it were to have one then Heartless has my full blessings to occupy that honoured place.

Yes, one can argue that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a plenty wonderful book and stands perfectly alone without any need for a prequel, but, having just read Heartless beforehand as a prequel, i can fully attest that it makes for a much better reading experience if you do.

Here be some more “Alice and Wonderland” books.

Lewis’ Page

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Heartless — Marissa Meyer

Another book for fans of all things “Alice and Wonderland”.

In Heartless, Marissa has certainly written a very good prequel to the Lewis Carroll books, so much so that i now feel the need to re-read Wonderland and Looking Glass.

If you’ve ever wondered why the Hatter is Mad, why the Queen of Hearts likes chopping everyone’s heads off, where Jabberwockies come from, and lots more besides, then this is the book for you.

Well written, very enjoyable and quite unputdownable.

Marissa’s Page

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Red Queen — Christina Henry

I really enjoyed reading Alice and was expecting a bit more of the same, but this book feels quite different.

Whereas Alice had me feeling like i was reading the adventure of an escaped patient from a max security mental hospital who hasn’t had her meds and has gone into full blown psychosis; Red Queen read far more like normal fantasy, probably due to Alice finding her magical abilities in this book.   Both books have been great in their own way and i’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading this wonderful new take on Alice in Wonderland.

I certainly look forward to reading more from Christina in the future.

Here be some more “Alice and Wonderland” books.

Christina’s Page

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Alice — Christina Henry

Wow.   This was awesome.

This can pretty much be read as the story of a paranoid schizophrenic who has escaped from a max security mental hospital and is rapidly withdrawing after being heavily medicated for years on anti-psychotics.   It truly has the hall marks of full blown psychosis.

Of course, you can read it as a fantasy novel that bears no relevance to the real world if you don’t want to think about why people in full blown psychosis due to rapid withdrawal of anti-psychotic meds go around killing people.

Whichever way you want to read this, it’s a fantastic re-telling of the Alice in Wonderland story.

Straight onto Red Queen now.   I’m so looking forward to more of Alice and Hatcher.

Here be some more “Alice and Wonderland” books.

Christina’s Page

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After Alice — Gregory Maguire

Reading other reviews one finds a lot of complaining about Gregory’s lexicon.   While i can agree that Gregory does have a rather outdated lexicon, i think those who wrote those reviews are very much missing the point of Gregory’s writing.   The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland were very much books of the Victorian age and Gregory’s writing in his spin offs from both simply tends to keep with the language of that age and the words used — he is, after all, a Victorian spin off specialist so why be surprised at the Victorian use of words in his writing?   I would definitely say that all the words i had to quickly look up on my Kindle were Victorian throw backs and to be quite honest they didn’t detract from Ada’s story at all for me.   If anything, they brought a genuineness to Ada’s story in that they kept it within the upper middle class Victorian world in which this is set.

And i also find it nice to learn a few new (old and forgotten) words to baffle people with: pompous as accused by curmudgeons or simply having fun with language?

There are certainly worse writers out there for using overblown language, and they have no excuse at all for doing so as they are writing contemporary fiction, not Victorian spin offs.

If you can’t be bothered with a little Victorian style language then maybe this book isn’t for you.   But if you can just accept it’s there for a valid reason and deal with it accordingly and enjoy expanding your vocabulary a little along the way then you’re in for a good yarn.

I read this immediately after reading the original 4 books on Wonderland and i felt it flowed really well from those.

Although, unlike the original Alice books, this book is certainly not for young children.   It’s definitely aimed at a more mature audience: those who enjoyed Alice in their childhood who would like to revisit Wonderland as late teens and adults.

The story does end with several loose ends, which i hope means Gregory will be coming back to Wonderland in the future to finish these loose ends off.

I for one enjoy Gregory’s writing and will always be a fan of his books.

Here be some more “Alice and Wonderland” books.

Gregory’s Page

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The Hunting of the Snark an Agony, in Eight Fits — Lewis Carroll

The last of the 4 books in the Alice series.   Although it’s not actually about Alice because Carroll had stopped chasing after Alice Lidell at this point in time because Alice had grown tall.   He had moved onto another young girl, i believe her name was Gertrude.   So one wonders what he alludes to with the word, “Snark”.

That aside, it’s a great poem, but the layout on this version leaves a lot to be desired.   But it is a free version so shouldn’t really complain.

Would recommend paying a few pence for a version with a better layout if you do wish to read it.

Here be some more “Alice and Wonderland” books.

Lewis’ Page

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Through the Looking-Glass — Lewis Carroll

As much as these are wonderful stories, if we just take them as stories, the tale behind them is, i think, a rather dark and disturbing one.

Who is this written for?   Is it to confuse or calm the young girls that Carroll was chasing after?   Or is it Carroll dealing with his demons?   Or a bit of both?

Here be some more “Alice and Wonderland” books.

Lewis’ Page

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