Here’s some fair warning for you: I am a big fan of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, so I realize that I’m going to be a wee bit biased in my perspective on Christina Henry’s Alice, for better or worse.
Insanity, crimes, and a city split by wealth with an asylum nestled between decrepit buildings. Stuck in a solitary cell, 26 year old Alice passes her time recalling a tea party ten years prior and someone with long ears called the Rabbit. When she hears a voice through a mouse hole, she thinks she’s going even more mad than she already is. But it turns out to be her neighbor, fellow inmate Hatcher and the two of them forge an unbreakable bond. When a building fire allows Hatcher and Alice to escape, they set off on a path of revenge against the people who drastically altered their lives.
It is always a dangerous undertaking to take a beloved classic tale and mutate it in any manner, because there are die-hard fans who might have a vastly different expectation of what would happen in an alternate universe of the story, but I have to say that I’m rather impressed with Henry’s elaboration on Alice’s tale. The story progressed quickly and mixed the aspects of reality with fantasy and imagination quite well. This take on Alice’s life as an adult as a result of her time spent down the rabbit hole is a grittier reality that takes on the horrific truths prevalent in contemporary society like drugs and sexual abuse.
Overall, I’d give it a 5 out of 5 stars.