Title: Ever Alice
Author: H.J Ramsay
Genre: Fantasy, Teens & YA, Sci-Fi
Release Date: August 1st 2019
If you know me personally you would know that Alice in Wonderland is one of my all time favourite books, I grew up watching the Disney version of the film over and over again. In fact I know my parents have a VHS of me somewhere singing ‘All the Flowers’ proudly in the front room for the whole family.
When I saw that Ever Alice was available on Netgalley to review I jumped at the chance, it sounded like a mixture of the world I once knew as a child mixed with the harsh realities of mental health. By now if you’ve been reading my blog you will know that I love a good dark Fantasy fiction, especially tales with a twist.
Here is the synopsis pulled from Netgalley:
Alice’s stories of Wonderland did more than raise a few eyebrows—it landed her in an asylum. Now at 15 years of age, she’s willing to do anything to leave, which includes agreeing to an experimental procedure. When Alice decides at the last minute not to go through with it, she escapes with the White Rabbit to Wonderland and trades one mad house for another: the court of the Queen of Hearts. Only this time, she is under orders to take out the Queen. When love, scandal, and intrigue begin to muddle her mission, Alice finds herself on the wrong side of the chopping block.
I have now finished reading Ever Alice and my review is below, there will be a few spoilers so be warned.
Ever Alice is a fun take on the world of Wonderland with a pretty dark twist, if you know the universe you feel like you already know these characters regardless of their new personalities.
The book takes us through a journey of Alice who is now 15 as she is labelled insane and shipped off to an asylum. Her parents seem to care more about her adored sister who is soon to be married over Alice, you get the impression they’d love Alice at the wedding but also don’t want her to ‘spoil’ the day.
On the day of Alice’s major surgery at the asylum to ‘fix’ her and forget about the magical Wonderland Alice is approached by the White Rabbit, she remembers him from her first visit and he convinces her to leave with him and come back to Wonderland. However this comes with a price and he tasks her with killing the Queen of Hearts.
The way the book is laid out is intermittent chapters between Alice and Rosamund (Queen of Hearts) which I loved, although you’re supposed to hate the Queen of Hearts there were some moments within her chapters where I kind of warmed to her?! I’m not sure if anyone else felt the same – but then again I am a fan of the villains.
I loved being back in the world of Wonderland, it felt different, mature and was clearly handled with care when writing about beloved characters. It’s always a risk writing a book based in a world which was fairly whimsical and enjoyed by primarily children – then flipping it on it’s head and making a version for adults. I could not put the book down, the pacing and tone was done very well – twists and turns were added when you least expected it and left you wanting to just finish one more chapter.
Overall I really enjoyed this book, loved the plot idea and absolutely adored being back in the world of Wonderland. It has a mix of humorous moments, horrifying deaths and shocks that would make you put the book down and take a second to recover.
The end left me wanting more and I’d love a sequel (hint, hint) – I think that was my only complaint is that I actually wanted it to be longer, but I guess that is not a bad thing. I will be recommending this to many of my friends who are into YA Fantasy with a twist!
*This book was received for review.
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