RED QUEEN

PrintE-mail Written by Ian White

Following directly on from the events in Alice, the first book in this series, Alice and Hatcher have escaped the Old City only to discover that the lush green fields they were expecting to find are actually a ruined landscape blasted into ash and littered with bodies. With the nightmares of the past behind her, Alice is shocked to discover new threats await that are equally as deadly; an enchanted village where trespassers are, quite literally, eaten alive; a hideous goblin with the power to turn everything into a diabolical illusion; a cruel Black King, twisted by fate, intent on destroying everybody in his path; and, most terrifying of all, the mad White Queen who has robbed a village of its children so that she can draw upon their lifeforce. But at least Alice can rely on Hatcher who, despite being a dangerously unpredictable psychotic axe-man, would never leave her side and would definitely never ever turn on her… would he?

There is a lot to admire about Red Queen. To begin with, you don’t need to have read the first book to enjoy this one, which makes a refreshing change (although, after reading this, you will want to read the first book because Christina Henry’s writing is so good you’ll want to stay in this world as long as possible). Secondly, if you’re a fan of Lewis Carroll’s original stories, you’ll enjoy the way Henry has updated his characters, especially the authentic inner voice she gives Alice. Some of our heroine’s asides are so on-the-button that you’d think Carroll had written them himself. In fact, the best way to describe this book is, well, it’s like a collision between Lewis Carroll and Angela Carter. Henry has done for Alice what Carter did for fairy tales in her excellent The Bloody Chamber (aka The Company of Wolves) – taking what we love and are comfortably familiar with and updating it into something dark and adult while still essentially remaining true to the spirit of the original conception. Die-hard fans of Carroll’s work will no doubt appreciate the care and attention she’s given to his universe, even if there’s the occasional moment when a slight Wizard of Oz tone sneaks in. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

If there’s a weakness, it’s in the ending. Although everything is very neatly tied up (with a third adventure obviously on the horizon) and the resolution does work within the rules of the story, it still felt as though something was missing. We can’t say what without giving some major plot spoilers away, but when the story ends it leaves the reader with a strange sense that the climax doesn’t really match the power of the rest of the book.

But, having said that, we still can’t wait for the next one - Red Queen is definitely worth slaying a Jabberwocky for!

RED QUEEN / AUTHOR: CHRISTINA HENRY / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW


Suggested Articles:
Gwendolyn Bloom is a teenage schoolgirl who, ever since her mother was murdered, has spent her life
From the author of the Revelation Space series comes a tale of interstellar war from the perspective
This Young Monster explores the world of some of modern culture's most beloved monsters, taking a lo
In case you hadn’t realised, it’s 70 years since the death of HG Wells, which means (in the UK a
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Book Reviews

THE SONG RISING 21 February 2017

PSEUDOTOOTH 21 February 2017

THE CRUELTY 20 February 2017

SLOW BULLETS 18 February 2017

THE NINTH RAIN 14 February 2017

THIS YOUNG MONSTER 14 February 2017

THE TIME MACHINE 13 February 2017

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS 12 February 2017

HEARTLESS 10 February 2017

WINTER OF THE GODS 09 February 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner