Deep in a dark room within a hospital, there is a young woman whose name is Alice. She doesn't know why she's been put in such a terrible place, surrounded by padded walls and the screams of demented souls, all she can remember is the Rabbit, and those memories aren't pleasant at all…
So begins Alice, by Christina Henry, who has taken the Alice in Wonderland story and manipulated it into a dark, brutal and often disturbing tale of her own. There have been many variations on the same theme over the decades, but Henry’s vision gets under the skin right from the start, creating a deep sense of unease within the first few lines. Her Alice isn't the corn-haired innocent that Carroll readers will be familiar with; instead, she's damaged and tormented by the events of her past, a woman who is forced to team with a homicidal maniac in order to escape their prison.
Many writers have imitated Carroll’s prose style with varying degrees of success, but Henry pays homage to Alice's creator through seemingly familiar characters that, in her hands, become darker aspects of their former selves. Rather than curiosity, it's a palpable sense of menace that pervades the book from start to finish; Alice's escape from the asylum has also freed a monster, one that torments from afar, leaving bloody corpses in its wake, but gets closer with each turn of the page.
Author Christina Henry has created something incredibly unique here, a book that manages to respect its source material, while twisting it enough to make it unexpected. The story is by no means simple; it delves deep into the psychology of its characters, keeping Alice’s past a mystery until the very end, peeling away layers of clues to both protagonist and reader as the chapters fly by. It's a book that insists on being read in a single sitting, packed with jeopardy and moments of emotion, a story that brings its characters to the fore, ensuring it’s their needs that drive the narrative, rather than plodding from one encounter to the next. Often violent, but always captivating, Alice is a dark delight that will leave readers satisfied, yet still longing for more from this talented writer.
ALICE (CHRONICLES OF ALICE 1) / AUTHOR: CHRISTINA HENRY / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 28TH