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Alice - Review

Alice ♦ Christina Henry | Review

A Dark and Haunting Exploration through the Old City

Alice by Christina Henry is a haunting and atmospheric rendition of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale that left me both intrigued and conflicted. I offer this work solid four stars because of its fresh take on a familiar subject, brilliant weaving of horror themes, and engaging people that inhabit its pages.

AliceAlice by Christina Henry
Series: The Chronicles of Alice #1
Published: 5. August 2015
Publisher: Titan Books Ltd
Pages: 325
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror, Retelling
Audience: Adult
Shelve: Read 2023
Link to Goodreads
Rating:

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo with the screams of the poor souls inside. In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blonde, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn't remember why she's in such a terrible place-just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood... Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago. Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful. And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.


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Alice ♦ Christina Henry

Opinion

One of the most memorable aspects of Alice is the weaving of terror all over the story. Henry expertly creates a dark and frightening mood throughout Old City, providing a haunting backdrop for the characters‘ quest. I was held on the edge of my seat by the evocative descriptions of the spooky surroundings and the unpleasant meetings with other citizens of Old City. The author’s ability to combine the fantastical and the hideous provided dimension to the plot, making it a really immersive experience for enthusiasts of both the fantasy and horror genres.

However, my appreciation of the story was muted by Alice’s character. While her naïveté is reasonable given the circumstances, her choices and decision-making annoyed me throughout the novel. Her tendency to trust too quickly and make hasty choices detracted from the character’s overall plausibility. On the contrary, I was captivated to Hatcher, the male protagonist. His enigmatic demeanor, complicated past, and palpable sense of danger that surrounds him gave complexity to the story and kept me engrossed in what was unfolding.

The Old City location is a definite standout in Alice. Henry’s depiction of this bleak and desolate scenery is captivating. The novel’s overall sense of dread is enhanced by the novel’s dark and winding paths, looming shadows, and continual sense of danger. Old City is brilliantly established as a character in its own right by the author, and its presence lingers long after the final page is turned.

While the general language style is vivid and matches the novel’s somber tone, there were times when I struggled with the text. Some paragraphs seemed unnecessarily dense, and the tempo suffered as a result. Despite these minor artistic issues, the fascinating plot and the strength of the atmospheric components ultimately triumphed.

CAWPILE
Characters
4.5
Atmosphere
3
Writing
4
Plot
4
Intrigue
4
Overall:

Conclusion

In the end, Christina Henry’s Alice is a fascinating and evocative retelling of a classic tale. The horror aspects, compelling characters, and unsettling atmosphere make it a must-read for dark fantasy aficionados. While some readers may be put off by Alice’s naïveté, the entire experience is definitely worth the excursion into the dark depths of Old City.

The Chronicles of Alice — The Series

Alice (#1)Red Queen (#2)
Looking Glass (#3)

About Christina Henry

Christina Henry

CHRISTINA HENRY is the author of NEAR THE BONE, a horror/thriller about a woman trapped on a snowy mountain with more than one kind of monster, and THE GHOST TREE, a coming of age horror novel about a teenage girl growing up in a small town where girls keep dying.

She is also the author of CHRONICLES OF ALICE series – ALICE, RED QUEEN, and LOOKING GLASS – a dark and twisted take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as well as THE GIRL IN RED, a post-apocalyptic Red Riding Hood novel, and LOST BOY: THE TRUE STORY OF CAPTAIN HOOK, an origin story of Captain Hook from Peter Pan. Her novel THE MERMAID is a historical fantasy about P.T. Barnum and the Fiji Mermaid.

She is also the author of the national bestselling BLACK WINGS series (BLACK WINGS, BLACK NIGHT, BLACK HOWL, BLACK LAMENT, BLACK CITY, BLACK HEART and BLACK SPRING) featuring Agent of Death Madeline Black and her popcorn-loving gargoyle Beezle.

She enjoys running long distances, reading anything she can get her hands on and watching movies with samurai, zombies and/or subtitles in her spare time. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.

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Inge | The Belgian Reviewer
Gast
5 Monate zuvor

Great review! I’ve forgotten the name for a novel that is reimagined but I believe there are a few based on Alice in Wonderland. I’ve never read one before because I find it hard not to compare to the original (and like that more) but now I see it can be quite fascinating too to see how the author made it into his own story and still keep the core of the story the same. I don’t think it’s so easy actually. I love your rating report too, it really helps to get a good view on every aspect of a novel, and I like knowing what I’m signing up!

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