Review: Alice by Christina Henry


The Chronicles of Alice #1

Christina Henry

A mind-bending new novel inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll…

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, 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.

Publisher: Ace

Published: August 4th 2015

Rape, Abuse, Mutilation, Torture, Blood Depiction, Sex Slavery, Cannibalism, Child Abuse

“Alice dreamed of blood. Blood on her hands and under her feet, blood in her mouth and pouring from her eyes. The room was filled with it.”

I had read a Henry book before a while ago wanting to get into her works and I can firmly say I wish this one was my first. Because dammit I am an INSTANT FAN.

This book was just the perfect blend for me: as someone who loves a good Alice in Wonderland tale and someone who is quite tentative on the horror genre… this gave me everything I didn’t know I wanted. Because I had always seen the OG story as something dark and twisted in and of itself, wrapped in cotton candy floss for the children, so I love Henry’s rendition and unique take on the already disturbing tales.

It’s also a plus that it’s such a quick and enthralling read?? I was sucked in from page one. Now, this book is considerably triggering… it’s definitely not for the faint of heart and this coming from someone who doesn’t get triggered by much. The violence against women here is just a normality and the things that happen…. definitely made me sick. Though I will say that it doesn’t feel like a plot device, but moreso used as an emphasis on the world as a whole… I can’t speak on it much, but it didn’t feel like a disrespectful portrayal in my eyes. However, I’d definitely recommend saving this one for when you’re in the right headspace.

“Alice felt she hated that word. “Interesting” meant that you attracted the notice of men who would hurt you to possess whatever they found “interesting” about you.”

The world building was as strange as you’d expect, but it was familiar, vivid and different enough to where I wasn’t lost? There were twist and turns and abnormalities and absurdities and stranger adventures. Yet, even the voice and writing, the characters of Alice and Hatcher managed to grip me from page one. And the side characters managed to steal the show full stop. The Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar, the Walrus, the Rabbit each infamous and despicable villains that both bewitched me and disturbed me deeply.

As for our main character, I love that Alice found a bit of her agency in the way that she did. It slowly crept out of her like a butterfly from its cocoon, from being so wholly dependent and scared of the world to discovering her strength and capabilities… we love to see it.

“Where’s home, my Alice?” Hatcher said. “Where’s home? We don’t have a home, you and I.”

Now, the romance? Was a thing I was not expecting to root for as hard as I did? This isn’t the healthiest relationship in a sense, with Alice’s co-dependency and Hatcher’s lust for blood and murder, but Alice and Hatcher in their madness, their thirst for retribution, just… THEM (my enjoyment of this book is making me look quite scary oops). They’re just two people who came together through their brokenness and hurt and blood and death and mania. No one is more perfect for the other, in all of their gnarled and fucked up ways.

This was just a tale that was so worth the read for me — this chaotic, dark rabbit hole of a book. I can definitely see myself rereading this one, which if you know me sis one of the highest praises I can give a book. Not only is Henry a beacon on my radar, book two couldn’t be in my hands fast enough.

5 thoughts on “Review: Alice by Christina Henry”

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