“Alice” by Christina Henry

Hey everyone! Guess what book I finished listening to about a week ago? Any ideas? Any clues? This post may or may not have everything to do with “Alice” by Christina Henry. I’m leaning towards more along the lines of nothing. So, goodbye. See you.

…still here? Really?

Okay, I guess if you’re still here, you want to know my thoughts on “Alice.” And I have thoughts. Many of them. Buckle in. “Alice” is a very intense joyride.

First, this is not Disney Alice. This is not the nineteenth century Alice. This is your nightmares dropped into an R rated film Alice. There’s sex, violence, and abuse. If that’s not you’re thing—Run. Run far away. Luckily, I like dark and gritty retellings as long as the grit is tastefully used. “Alice,” did just that.

I got this audiobook because it was on sale on Audible. I also got this book because Jenny Sterlin was narrating it. I can never, never, EVER refuse a Jenny Sterlin book. So for narrating, I am biased. I will love every little bit of the narration as if Jenny’s voice was sent from Greek Gods. So, there’s that.

“Alice” is about a girl who used to live in the New City—aka, the rich, clean, and high class city as opposed to the Old City which is dirty, crime ridden, and a cesspit. After going to the Old City with her friend Dore, Alice comes out sliced up, bleeding, and alone. She babbles about a white rabbit and is half mad from her ordeal. Instead of being concerned parents of a 16-year-old girl who was clearly horribly molested, they stick Alice into an Insane Isylum located in the Old City. Great parents.

Alice is locked up for ten years. She becomes friends with another inmate, Hatcher. He’s there because he killed people with a hatchet. The two escape and withdraw into the Old City thanks to a fire that sets the isylum ablaze.

There’s now the threat of the mysterious Jabberwock who threatens to destroy everything, and the White Rabbit who will sooner or later find out that his Alice is back. Alice and Hatcher must take out both opponents if they want a happily ever after.

For the most part I had a great deal of fun with this book. All of the cozy characters from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” are back and reimagined as bloody murderers out to use and abuse the world. Everything still fits and is cohesive in this world where no one, especially women, is safe. The threats are real. People get brutally killed. I was honestly afraid for our main characters.

Because I was having so much fun listening, the aspects that didn’t really gel stuck out like sore thumbs for me.

Alice was like a stubborn mule. Of course, she has the right to stop and think, but she simply refused to explore a concept about herself that would have literally saved the day as soon as she released it.

Hatcher didn’t seem to be of much use. Yes, he’d cut up a few people to protect Alice, but he didn’t really do much. He’s suppose to be the love interest, but I really didn’t the love from him. We are told that he loves Alice, but I didn’t get it. I felt like in this setting, we didn’t really need a love interest for Alice. Again, yes, she is allowed to have love, but she just came out of a ten year daze full of medications and isolation. She needs time to heal and find out who she is.

As for some plot devices…they seemed too convenient. They made the stand offs between seriously scary characters—the Walrus, the White Rabbit, the Jaberwock—seem very anticlimactic. I was really hoping for Alice to have a splendid revenge. She gets one really good blow in and then is kind of just there for the others.

Just imagine Voldemort coming out of nowhere after a terrifying buildup in book one and Quirrel being all like- “Naw, I had enough of this.” And offing Voldemort by drowning him.

NOT THAT SATYSFYING, IS IT?!

Despite all this, I really enjoyed the book. There’s a second one after this that I hope to get to at some point. Right now, I’m going to listen to another series to clean my palate. I don’t really rate things here, so all I can say is that if you can stomach violence amidst a fantasy setting, go for it. This book was engaging and fun with familiar characters turned killers. I would definitely listen to this again.

(PS: Cheshire was the best character hands down. Fight me.)

Audiobook Talk-Frostfire

So, I listen to a bunch of audiobooks that I get from Audible.com. I am usually listening to something every day. When I have reading homework for class, I usually attempt to find the material on Audible so that I can listen to it. Hey, it’s a busy 40 hour work week plus being a full time student! I gotta get my literature in!

I recently finished listening to Frostfire by Amanda Hocking. I loved Ms. Hocking’s Tylle series, seeing as it was already up my alley where a heroine gets together with an anti hero. You barely get something like that nowadays, or…any days? Anyway! I really wanted to like the first book in the Kanin series as well. The set up was great. A backstabbing guard named Konstantin Black. An outsider tracker called Brynn Aven. The forbidden love interest, Ridley Dresden. Hey. As long as there are no love triangles, I’m good. (Please, PLEASE no love triangles!)

Or so I thought.

It’s difficult to like a book when the main character is hard to connect with. She says that she’ll never be in a relationship, but then she admits that she is in love. She says that she wants nothing more than to straight up murder someone, and then she actually really doesn’t want to. She wants to be smooched, and then the smooch is a mistake. I can’t read you, Brynn!

I am also not completely sure about Ridley. Is he a good love interest or isn’t he? I can’t tell. Same with Konstantin Black. Evil? Not evil? Chaotic good, neutral, so on? I can’t get a read on these characters, and at times it got pretty frustrating. I actually had to skip a little bit of a scene where Brynn goes over the top with one of her friends just because she doesn’t know whether to be for relationships or against them.

The pacing was a little slow. We stay in one spot for almost the entire book before we kind of meander to another place where the characters just kind of…hover around a bit. And the ending just kind of, err, ends. Just like that. I felt like the book was in mid sentence and that the recording had just dropped off.

As for the recording, the narrator did a wonderful job. I had fun listening to her interesting accent that seemed to match what the Kanin are supposed to sound like.

I’m not going to give out any stars or ratings. I just wanted to talk about the book as a sort of release of thoughts. I’ll probably do that from now on with what I’m listening to. All in all, I did enjoy listening to Frostfire. I wasn’t as satisfied with it as I was with the first Trylle book, but it was still engaging enough to finish.

Eh, what the heck! I’ll give the book something. I give this book…umm, a passable listen medal! Haha.

(PS: I’m still going to finish this series. I can’t just leave it alone!)