Alice by Christina Henry is a gritty telling of Alice and her survival after following the Rabbit down the Rabbit hole. Alice is in a a mental asylum, after life has been changed due to her tea party with the Rabbit. She has no solid memory of what went on, just a vicious scar on her face, brought on by her encounters with the Rabbit and his cohorts. She meets Hatcher, a boy with his own secrets, who finds a way to save her, and himself, from the tortures of the asylum. They are on the run from the Jabberwocky, a monster who can insert itself into the mind of Hatcher. Alice and Hatcher are on a quest to stop the Jabberwocky, and save whoever they can.
I really enjoyed this book. I didn't know what to expect from this, but I got more than I expected. Some of the characters that are in Carroll's books are in this recreation of the story. The readers meet the Caterpillar, a monster who enslaves and traps women to do his bidding in a certain type of club. There is the Walrus, a huge man who was at one point an adversary to Hatcher, and eats the lovelies. The Carpenter is a man who ruthlessly tears through cities and takes what he desires and leaves behind what will serve him. Then there is the Cheshire cat. He continues to be full of riddles and ideas, and no one knows if he is on the side of good or the side of bad. Alice doesn't know if she should trust him, but she does know she should be careful around him.
If you are a reader who is uncomfortable with adult situations such as murder, violence, the abuse of women, and rape, this may not be the book for you. If you are interested in what this might have to offer in regards to a new story, much different from what you might have read before, you will want to check this out. The characters are complex, although there are times when Hatcher is overdone, as he is violent for the sake of being violent. And Alice can be a little whiny, as she depends on Hatcher a lot to save her, or give her the hope of rescue if it is needed.
While the characters can be annoying, I felt that some things could have used more or differing description. All of the characters started blending in with each other, and in the end I couldn't remember what was different about the Caterpillar and the Rabbit, as both were seemingly described the same. The scenery could have been described better as well. Nothing really was described of the scene around them. The city was dirty, and bland, but there wasn't much to remember.
These things didn't hurt the story. It was an interesting idea, and there was a lot to go through, but it wasn't bad. It was a gritty drama with a lot of violence and two people who you root for, even though you aren't sure what you are rooting for.