Alice & Red Queen (The Chronicles of Alice 1 & 2 (Duology))
Author: Christiana Henry
First Published by Titan Books in June 2016 and July 2016
When I first read the blurb of this book, I knew that it was a dark, twisted, spin-off of Alice in Wonderland, which is one of my favourite classics. Especially with the small reviews planted around the blurbs and on the front covers of both the books.
Getting into the first book, we are introduced to the two main characters Alice and Hatcher, who know one another from speaking and seeing each other through a little mouse hole in the wall of a hospital that they were both in for Madness or Murder. We are then quickly taken out of the hospital with Alice and Hatcher escaping, because of a fire caused by the Jabberwock and into the Old City looking for help. The story is set around Alice and Hatcher surviving Old City, meanwhile Alice is also finding out her past, that some called “the Rabbit” is searching for her and that her is a Magician. Along the way, they meet other characters like Cheshire, the Caterpillar, the Walrus etc…
In the second book, we’re still following Alice and Hatcher only their survival taking past in a desert, wasteland that looks to be burnt by something. Along the way, they come across strange magic and creatures, including 3 giants and a town of people, who are under the rule of the evil White Queen and under threat of someone called “The Black King”. As Alice discovers and learns to understand her new abilities, she is also dealt with the task of defeating the White Queen and finding Hatcher, all with the small help of Cheshire inside her head and a revenge Red Queen.
My favourite character is Hatcher because of his dark history and mysterious personality in the first book, but as the book progresses we learn that despite his dangerous and wolf-like personality, he is also has a protective and caring side. This side is directed towards Alice through the books, but he also cares for a long-lost daughter who had been taken from him long ago.
However, throughout the first I also liked Cheshire and his mischievous personality, he likes to play games with Alice though he also helps her in quite a few situations. He is shown to be random in his helpfulness toward Alice in second book, speaking to her only when he wants to and if he thinks its important for her to know something, like when she goes to take the Red Queen’s crown the first time, he says to take it now or it’ll harder to get later. This is proven when Alice doesn’t and then later faces a goblin, before pulling the crown free of wall of dirt and bugs. Apparently, if Alice had taken the crown before heading the White Queen’s castle, she wouldn’t have had to face the goblin.
I really enjoyed this series and I look forward to reading her other books “The Lost Boy” & her upcoming “His Mermaid” in June this year. I would recommend this book for fans of dark fantasy or twisted fairy tales. I rate this book series a 4 out of 5.