Title: Ever Alice
Author: H.J. Ramsay
Edition: Ebook ARC from NetGalley
Blurb: Alice’s stories of Wonderland did more than raise a few eyebrows—it landed her in an asylum. Now at 15 years of age, she’s willing to do anything to leave, which includes agreeing to an experimental procedure. When Alice decides at the last minute not to go through with it, she escapes with the White Rabbit to Wonderland and trades one mad house for another: the court of the Queen of Hearts. Only this time, she is under orders to take out the Queen. When love, scandal, and intrigue begin to muddle her mission, Alice finds herself on the wrong side of the chopping block.
Review: I have to start by saying that the reason I got this book was because I am a huge fan of anything Alice in Wonderland. I eat it up. Because of that, anything fiddling around with my beloved story will be under intense scrutiny. Not that you can’t change things and have fun. Wonderland is almost always changing in the most absurd ways possible. That’s what’s awesome about it. But you have to do it right.
This book did it right. Yay!
This book picks up Alice’s story as a teenager, still working on wrapping her head around what happened in Wonderland. Her family doesn’t believe her and has been sending her to an asylum, which gets worse when she is going to have surgery in order to try and fix whatever is “wrong” with her. I hated that part, but it was in line with what people would have thought in that time period. It was definitely realistic.
A direct contrast with the chapters in Wonderland, which was great. I thought H.J. Ramsay had a perfect voice, coming very close to mimicking the absurdity of the original novel. Up is down, left is right, and no one questions the Queen of Hearts. The chapters alternate between Alice, who gets rescued from the asylum and brought back to Wonderland by the White Rabbit, and Rosemund, the Queen of Hearts who is trying to stop a plot to take her throne.
The story really plays up the question of whether this is real or whether it’s in Alice’s head until the very end, when you find out the truth. Many of the original characters are there, like the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, and Bill the Lizard. There are also some new characters we get to meet, like Thomas (the Prince of Hearts) and Constance (the Queen of Spades). It makes the story familiar while still being very new and exciting. For me, it was a really good blend.
GoodReads rating: 4 stars. If you like Wonderland, you should really enjoy this.