Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Book Review of Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons

Goodreads Summary: After ten years of being told she can't tell the difference between real life and a fairy tale, Alice finally stops believing in Wonderland. So when the White Rabbit shows up at her house, Alice thinks she's going crazy.
Only when the White Rabbit kicks her down the rabbit hole does Alice realize that the magical land she visited as a child is real.

But all is not well in Wonderland.

The Ace of Spades has taken over Wonderland and is systematically dismantling all that makes it wonderful. Plain is replacing wondrous, logical is replacing magical, and the reason is destroying madness. Alice decides she must help the Mad Hatter and all those fighting to keep Wonderland wonderful.

But how can she face such danger when she is just a girl?

Alice must journey across the stars to unite an army. She discovers that fairy tales are real in the magical world beyond the rabbit hole. But they are not the fairy tales she knows.

Fairy tales have dangers and adventures of their own, and Alice must overcome the trials of these old stories if she wants to unite the lands against Ace.

With the help of Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Snow White and heroes old and new, Alice may have the strength to take back Wonderland.
Goodreads Rating: 4.17 stars with over 42 ratings
Genre Listing: Fantasy. Romance, Fairy Tale Retellings, Young Adult, Adventure
Get the Book: AmazonBook Depository

Review:

Edited 12/1/2016

First things first, I would like to thank the awesome folks at Curiosity Quills. They reached out to me to do some book reviews for some of their authors. That being said:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Curiosity Quills Press in exchange for an honest review.

So, if for those of you who know me (or you know just read my blog) you probably know that I am an avid lover of anything Alice in Wonderland. It is by far my favorite classic. I've lost track of all of the movie/TV versions of it I've watched, and any related books I've read for that matter. So when I was picking my books to review, I knew I had to read this one.

Alice Takes Back Wonderland started off fascinating for me. The Alice in this adventure is a modern day Alice, who's first trip to Wonderland led to a lot of psychiatric trouble and medication. I instantly felt that Alice was extremely likable. I liked how the original was incorporated into this story and found the idea of it just being an echo of the rabbit hole to be ingenious.

Alice's return to Wonderland set me in a philosophical thought process. I couldn't help think about how losing one's wonder was like becoming an adult. At first, everything is silly and nonsense, and then as you get older everything has to become orderly and mainstream. At this point, I was enjoying the book.

I didn't realize that this was going to be a mash-up of a lot of other fairy tales (I didn't read the entire summary.) So, at first, when Alice traveled to Neverland it was surprising. I was initially on board with it and thought it was a neat idea. I started to lose interest once Alice helped defeat hook. After that, I found it just tried to be too much all at once. Characters ended up being more than one character in different stories, and it got annoying to follow. One example of this being "Cinderella Charming." Seriously? At this point, the action, dialogue, and fighting started to become very cheesy and reminiscent of a bad action movie.

Overall, I think it was a decent idea, and I enjoyed it, but it tried to be too many things. I don't think that every single fairy tale character needed to be referenced. For me, this story would have been a lot better if the author just chose a few and kept it simple. My biggest annoyance was how often someone asked: "How is a writing desk like a raven?" We get it. It's silly. It has no answer. It doesn't need to be stated dozens of time in the book.

On a random side note, I've missed reading on my Kindle. I love being able to highlight on it. Since I missed it so much, I'm going to share some of my favorite quotes from the book.

"Do I look wonderful to you?"
"He doesn't look wonderful either.: Eight of Diamonds said, pointing at the pig.
"I resent that," the pig declared. ~ Chapter 4

It seemed perfectly reasonable that every human being was born ready to fly. ~Chapter 12

"Might as well become queen while you're at it." ~ Chapter 14

"He, guess what I still have!" said Fedora
"Is it a block of cheddar?" asked Bowler.
"Why would you bring cheese to a battle?" asked Top Hat.
"Why would you not?" asked Fez  ~ Chapter 21 (for the record I find this to be a great question. Why would you not bring cheese to a battle?)

The beauty of Wonderland is it doesn't have to be anything. It just is.  ~ Epilogue (This line won my heart. I love it so much that I want a tattoo of it in swirly letters.)


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