Review: The Chronicles of Alice by Christina Henry

SERIES: THE CHRONICLES OF ALICE
GENRE: FANTASY, HORROR, RETELLINGS AND ADULT
PUBLISHER: ACE
PAGES: Alice and Red Queen: 291 pages (Paperback edition)
RATING: ★★★☆☆

‘Alice knew well, better than anyone, the dangers of curiosity.’

The two books in The Chronicles of Alice series are Alice and Red Queen. In the beginning of book one, we meet Alice as she resides in a mental asylum (‘the hospital’) in the Old City. Alongside Alice is her friend Hatcher whom is in the adjacent cell to hers at the hospital. The two have communicated only through a small mouse hole on the wall that connects their cell for ten years. Despite this barrier, the two have formed an uncanny and somewhat romantic relationship.

If you weren’t able to gather from the titles, Alice and Red Queen are retellings of Alice in Wonderland. Although the characters from the original tale are recognisable, if you aren’t fond of retellings that stray fat from the source material, then this isn’t the series for you.

‘The world gobbles us and chews and swallows us, I think happy endings must be accidents.’

23398606Christina Henry’s world is much darker than the Wonderland we are familiar with. In this series, Alice’s world is segregated into the pristine and fair New City, and the more bleak and dangerous Old City. Magic also is considered non-existent, as the Magician’s living in the Old City were hunted out years ago.

Upon escaping from the hospital, Hatcher (whom carries Seer blood), can sense the dangerous Jabberwocky, whom also escaped from the hospital the night it went ablaze. Despite Alice’s disbelief in the Jabberwocky, Hatcher’s fearlessness and drive for blood lead them on a quest to conquer the Jabberwocky.

‘You do not wish for a quiet respectable life. You had one of those and you ran from it, ran to a life of blood and death.’

Alice Henry’s writing style has a very readable quality to it. The beautiful simplicity of it made her Wonderland incredibly easy to absorb. I also loved how these books were relatively short for fantasy books, as each book is just under 300 pages. I appreciate how the author didn’t unnecessarily drag the book on any longer for the sake of things, as I liked how concise this story was. I was actually able to read both books in a week back to back, which is not usual for me!

Unfortunately the ‘horror’ aspect felt really lacklustre, which was kind of my main motivation for reading these books. Although, this could be dependent on what your idea of horror is. Personally, I anticipate to be made fearful or or frightened. I’m not someone who’s very easily scared from books and I felt very little suspense or tension throughout. However, Christina Henry’s world consisted of a lot of vivid and graphic descriptions of horrible things that although didn’t shock me, it may shock other readers.

To anyone considering going into these books, I must give a huge trigger warning for sexual violence of any sort. These book’s are pretty rife with it.

MID YEAR BOOK FREAK OUT TAG

Hello everyone! Sorry for being very M.I.A lately, this exam season was rough. I thought I’d revive this blog with a good tag! I’ve scoured my ‘read-in-2017’ shelf on goodreads (side note: thank you GR for existing, you make tags so much easier) and of the 40 something books I’ve read so far, this is what I was able to conjure up…

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Best book you’ve read so far in 2017

It’s a three way tie between Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017

I haven’t read many sequels and the few I have read haven’t been that enjoyable… so I’ve decided to go with Becky Albertalli’s companion novel to Simon vs. The Homosapiens agenda; The Upside of Unrequited

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

I have been number one of the waitlist for Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare for months and I can’t handle the wait much longer

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

!!!Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo!!! Have I made my excitement clear?!!!

Biggest disappointment

Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica, there are a few reasons I disliked this and the majority can be attributed to the fact I listened to it via audiobook

Biggest surprise

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard – I had heard many criticisms about this and my expectations were a little low, however I was so charmed by the characters and impressed with the intricacy of this world. I can’t wait to see how it’s improved upon in the forthcoming books.

Hunted by Meagan Spooner – I honestly didn’t want to read about a girl who “isn’t like the other girls” but this book surprisingly didn’t go down that road and this retelling of Beauty and the Beast was really enjoyable.

Favourite new author (debut or new to you)

Susan Dennard, author of the Witchland series and Something Strange and Deadly series.

Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give.

Newest fictional crush

Merik from Truthwitch gives me Chaol Westfall vibes circa Crown of Midnight and I was LIVING for it.

Newest favourite character

Madeline McKenzie from Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty is my soul sister

Book that made you cry

The Upside of Unrequited was so relatable and The Hate U Give was too real and I love them both so much even though they made me cry.

Book that made you happy

Wonder Woman Volume Two: Year One – the characters from this book were so charming and I loved seeing their relationships with one another develop. (Also it’s the first WW graphic novel I’ve truly enjoyed.)

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

I honestly buy very little books per year, so I will have to go with a library book I technically ‘received’… which would be the UK edition of Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer. So. Damn. Beautiful.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare – I just need this in my life already

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – apparently this series improves? (well, that statement is only true if you weren’t 100% satisfied with ACOTAR)

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I’ve been meaning to read this one since it’s release but the hype still hasn’t DIED

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This tag was co-created by readlikewildfire and earlgreybooks!

Thanks for reading as always!