In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.
In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…
Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.
Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.
And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.
“There was a hideous sound from outside, the sound of all the monsters beneath the bed howling as one, the sound of all the lurking nightmares that clung to the darkness, the sound of something terrifying realizing that it could be frightened itself…”
This book was fucked up. Seriously, not for the faint of heart.
This story takes place in a fictional place called the Old City. Alice went missing at sixteen. When she finds her way back to her parents, with blood on her thighs and no memories, she is sent to a hospital.
Ten years later, still at the hospital, a fire allows her the chance to escape. With the help of Hatcher, a man who is also missing memories and was her neighbor in the hospital, Alice has to find the Jabberwock, which was also freed during the fire, and figure out what exactly happened to her all those years ago.
All of the characters from Alice in Wonderland appear here- the Rabbit, Cheshire, Caterpillar- except here they are incredibly terrifying. I cannot stress this enough, THIS BOOK IS EXTREMELY DISTURBING. Also, there’s a lot of rape in this, so huge trigger warning.
I really liked Alice and Hatcher, they were both so flawed and determined. Alice started out as a fragile and damaged girl (understandable) but she showed so much growth throughout the book it was impossible not to like her, though I do wish we learned a bit more about Hatcher. (Maybe in the sequel??) Also, the writing was fantastic and beautiful, surprising when you consider what this book is about.
So yeah, this really isn’t anything like Alice in Wonderland, aside from the characters. But if you have a strong stomach and like creepy/horrifying retellings you should definitely check this out. I think I saw somewhere that this is part one of a two part series, so I’m really excited about that.