**trigger warning book contains scenes of rape and sexual violence**
“Alice dreamed of blood. Blood on her hands and under her feet, blood in her mouth and pouring from her eyes. The room was filled with it.”
Everyone’s heard of Alice in Wonderland and there’s been enough reinventions. I thought this as I sat in Waterstones one day to escape the rain, the cover is what first attracted me to the book and i’ll admit i first thought it was called ‘beware the claws that catch Alice’ before i realised it was just Alice (slightly disappointed have to say). I read the back and was intrigued…I took the book off the shelf and continued to wander the store finding many other great books (anyone else make a list on their phone as they wander or just me?) however at the end this book still stuck in my mind….
And for good reason. From the first page I was hooked, the book was such a disturbing version of the tale that the two stories are completely different. Alice and Hatcher start by escaping the hospital they’ve been confined to because they’ve seen things..Alice remembers a rabbit, one that gave her a scar before she escaped. But her parents believe it was her fault for entering the old city and leave her trapped. After escaping the duo go on an adventure around the old city which itself is split into 4 areas, each controlled by a boss: the walrus,the carpenter,the caterpillar and the cheshire. Girls in the city are taken advantage of and Alice and Hatcher fight their way through on their quest to find the rabbit, and deal with the jabberwocky.
As the story continues Alice learns that she’s faced these demons before and so stops running and starts fighting…
Throughout the book Alice and Hatcher’s descriptions aren’t emphasised too much allowing the reader to really imagine the story. I have to warn however that the book can get very graphic and disturbing particularly in the treatment of the girls by the bosses. If you can deal with the details then you will enjoy this book… I’ve included an example below…
“The wings were not attached to her shoulders by straps. The girl’s back had been cut from the top of her shoulder to the bottom of her rib cage on both sides of her spine. The beautiful butterfly wings were neatly sewn into the exposed muscle. As the girl flexed her shoulders, the wings would beat.”