Books,  Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge Book 22 – Alice

Hi, Hey, Hello!

I’m sure this slight onslaught of book reviews that I try to sprinkle throughout the week, are no surprise by now, but as usual I’m playing catch up with them because I didn’t do one for a month and still average at reading a book a week. Hopefully they will settle into being weekly se will change to being weekly soon-ish.

Until then though here’s another one:

2017 Reading Challenge, Book 22, Alice
2017 Reading Challenge, Book 22, Alice

Confession time, I’ve never actually read Alice in Wonderland nor have I seen the original Disney film. I’ve watched the Tim Burton ones and a couple of other random adaptations, but the originals? Nope. Anyway, I know that I like the general idea of the book and one day I will read the original.

But for now, I have only read this.

This started off promising. It caught my attention from the get go and I was so excited to get involved in this story. It was the perfect balance of dark and twisted and the writing was just so good. And the level of writing didn’t change, but something about it just disappointed me the more I went through the book.

The whole thing just started to feel rushed and what started out as something that I was super excited about ended with a ‘is that it?’ feeling. It just didn’t feel like there was any kind of satisfaction in the end and I didn’t know what to do with it all. And that sucked but it’s just the way it is.

I can’t even pinpoint what it is or where it is that it started to take a downward turn for me, I think it was about halfway through when they were escaping from Chesire’s and it all felt a bit rushed and then it just sort of continued like that. The characterisation of The Rabbit started out kind of promising and I found the build up of his reveal as a character really interesting, up until the point that he was revealed and I discovered that the idea of him was better than the actual him. Which isn’t what you want from the supposed villain of the story. He was way better in theory than in practice and I think that was my overall issue when I closed the book. The pay off just didn’t seem worth it overall.

Alice herself was a great character and I never stopped liking her as a character. Watching her move from some kind of strength to strength throughout the narrative was great. She was beautifully complex and so rich a character that I was glad it was through her eyes that the reader was moving through this story in. Hatcher was also kind of interesting but he also somehow fell a bit flat sometimes mainly because we only saw him through Alice’s eyes. There were elements of him that I wanted to know more about and also there were parts of his characterisation that felt a bit rushed as the overall arc of the story was built up. He felt a bit lost in the story at points and not as strongly characterised as Alice the more the story moved along. It was more frustrating than anything else.

The writing itself was stunning. Henry does an incredible job of world building and creating stunning images and a vivid picture of what is going on. She doesn’t shy away from aspects of her world either and as such it creates a completely twisted and dark world and it’s a perfectly atmospheric read as well. I would definitely read something else by Henry again and I want to read her second book of this series (for lack of a better word) Red Queen (when I don’t have a heap of other books to read first) because I really enjoyed her writing style and there were aspects of this book that stuck with me in a big way, and the first half of this book is fucking incredible.

This is book is heavy, and dark and I would recommend it but only if you know that is your sort of thing. You can tell within the first couple of pages whether it is your sort of thing or not to be honest because it starts as it means to go on and it doesn’t really let up in terms of tone and style at any point.

So yeah, overall this book was a bit of a mixed bag for me. It was almost literally a tale of two halves. The first half was great and then the second half felt kind of rushed and a bit disappointing. But then on the whole the writing kept me interested and hooked and…yeah, it was a bit of a weird one.

3/5 stars

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

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