5 out of 5 stars | Goodreads
I haven’t posted individually yet because I was over-thinking what should be my official “first” post. Eventually I realized that this was daft and that I should post something that I enjoyed, so I’ve chosen Alice by Christina Henry. Also, a note: I can’t do reviews that talk about prose, characterization, or structure or all of these fancy ways of evaluating books. I can’t do that, I don’t think like that! So I’m basically going to structure my reviews thusly: What I like and why, what I don’t like and why.
I really enjoyed Alice. It was the first time I read anything by this author and I only stumbled onto the book by accident – it was the only thing in the library that looked appealing and I needed a read for my commute so I grabbed it without reading the back. I love it because, I appreciate Henry’s unique and innovative take on the Alice story and its host of oddball characters.
Without giving too much away: Alice lives in a world where magic is discouraged if not outright banned for everyone except what I’ll call “high wizards” and some important gangsters. Alice, though, she’s in a pickle with Hatter and they’ve had rough, rough lives. Of course other beloved Alice characters have their personalities torn apart and stitched together in a unique take in this novel with heartbreaking and sometimes cruel ways.
And I really liked that! I loved that Henry’s take is adult, dark and nitty and gritty. I appreciate that she built the world from a seedy point of view: In this place, magic is power and only the powerful can hold it and what this power looks like is more focused on society’s underbelly than overt expressions of it (like royalty, etc). It’s a different perspective on magic and it is both painful and difficult to read – which is why it’s great and you should read it.
What didn’t I like? I’m really scratching my head here because I loved the entire thing. I devoured the book in a few hours over one day. So I guess, I really liked everything.
But a warning: If you’re triggered by sexual assault, abuse and trauma I would not recommend this book.