Author: H.J. Ramsay
Genre: Fantasy | Fairy Tale Retelling |Young Adult Fiction |
Publisher: Red Rogue Press
Release Date: August 1st 2019
I received this book to read and review as part of the 2020 BBNYA competition and the BBNYA tours organised by the TWR Tour team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest.
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Alice’s stories of Wonderland did more than raise a few eyebrows—it landed her in an asylum. Now at 15 years of age, she’s willing to do anything to leave, which includes agreeing to an experimental procedure. When Alice decides at the last minute not to go through with it, she escapes with the White Rabbit to Wonderland and trades one madhouse for another: the court of the Queen of Hearts. Only this time, she is under orders to take out the Queen. When love, scandal, and intrigue begin to muddle her mission, Alice finds herself on the wrong side of the chopping block.
What I Liked
I’ve never been the biggest fan of Alice in Wonderland. Of course, I’ve seen the Disney animated film but I was never bothered about reading the book. However, there’s been a lot of Fairy Tale retellings around so when the blog tour was announced for Ever Alice I thought I would give it a go and I ended up reading it in one night! I loved the dark twist and I was instantly hooked from page one.
Alice has returned from Wonderland and it’s now a few years later. With the world still lingering in her mind, she’s ended up in an asylum after everyone thinks she has gone mad. The way Ever Alice is set up, it can act as a sequel to the original but a lot creepier.
If you’re familiar with Alice in Wonderland, you’ll know who the Queen of Hearts is, or Rosamund as she’s called. She is convinced there is a traitor among her Queendom and won’t stop the beheadings until they are dead. Now Alice is back, the only thing left to do to save Wonderland is to kill the Rosamund so normality can be restored. Well as normal as it gets.
The detail in the writing is amazing, making it so easy to get lost in Wonderland. I was constantly questioning myself what was real. It is so fun and descriptive it’s hard not to be fully consumed by the story. I love how everything is backwards. It may seem like nonsense and Alice definitely questions it a few times. But partway through it all starts to make sense and lets the reader imagine they are part of Wonderland.
I love Alice’s mind and the whole world she has created within, you can really see her become part of Wonderland again like she once was. I was shocked when I started questioning if it was actually real? It’s hard to tell sometimes. I do sympathise with her a lot because she is obviously going through this internal struggle and she doesn’t want to be trapped in an asylum. All she wants to do is be home with her family.
I love the Queen of Hearts. Her character is so much fun to read about and you are repeatedly kept on your toes to see what she will do next. At times I even felt sorry for her which is mad because she had such a desire to kill everyone, sometimes without reason. I couldn’t wait to read her chapters as you could always expect something exciting and even a little dark to happen.
There are so many of the original characters that sometimes it felt like I could just be reading Alice in Wonderland (or watching it). So if there are any characters you particularly liked, they might even be in here such as White Rabbit, Cheshire cat, Mad Hatter and the Dodo. I love how Ramsay has made these characters her own without taking away too much of their unique characteristics.
Overall, I have definitely found a new love for Alice in Wonderland, original and retellings. I’m going to buy the original and read that very soon but will then probably read this again in the future because the dark tone adds such a unique twist that makes it incredibly gripping. I recommend this so much if you’re looking for a quick easy read with a twist on a classic tale!
About the Author
H.J. Ramsay has loved fantasy ever since she was a child. Growing up, she was influenced by movies like Legend, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth as well as books and short stories, such as The Collected Works of Brothers Grimm. She is drawn to fantasy with a darker side to its glittery world and the idea that things are never what they seem. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles and teaches writing classes at her local community college. Ever Alice is her first published novel.