My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Publicatio Date: July 12th 2016
Point of View: 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Dark, Magic, Romance
The author of Alice takes readers back down the rabbit hole to a dark, twisted, and fascinating world based on the works of Lewis Carroll…
The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found.
Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.
The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen…
First book : Alice
Red Queen is the second book in The Chronicles of Alice series.
Honestly though, it nearly felt like I was reading a whole new story, not a continuation. I wanted to, but could not welcome the changes with open arms and a genuine smile, b/c Alice is an impressive dark fairytale and I could not wait to start the sequel.
But there are some huge differences.
► More romance
A great relief washed over her then, because Alice was a little mad and much sadder than before and she loved him. They were two broken things that belonged together to make one whole, and she knew that Hatcher had only forgotten that for a moment.
Let’s clarify something first: I think Alice and Hatcher make a great, scary team. I believe that, together, they can achieve impossible things and I fervently want them to get a happy ever after.
The Chronicles of Alice series was never meant to be a love story; it was meant to be a creepy, intense and action-filled retelling of Alice in Wonderland. I wanted to kill the exceeding amount of romance in this book.
► Less horror
I have probably said this a million times before, but I am not a fan of horror. Somehow though, I loved the horror scenes and descriptions in Alice. I knew beforehand that it was going to be dark and terrifying, but I still wanted to try it. I even said in my review of the first book that it’s
‘‘one of the creepiest retellings ever written.’’
Red Queen is not. In fact, it felt as if Christina Henry wanted to explore the young adult genre, b/c this sequel has little to no explicit content. I could even categorize it as a ‘‘young adult’’ book without having to think about it too much.
It’s goose bumps-worthy (in the beginning), but never scary.
► Where’s the action?
One thing I absolutely loved about Alice is the series of diverse scenes and situations. It’s never dull b/c there’s always something happening. Red Queen, however, focuses more on the psychological part of things.
Alice is forever thinking and analysing and trying to find solutions. The point of view is in the third person singular but, because of Alice’s continually ruminating different subjects, it almost feels like we’re directly in her head.
The first half of this sequel is very good. Alice and Hatcher are exploring the Queens’ domains. It’s exciting, the world-building is detailed and uncertainty is wafting through the air.
But then, something major happens. You know how you have no idea you love something so much, before that said thing is taken away from you?
That is how I felt after it happened. Alice took it way better than I did. I found it hard to keep turning the pages after that, even though I was convinced it was something temporal.
. . . . . . .
I may be disappointed by the excess of romance and the lack of horror and action, but I sure am not disappointed by 1) the writing, which is still as excellent and NYT Bestseller worthy, 2) the characters – many new ones are introduced – and 3) the twists.
There may not be much action per se, but many twists are hidden in the plot… lingering there… just dying to be discovered by the reader.
READ MY INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR HERE.