Title: Ever Alice
Author: H.J. Ramsay
Genre: Fiction, Retelling
Publisher: Red Rogue Press
Date published: August 1st 2019
Page Count: 347
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 mad house 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.
**Thank you NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review**
If you don’t know yet, I can never say no to a Wonderland retelling. For some reason, I’m a sucker for anything remotely related to Alice in Wonderland. So when I saw Ever Alice, I knew I had to read it.
Ever Alice, takes place a few years after Alice makes her first trip to Wonderland. Back in England, she is admitted to an insane asylum for her inexplicable madness. Soon enough, Ralph, the White Rabbit, comes into her conscious to whisk her back into the rabbit hole to save Wonderland from the Red Queen.
The most unique aspect of the novel is how the writing fits with the original Wonderland story and the characters’ dialogues perfectly complement the mad and confusing nature of the world. The story line is simple enough; a revolutionist group brings Alice back to kill the Queen of Hearts. The murkiness is where the true allegiances are and who is good and bad.
The story isn’t very complicated nor are the characters. Rather the whole appeal of the book is the world building.
I enjoyed reading about Wonderland and seeing how Ramsay illustrates and develops the world. Here, she tries to stay close the original while adding a few flairs here and there to bring in more . The Kingdom of Clubs was more or less the rival kingdom to the Kingdom of Hearts, whereas the Kingdom of Spades has more of unknown origins, and the Kingdom of Diamonds is a mystery of its own. Also, I loved that the whole story takes place on a chess-like board (eg Hydrangea 20, Calla Lilly 8, etc), paying tribute to Alice Through the Looking Glass.
This is a nice interesting read that I think most Wonderland enthusiasts will enjoy. Ramsay stays true to the writing style and does and amazing job in creating an extension of the world.
“Such a pity. But don’t mind me, Alice, because I’m mad, you know.” He smiled. “We’re all made here.”
What are some of your favorite types of retellings? I love those based off of Alice in Wonderland or Romeo and Juliet. ❤