The Chronicles of Alice Book 1
In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside. In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…
Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago. Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful. And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.
Forget everything you know, everything you think you know, and dispel any notions you have about Alice and her adventures in Wonderland. This novel shreds it, pours gasoline over it, strikes a match and turns it all to ashes. Just to be sure.
Set in a universe that isn’t quite Wonderland, not the real world as we know it; Christina Henry created a unique and darkly horrifying omniverse where pain is rife, women are sold for pleasure, and magic users are killed.
After escaping the Old City with blood on her thighs and raving about a rabbit, Alice was locked away in an asylum with no hope of ever being released again. Fortunately, Alice and her companion, Hatcher, escaped while an inferno tore through the institution that was home. However, they were not the only escapees. Something sinister rose from the blaze hungering for blood.
With her old memories missing, after years of medication, Alice has to find a way to suppress the darkness around her, while venturing down the rabbit hole of her own ghastly history.
Christina Henry introduces Alice’s history through an inner voice whispering atrocities, her memory feeding her flashes, poignant reminders of grotesque events.
“(she was screaming, and hot blood ran down the insides of her legs, and she was trying to keep him off her but he was stronger, so much stronger)”
You’ll find yourself eagerly awaiting the next interaction, the next dark encounter that may or may not answer the growing list of questions you’ll find yourself mulling over.
Alice is a beautifully written adventure through a labyrinth of horror. In a world where rape is common and women are nothing but entertainment, the author was never crude in the tellings. Christina’s writing style is simple yet descriptive. She doesn’t fill the pages with flowery prose, instead, her choice of words pull you in and infuse your imagination with precision.
“The Old City seemed to have no beginning and no end, a circling maze of stairways and narrow valleys connecting buildings that had been patched and rebuilt on top of crumbling ruins for centuries.”
“Her face broke the surface, her paddling just barely keeping her mouth and nose out of the water. … She gulped air, and sometimes water, and the water was sweet and delicious, like lemonade on a summer’s day. She thought again that she might like to drift away to the bottom.”
“Alice approached the glass, her stomach roiling though she was unable to look away. Behind the glass of one enclosure was a naked girl with iridescent pink butterfly wings. … The wings were not attached to her shoulders by straps. The girls back had been cut from the top of her shoulder to the bottom of her ribcage on both sides of her spine. The beautiful butterfly wings were neatly sewn into the exposed muscle. As the girl flexed her shoulders, the wings would beat.”
I can say without hesitation that this book is a must-read. It’s up there with Gods and Monsters by Janie Marie on my favourites list and I’m so very excited to continue my journey with book two – Red Queen.
Where to buy:
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Kindle – £4.31
Paperback – £6.55
The Book Depository
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