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Alice: The Chronicles of Alice - Book 1

Publisher: Ace Books

Remember that wonderful animated Disney movie, Alice in Wonderland, you probably saw as a child? Better yet, what about the Lewis Carroll books about Alice and her various adventures in Wonderland? Alice: The Chronicles of Alice - Book 1 by Christina Henry is definitely not like those books. Sure, Alice is the main character and she'll run into some familiar characters along the way, but the tale spun by Christina Henry is deliciously dark, scary, and utterly incredible, a book you won't want to put down.

Some 10 years have passed since 16-year-old Alice returned home from her tea party with The Rabbit in the Old City, bloodied, battered, and muttering to herself, so much so that she was placed in an insane asylum. Not in the clean and shiny New City, where her parents live and where she grew up, but in the dingy, filthy Old City, a place she was never supposed to go in the first place. If only her best friend Dor hadn't convinced her to go on that adventure...

Alice's next door neighbor in the asylum is a man called "Hatcher," met through a tiny mouse hole once upon a time. Hatcher has his own issues, the least of which landed him in the asylum and earned him that nickname, but he is obsessed with a creature called the Jabberwock who he claims lives in the basement of the asylum. When the asylum catches on fire one day, Hatch takes his chance for escape, taking his friend Alice with him, but as the asylum burns, something else escapes as well.

The odd looking pair have to sneak around the Old City, with Alice being a very tall blonde girl, and girls not being the least bit safe in the Old City. Plus, The Rabbit gave her a long scar on her face to remember him by, and she has some vague memories about her time with him and her escape, but everything is all fuzzy... for now.

Before long, the pair realize that they must stop the Jabberwock, lest he rampage through the Old City and New alike, killing everything in its path. They'll need help along the way, but help never comes cheap in the Old City, and they'll start with a man called Cheshire, who helps them to recall more of their twisted past, if only for his own amusement. Before they know it, they're on a path to escape, get revenge, and stop the Jabberwock while they still can. Along the way, they'll have to face down their demons, including the mob bosses who run Old City such as The Walrus, Mr. Carpenter, The Caterpillar, and yes, even The Rabbit. Can the pair find happiness and peace after such dreadful experiences? Yes, but they'll have to get their hands good and dirty, or rather, bloody first.

I loved Alice: The Chronicles of Alice - Book 1 from beginning to end. It's a very dark story, but it is beautifully written and draws you in from the start. It's not a book for children at all, what with the mob bosses and murders and sex trade and all, but for those of us who loved the stories of Lewis Carroll, it's a treat to travel back to that world, albeit in a much more adult fashion. If your interest has been piqued even the slightest bit, do yourself a favor and read Alice: The Chronicles of Alice - Book 1 and stay tuned for our review of the sequel, Red Queen: The Chronicles of Alice - Book 2. I know I can't wait to delve back into Alice's adventures in the Old City and beyond!

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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