Updated ‘Alice in Wonderland’ series delivers more mature plots

“Alice” and “Red Queen” by Christina Henry are the two books in a series that updates the classic story of “Alice in Wonderland.”

“Alice” and “Red Queen” are a duology written by Christina Henry based on the book “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” written by Lewis Carroll. These two books are listed in the fantasy category and provide an action-packed adventure to anyone willing and ready to read, though the topics in this duology are quite dark and are not for the weak of heart or mind. Mentions of abuse in many forms can make it harder to read for some people.

“Alice” was published in 2015, while “Red Queen” was published later in 2016. Christina Henry (44) is the author of these two books, and is still fairly new. Her first book “Black Wings” being published back in 2010.

The first book in this duology, “Alice,” is breathtaking and definitely strange. The story captures you from the moment you pick up the book, the words whispering of mysteries just beyond the front cover, almost daring you to sit down and read the whole thing right where you’ve picked it up, as this line from the book clearly shows: “Someone had given her a cup of tea once, someone with blue-green eyes and long ears. Funny how she couldn’t remember his face, though. All that part was hazy, her memory of him wrapped in smoke but for the eyes and ears. The ears were long and furry.” 

The first few pages are full of mystery and over shadowing, that just continues to pull you in until you must know what happens. It is also within the first few pages that you meet both Alice and her only friend, Hatcher.

“‘I killed a lot of people with an axe,’ he said. ‘That’s how I got my name. Hatcher.’”

With Hatcher comes more mystery, and readers feeling heedful toward the strange character neighboring Alice. Doubt and perhaps a bit of fear shine off of Hatcher, at least at the very beginning. His eerie words send shivers up your spine, his violent actions unpredictable. 

Alice’s experiences throughout are relatable in many more ways than one. The friends she makes on her journey are questionable at first, leaving you doubting their every move, but you’re soon to gain their trust and lose others just as Alice might have through the story. This is a story you can truly feel yourself growing with.

This story is definitely fast-paced, yet isn’t rushed. Everything is pieced together quite perfectly from chapter to chapter, pulling you to keep reading, keep reading until the whole thing is finished. 

Continuing the story of “Alice” through “Red Queen” can be a bit confusing at first. Keeping your mind open to new things, magic words and objects might help you stay on track with this magical and satisfying ending to the duology. With old friends as well as new, comes many more obstacles that get in Alice’s way to her freedom and goal of living a “normal” life, or at least as normal as she can hope. 

“Red Queen” is focused more on Alice learning to rely on herself and what she can do to make things right for herself as well as her friends along the way. Just when she’s figured she can lean on Hatcher a bit, she is shown that wild things, even if befriended, are still wild things at heart. But through good judgement, kind actions and powerful words, Alice is sure to make it through. Learning to trust in yourself and who you are is harder than it seems. It requires a lot of courage and maybe a little magic.

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