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Alice Returns to Wonderland as an Assassin

Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay is an Alice in Wonderland re-imagining that chronicles Alice’s life after Wonderland.

Initial Insights

Ramsay’s “sequel” to the classic children’s story starts with Alice in a psychiatric hospital where the White Rabbit enlists her to assassinate the Queen of Hearts. Consequently, Alice returns to Wonderland as an undercover agent in the Queen’s court as one of her handmaids.

Two Side to the Story

Ever Alice is written with two point of view, or POV, characters – Alice and the Queen of Hearts. Personally, I enjoy books with multiple POVs, particularly if one of those perspectives is a villain’s. I enjoyed learning more about the Queen. She was still the clear antagonist but her chapters shed light on her motivations, exposing her vulnerabilities and insecurities and making her slightly more human – but only slightly. The reader gets a glimpse into her origin as the Queen of Hearts and how she came to be the of-with-his-head dictator everyone loves to hate.

I clearly enjoyed the Queen’s story arc more than Alice’s. What makes it work is the readers knowledge of storytelling. From the assassination plan to her majesty’s paranoia about everything (I kid you not), Ramsay creates a tension that captivates.

Nostalgia Sells

Ever Alice also stayed true to the elements that made the original memorable. It is filled with quotes such as, “But are you the right Alice?” and “Off with his head!”  The strange and quirky Wonderland language and beloved characters, make this a beautiful tribute to an old favorite.

Final Thoughts

Did I like it? It was okay. I definitely appreciated Ramsay’s craft and writing style and look forward to reading other titles by her. Though the plot was predictable I still enjoyed the experience. The twists were intriguing and if Ever Alice has a sequel I would read it too. Ever Alice is set to be published in August 2019. So, if you like re-tellings, it is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

*Thank you NetGalley and Red Rogue Press for sending me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

From Stellies to Melkies in One Day

It’s Summer in Cape Town and the perfect time to explore Cape Town. So, why not do a one day tour, from Stellenbosch to Melkbos before the hustle of bustle of the festive season sets in.

butterfly orrange

Butterflies free flying

1. First Stop, Stellenbosch

Start off your day with a trip to the exotic Butterfly World Zoo. Situated on the picturesque Route 44 near Stellenbosch, this animal sanctuary  is the perfect place to unwind after a gruesome week and simply enjoy the beauty of nature. Upon stepping into the zoo, you’ll be greeted by trees, flowers, and the sound of water gushing and birds singing. Ah! and the butterflies, of course – a myriad of free flying butterflies at every turn. Marvel at the bird life, visit the reptile park inhale the wonder of creation.

 

Table Mountain from Blouberg Beach

A breathtaking view of Table Mountain from Blouberg Beach.

2. Fun in the Sun on Blouberg Beach

Next, take the N1 south to Blouberg Beach for some beach side fun. As one of Cape Town’s most popular beaches, Blouberg Beach is known for its white sandy beaches, kite surfers, and an iconic view of Table Mountain and Robben Island. If your lucky, you may even come across a cape fur seal soaking up the sun. Be careful not to get to close though.

Melkbosstrand park
Take a stroll along the beach front at Melkbosstrand.

3. Dinner with a View in Melkbosstrand

Finally, hit the road again to end your day in Melkbosstrand. Known to local as Melkies, it hosts a variety of restaurants and pubs with a view of the ocean. And if you’re not famished upon arrival, the smell of steaks grilled to perfection is sure to get your mouth watering. Hidden along the west coast, Melkbosstrand is the ideal location to experience the a true African sunset.