Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay is an Alice in Wonderland re-imagining that chronicles Alice’s life after Wonderland.
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.
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.
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.
*Thank you NetGalley and Red Rogue Press for sending me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.