book review

Ever Alice by HJ Ramsay

I’ve recently been introduced to a website called Netgalley. It’s essentially a website that provides you with an advanced copy of a book in exchange for an honest review. So with that in mind . . .

I was given an ARC of  ‘Ever Alice’ in exchange for an honest review.

Unfortunately I was quite disappointed with this book. Mostly because it had potential, but just fell really short of the mark.

Alice is now 15 years old and after years of telling people about her adventures in Wonderland her parents are starting to question her sanity and take her to see a specialised doctor at an Asylum in Switzerland. Sadly things are not quite what they seem at the asylum, but just when things appear to be at their worst for Alice a familiar white rabbit helps her escape the asylum and she finds herself back in Wonderland. What follows is actually quite an intricate tale of suspicion and treachery, reality and fantasy. I’m just not sure it works as an ‘Alice in wonderland’ tale.

I was impressed at first as the author really did seem to capture the essence of the silliness of wonderland, with some scenes that wouldn’t be out of place in a Monty Python sketch or a Mel Brooks movie, but after a while it began to feel like the author was trying a bit too hard and it started to become a slightly repetitive and tedious.
The Character development didn’t really work for me either, especially The Queen of Hearts. For me she was a bit two-dimensional, and although the author tries to give her a bit of a back story it just doesn’t adhere to the character.

Some aspects of the language also grated on me. For instance, when parents are being referred to as Mum and Papa, it doesn’t sit well with me. It’s either going to be mum and dad or mama and papa. I know that is probably just a personal peeve of mine, but every time I came across that phrasing it just halted the story for me. Oh and don’t get me started on the Pop culture references! An actress named Marilyn Montague, who sounds very similar to another well know Marilyn, and a boyband called ‘Mice to men’. They may have been put in for humour, but they just didn’t seem to flow with the story.

As I said, in essence it was a good story, if a little predictable at the end, I just feel that using it as a ‘re-imagining’ of Alice left it with some expectations that it just couldn’t live up to.

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