Nov 1, 2013

ARC Review--Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah J. Pepper

The Jack prophesied: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading.

Heads would Roll…

Hearts would Break…

In the end, would it matter who Reigned?

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

Sarah J. Pepper's Death of the Mad Hatter was quite the intriguing story. Albeit, a bit confusing at times, but it seems to fit since parts of the book is in Wonderland and as we all know, everyone is mad there!

Ryley is your typical teen, trying to get through high school, trying to score a date with the hottest girl there and then in walks Alice Mae. A very strange girl with weird makeup and just overall oddness. She talks to a stuffed rabbit with one eye, looks at things as if she sees something others do not. And she does...

For Alice Mae is none other than the Alice we all know from the fabled tale. But she's grown up now...a teenager at least. And is in fact working for the Queen of Hearts as her informant.

The prophecy of Wonderland mentions a new leader of sorts and it's Alice's job to find him...or her. But let's face it, it's a him!

Ryley hasn't had the easy life and when Alice Mae walks into the picture, it isn't going to get any easier. She intrigues him and he can't figure out why since in the beginning, she kind of irritates him with all that she knows. She knows things about him that no one else does.

As I said, this definitely made for an interesting story, but like I did also mention, I was a bit confused at times. It seemed like the characters knew more than we the reader, which does tend to happen, but when they bring up said events or info, I kind of expect a background story as to why this is important and those were a bit slow in the revealing, making it a little harder to get through the scene prior to the knowledge.

Retellings and "spinning tales"--whatever you want to call it when the beloved fairy tale is known somewhat, but a new story takes off from that knowledge or whatever--are always fun and interesting! I love seeing new insight to the fairy tales I grew up on. And as challenging as this one was, in terms of understanding things and what not, it was still a fun read.

I think what I struggled with the most, is what I mentioned earlier. The characters seemed to know things, there were things going on in Wonderland before the story took place and I was staggering trying to figure out what was really going on beneath the surface. Perhaps I was analyzing too much and not just enjoying the story, but I was pretty confused for a good deal of the beginning. But it was still a pretty nice read.

Overall Rating 3/5 stars


  1. This one sounds interesting, but I wouldn't really like not knowing things and feeling like there was something in the way of my knowing them. Confusion is frustrating! Alice working for the Queen sounds like a nice twist on the tale, though!

  2. Great review. I have been quite curious about this book. I think the wonderland tales are my favorite when done in a retelling. Love the cover too.


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