Jul 11, 2016

Early Review--Red Queen by Christina Henry

The author of Alice takes readers back down the rabbit hole to a dark, twisted, and fascinating world based on the works of Lewis Carroll...

The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found.

Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.

The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen...

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Red Queen is Christina Henry’s second and final book in The Chronicles of Alice, which seems rather fitting since Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland composed of two books as well. And in some ways, I see Red Queen being the Alice Through the Looking Glass portion of the combo. In this installment, Alice and Hatcher are on a quest to find Hatcher’s daughter, Jenny, who was taken many years ago, and Hatcher has now only realized her lost her.
This is definitely not your ordinary Alice retelling. It’s quite dark and seedy in some parts, but that’s what makes it such an incredible and intriguing read! There’s so many little hat tips to the original books in this one that I couldn’t help but smile throughout reading it! It’s been many years since I’ve read the original books, but I kind of remember the gist of them! Dreaming and madness are two things that continually coincide with both works of fiction. Is Alice dreaming? Is this particular Alice truly mad? Who knows! You’ll have to read the books and discover the mysteries for yourself!
But anyways, Alice and Hatcher’s mission is clear, but naturally trouble is afoot and plans change. Suddenly they are lost in a forest that is rife with danger at every turn, giants that would happily eat you, a goblin that is hunting for Alice, rules that must not be broken but you don’t know what said rules are...so as I said, it’s quite dangerous! To top it all off, Alice and Hatcher are separated nearly a quarter of the way into the book and don’t reunite until the last quarter. But despite being upset over that, it’s again, kind of fitting. Alice rarely had a companion on her Wonderland adventures. Sure there was that white knight in the Looking Glass, but that was only for a short time anyway. She still meets new characters that may or not be dangerous and all, but she’s very much on her own for the majority of the book. Which, again, is fitting!
This was a very twisted kind of read, and that can be taken in a good way! Wonderland was twisted and mad after all, so why not the retellings too? Although one thing that I didn’t like and struggled greatly with was the lack of chapters, page breaks, or a pause of some sort. There was an occasional page break, but they were very few and far between. Being on a tight schedule of life and what not had me reading this throughout two days. So I literally had to stop at times, and I could never find a good place to stop. Then when I did finally stop, and would return sometime later, it was exceedingly hard to find where I left off. But truly, that’s really my only complaint about the book itself.
I think Red Queen would appeal to a lot of fantasy fans! This is a very dark and twisted retelling of a beloved fairy tale. Though do try to note that despite Alice being older and Hatcher is her companion, there’s not any romance happening in this book. Yes, Alice and Hatcher did have a connection going on in the first book, and while there were moments of love, it’s not the sweep you off your feet romance. So don’t expect to see moments like this in the book. Alice and Hatcher are on a dangerous quest and there’s no time for romance. Plus again, I mention they’re separated for most of the book anyway.
The ending was quite surprising! There were many shocks and twists I didn’t see coming, granted, I probably should’ve but at times I get so wrapped up in the story that I’m not looking to play detective about it. So I get surprised right there with the characters! Though I must admit, I was happy about the actual ending! I thought Christina did that very well! I’m very eager to see what she will write next, because as I said, I do believe that this series is complete!
Red Queen is the second installment in The Chronicles of Alice, and it’s definitely one you need to read in order. Since its two books long, that’s not a hardship really! This is a duology that is sure to delight fans of our original Alice tales and for the reader looking for that dark and more sinister fairy tale. After all, way back when fairy tales were created to entertain adults more so than children. And it’s definitely remains true with our fairy tale retellings of today! Red Queen will have you seeing the stories of Alice in a new and twisted way and leaving you craving for more!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

Red Queen releases July 12, 2016


  1. I haven't read the first book in this series, but the cover grabbed my attention way back when I first saw it! I LOVE dark retellings so I definitely want to get to both books in this series soon! Great review :D

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  2. I just grabbed the first one in this series from Book Depository because I loved the cover so much more than the US one. I bet I love it!

  3. Great review! I love retellings and Alice is such a classic. I think I'll also have issues with the lack of spots to break--I read in spurts when I have time.


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