ALICE by Christina Henry
Welcome to my first rant review of 2016! Today’s rant is about ALICE by Christina Henry and here are the list of issues I have with this book:
-development of characters is nonexistent
The book opens in full force and while that’s sort of fun if you’re excited about adventures, Alice as the main character is never fully developed (that could be said about pretty much everyone in the novel). Admittedly since this book is a “retelling” of Alice in Wonderland, I can understand why the author would think we should already be familiar with Alice’s character but given how far away from the original character this book’s Alice is, I needed more.
-not well written
Connecting to the first problem here, the novel mostly feels like a series of “this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened” with no strong exposition, base, or point.
Hatcher is a problem. For the first half, I was unconcerned with his character…until we come to a scene where Hatcher and Alice are in a room full of women being raped, tortured, and abused and Alice sees a flicker of “hunger” in Hatcher’s eyes. Now Alice seems pretty aware that Hatcher is a dangerous man (I don’t understand why she’s in a relationship with him knowing that, but that’s another issue), but the fact that she seemed more concerned with the regrets Hatcher would have if he did something about this “hunger” was a big, fat problem for me. Alice even seems somewhat concerned about what Hatcher might do to her after seeing all these girls in the room and for the life of me, I do not understand why her major concern remained that Hatcher would feel awful afterward. Fuck Hatcher. Run!
Secondly, and this was a surprise given how much I already didn’t like Hatcher at this point, something about Hatcher’s past is revealed and that “past memory” makes his “hunger” situation even worse. I honestly didn’t think it could get any worse then it was but…wow. For those of you who don’t care about being spoiled, I’ve shared what his dirty little secret is in my Goodreads review. In general, Alice keeps implying that Hatcher really does want to save people, but this “hunger” thing brings this entire book down for me.
Generally, the romanticizing of Hatcher’s character. Big. Fat. No.
-too much rape
How is this kind of society even supposed to function? All women are constantly under the terror of being raped, abducted, sold, tortured, etc. and majority of all men seem like predators (including Hatcher). What the what.
-did this need to be a “retelling”?
This is a minor issue but since I am not as familiar with retellings as others might be, I have to question whether this story really needed to be introduced as a “retelling” of Alice in Wonderland. It felt like everything that happens could’ve been used to tell a whole fantasy story of it’s own. Because of my lack of attachment to the characters and the immaturity of the novel, sometimes I was just downright irritable that the author muddled one of my favorite stories to produce a really shitty version of her own.
Rating – ★☆☆☆