Tuesday 6 October 2015

Alice takes back Wonderland blog tour

Today I am participating in the blog tour for Alice takes back Wonderland by David D. Hammons!

Alice has always believed in Wonderland ever since she visited it when she was seven years old, but with her parents telling her she is delusional and can’t tell reality from fantasy and forcing her to take medication, she eventually stops believing. That is until the white rabbit appears in her bedroom, taking her on another journey down the rabbit hole, except this time Wonderland is not like how Alice remembered it. The Ace of Spades has taken over Wonderland, forcing the wonder out of it’s inhabitants and turning it into a dull, colourless land of concrete buildings. Alice must find a way to stop Ace before it is too late, and with the help of her new friends, reclaim Wonderland and restore it to how it once was. But it won’t be easy. Ace has an army at his disposal, and it will take courage and strength to stop Ace once and for all. Will Alice be able to take back Wonderland, or will it be doomed to be a greyscale city forever?

I immediately wanted to read this book when I saw the title. I am a huge fan of Lewis Carrol’s work and I always enjoy fairy tail retellings. Alice takes back Wonderland is much darker than the original story, with a teenaged Alice who isn’t afraid to kill. I loved Alice’s character development, as she started out as being quite timid and terrified of using her father’s shotgun to being a fierce warrior. I was rooting for Alice the whole time, as she was a likeable character and it’s impossible to not want her to achieve her goal.

I loved the addition of the fairy tale characters we all know and love being present, but being slightly different to how we know them. The idea of fairy tail characters being an echo on Earth to what they are in their own world was an interesting and unique concept and I loved that Alice already knew who they were, but at the same time didn’t know this version of them. Character’s like Peter Pan, Pinnochio and Snow White were both similar and different to what Alice expected them to be, and I found it interesting how she interacted with each one.

I found the imagery to be beautifully detailed and gave a clear picture of each world, but I thought at times some things were overly described and left little to the imagination of the reader. One of the things I love about reading is that each individual person will have a different image in their head when they’re reading, and sometimes I prefer it when details are a little more vague so that I can build up the image for myself. I think the show don’t tell approach could have been used to solve this, especially as the book is told through a first person narrative. Describing every tiny detail so vividly did not seem like something someone telling a story would do, and I just felt as if it needed to be toned down a little to be more enjoyable. Readers can always fill in visual gaps by themselves, and I feel that telling the story is more important that describing a tower as “dark and twisted.” I would have preferred to have seen Alice’s thoughts of fear and dread from seeing this tower rather than her describing it visually.

There was just enough action to keep me on my toes, and there was a good build up to the climax of the battles against Ace. However I would have preferred more emphasis on the idea of Alice having schizophrenia towards the end of the book, as it was just implied that everything had been real. I think it would have been more interesting to have left it open ended for the reader to decide if it had been real or if Alice really had found a boy in the street who had been shot, such as her returning in her original clothes rather than the ones she had changed into in Neverland. 

Overall I enjoyed the story and think it would be a perfect read for anyone who loves fairytales with darker elements.

Alice takes back Wonderland is now available to purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK

About The Author:
While visiting Cambridge during my time studying abroad, I tried to sneak into C. S. Lewis’s old apartment. I wanted to stand where the old master stood. I wanted to glean bits of imagination that no-doubt still clung to those walls. A locked door barred my path, and I fled to the safety of the campus pub.
It has been my goal to live a life that is notable as the life of that master of writing. I’ve climbed the slopes of Machu Picchu, swam in Loch Ness, smuggled ice cream into China, and made moonshine in my hometown. I studied writing and business in school, and gave up a position in my family’s Black Walnut company to chase my dream. Life, if you make it so, can be an adventure.
Despite all my adventures, there is no greater journey than that which can be found in a book. It was cartoons that got me into writing, works meant for children that as an adult fascinated me with their joyful outlook. It was the old masters, Lewis, Tolkien, Hemmingway, Vonnegut, who challenged me to live an adventure of a life, and then write even greater adventures in books. Perhaps one day I’ll make it into that old Cambridge apartment. Perhaps one day I’ll be invited.

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