by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Red Queen and links to purchase it.
Red Queen by Christina Henry is the second part of The Alice Chronicles, a twisted, paranormal, violent retelling of the Alice in Wonderland saga. Alice has escaped from a mental asylum with Hatcher, the Mad Hatter, who is an axe murderer. The Jabberwocky is trapped inside a tiny glass ball. The Cheshire Cat is an intrusive voice in Alice’s mind. Alice and Hatcher are looking for his daughter, who is somewhere in the east. They cross into barren, burned wastelands, villages that aren’t what they seem, and up a mountain, to deal with the Black King and the White Queen. Then, things change. Of course they do. This is a post-modern Wonderland, and things are not going to go according to your preconceived notions of what should happen in the story.
Red Queen is less rape-centered and repellent than Alice (Isn’t that one of the strangest statements you’ve ever read in a book review?), the first book in the series, but it is still disturbing. There are killers, people-eating giants, scorched earth, references to the grotesque violence of the previous book, children screaming in pain, lots of blood, and nasty creatures that you wouldn’t want to meet. Alice has magic in her that she was always told to suppress; now, she learns to use it, strengthen it, and triumph. The White Queen is dangerous. The Black King is vindictive. Why? And…where is the Red Queen?
The echoes of Lewis Carroll are softer and less direct, here, with more commonality with fairy tales and folklore. Alice does think a lot, and some of the thoughts are odd enough for twisted mathematician logic (Lewis Carroll was really Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, an English math professor). There’s a lot of traveling and thinking about traveling.
Even though Red Queen is less in-your-face than Alice, it has impact. Follow it. It won’t lead you down the Yellow Brick Road, but its chess moves will keep you in check all the way to the endgame.
To enter to win a copy of Red Queen, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “queen,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 8, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.
Check out more fantasy book reviews in our fantasy and fangs section.
Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
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