I was quite looking forward to this book, sadly it was not meant to be. I normally love reading Alice in Wonderland retellings but this one is one I would never recommend to anyone.
This was for various reasons. The characters, the POVs, the story, the way they just turned Lewis Carroll in a dimwit and a horrendous man, the ending. There was just too much wrong with this.
Let’s start with POVs and characters. We got quite a few characters and if they would get a bit more backstory it would have been fine, but no. The only one truly getting backstory is Alice/Alyss. The rest: Bibwit, Hatter, Cat, Redd, Dodge, Döppelganger were mostly just boring characters, cut-outs from paper and I had zero interest in them.
The POVs switch every chapter, however, sometimes they also like to change in one chapter which makes it all terribly confusing. I don’t mind 3 or more POVs, but keep it per chapter, or let us know when the switch is. Not just add it willy-nilly.
Alyss is my favourite character from all of it. Even she had flaws and that is why I don’t like her that much, but if I had to pick out of all the characters she is at the top (and that says a lot about the story and the book).
I liked her in Wonderland and also in London. I felt sorry for her, being ripped away from her home, ripped away from her parents and people she knows to be thrown into some weird country with people who never heard about Wonderland and think she is just imagining things.
I really liked how she got stronger when she got back to Wonderland, how she didn’t just sit down and cried or was confused. No, instead she went ahead with what she had to do, no matter how bad it looked for her and her friends.
Then we have the story which was utterly boring and not something I would want to read again. I really had to struggle through the 4 chapters a day (and today, through the rest of the ~20 chapters). At times it picked up and it was interesting, but a lot of times I was just rolling my eyes and being bored. Maybe if the story had only focussed on one character, and her adventures, but now it was just boring and it had characters I couldn’t give a damn about.
I also didn’t like the portrayal of Lewis Carroll. He is portrayed as one who is a dimwit, a bad man who just uses Alyss’ stories for his own, creating something that she thought would make everything better but is instead a total trainwreck and a total lie.
Then we have the ending, which I could have expected considering this is a series of books and not a standalone. Still I am very disappointed in it and I had hoped for something better.
I wouldn’t recommend this to people. Are you looking for an Alice in Wonderland retelling? Pick up something else, there are quite a few good Alice in Wonderland retellings, and this one isn’t one of them.