18 April 2011
Book Banter: The Final Alice
Author: Alycia Ripley
Length: 293 pages
Where Word Nerd's Copy Came From: Review e-book copy from Planned Television Arts
Plot Basics: 30-year-old Alice Pleasance is the great-granddaughter of the Alice (rabbit hole, Wonderland, Jabberwocky-fame) and is waiting for her turn to experience Wonderland, as all the women in that line have. She is miserable in her non-magical life and depressed, even going so far as to attempt (and failing) suicide. Finally when her time comes, she is informed by a giant, talking deer named Simmons that she is the last Alice who must keep the Red King from invading earth. Joined by a team who all have special powers (memory erasing, telekinesis, etc.) Alice does battle with the Red King's minions on earth, continuing to grow into her own powers until the final battle and the final choice about her Wonderland reward.
Banter Points: This might be the strangest version of Alice that's out there (way weirder that even Tim Burton's trippy Alice movie) but it's oddly compelling. Even though this story happens on Earth instead of in Wonderland, most of the expected tropes are there (the EAT ME/DRINK ME food, the tea party, the rabbit, etc.) A lot of the book is action sequences as Alice destroys the Red King's minions and Ripley puts together a heck of a fight scene (and not just once, but over and over again.)
Bummer Points: This book leaps in great directions and sometimes, it's a little disorienting. And all those fight scenes get kind of gory after a while... there's an awful lot of blood. Ripley also mixes a lot of scriptural metaphors into the story, making the symbolism muddy at times (is Alice some kind of redeemer figure? and the Red King a devil? The devil?)
Word Nerd Recommendation: I just can't decide. I want somebody else to read it so I can compare my reaction, but I'm still undecided on whether I liked it or not.