The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found.
Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.
The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen...
I loved Alice and Hacker in the first book, but sadly have to say there is a lot less interaction between them here. For me, that was a shame but for the character Alice it was a journey of self-discovery. Without too many spoilers, it's a story that allows Alice to test her own mettle without relying on anyone else. If Hacker is the brawn, then Alice just has to be the brains in their little outfit. Yet, her previous experiences have somewhat scarred her and trust is something that's in rather short supply. So does Alice triumph in this new world she has sought out? It's not at all what was imagined and there's danger just about everywhere. Oh, fear not, it’s not explicit (which I kind of missed) but there's a peculiar sense of wrongness, dread even that follows Alice. She makes friends, she battles an enemy you just don't see coming, and yet in the midst of sadness the author brings hope.
I wanted more romance but that's not what Ms Henry gave me. The action is well, frankly hard to categorise but then if I think about it, it suits the story. A classic tale explored and deftly woven into something full of shocks and surprises. Alice has grown up. The youthful, fragile girl becomes a woman here and fully takes up the reins of her life. Yes, I liked seeing Alice make mistakes, own them, and then triumph but I did miss Hatcher at times.
I was gifted a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.