Book Review – After Alice

Gregory Maguire 
Series: None
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings
Release Date: 27th October 2015
Publishers: Headline
No. Pages: 256
Source: Bookbridgr
Buy at: BookDepository

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance?In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings — and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late — and tumbles down the rabbit hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Euridyce can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next isAfter Alice

I really wish I’d read the Alice in Wonderland before I’d read this, so I could compare the original wonderland to Maguire’s version of it.

After Alice follows Ada, who also falls down the rabbit hole and spends the rest of the novel in pursuit of her friend. Unfortunately, I’m still not sure what Ada’s purpose was. Her adventures through wonderland were not entertaining and the story didn’t seem to go anywhere. Usually, when a character is added in a re-imagining of another story, I would expect that character to have a major impact on the world/story but honestly Ada made no impact.

Unlike what the synopsis tries to tell you, After Alice does not focus soley on Ada. It also follows Lydia, Alice’s older sister, and Ada’s governess. This story  line was even more lackluster than Ada’s. I didn’t care about either of the characters and Lydia’s lack of interest in her sister’s disappearance got old fast. Honestly, you could probably remove this entire story line from the book and it would probably make the book slightly less boring.

This book was far too wordy, with not enough excitement. I probably would’ve DNF-ed this book before I even hit the halfway mark if I didn’t personally hate leaving books half read.

There were some moments where I was finally interested in the story, but those moments were too far and too few. It’s good this was short, otherwise I really do think I would’ve given up.




7 thoughts on “Book Review – After Alice

  1. Fin says:

    I love Alice and Wonderland and when I heard about this book, for the first time via your review, I got really excited…and then disappointed. Thank you for sharing your honest opinion, you probably just saved me several miserable hours since I too cannot stand leaving books unfinished.


    • ohbookish says:

      I was planning to get to Alice In Wonderland later this year, but after reading this I’m not very excited to revisit the world (even though the author is different), which kinda sucks.

      I’m glad I could help!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fin says:

        I can assure you that if/when you are interested in Wonderland again, Louis Carroll has created something truly whimsical. Nothing like the Disney movie, the Tim Burton reimagining (but closer than the 90 minute acid trip that Disney put out), or anything else that you’ve read. I read it for the first time as an adult and enjoyed it a lot.


  2. TeacherofYA says:

    It’s too bad, too, because I love the cover. I hate that! Thank you for sharing because if I had found this book myself, I would have wanted to read it. So thanks for the review!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s