REVIEW: Death of the Mad Hatter
Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
The Jack prophesied: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading.
Heads would Roll…
Hearts would Break…
In the end, would it matter who Reigned
Ms Sarah J Pepper asked me if I would like to review her book, Death of the Mad Hatter, and how could I refuse, when I love fantasy novels so much. The cover of the book of course also captured my attention, which I know isn’t always fare as one should not judge a book by its cover.
So when reading the title of the book and seeing the cover you might realise that this book has some relation to the Classic Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I will admit that this put me off a little as I don’t generally like books that are a remake of a classic, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It’s not a remake, so don’t panic, it’s kind of an extension, but not really. Just read it, I bet you’ll love it.
The story is about Ryley Edward Edgar, a boy that has moved too many times in his life than he would care for. His father, Robert Edgar, is in an Institution; as he’s gone a bit mad. So Ryley and his mother live alone and don’t talk about his father’s history or where he is much. Ryley also has a best friend, Dax, who is the only other person who knows the truth about Ryley’s dad. Ryley obviously goes to school, and has a thing for a red haired beauty named Courtney, so as he’s trying to get her to like him, a new girl enters the picture. Alice Mae is a bit weird, she doesn’t dress like everyone else and she just seems like she’s from another world. Ryley doesn’t care for her much at the start, she infuriates him, drives me crazy, but for some reason he can’t get her out of his mind. It might be because she’s just plain weird, or the fact that she knows something about Ryley’s dad, something she’s not sharing.
So that’s Ryley’s story, in the real world. Then there is Alice Mae’s story in Wonderland and the real world. Alice Mae is a young girl who, after chasing after a rabbit that was eating at her vegetable garden, falls down a rabbit hole into Wonderland. There she meets the Mad Hatter, more commonly known as M.H., and all sorts of other creatures. It is here that Alice Mae here’s the Bleeding Hearts Prophecy for the first time… “If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading.
Heads would Roll…
Hearts would Break…
In the end, would it matter who Reigned”
It becomes clear to her that M.H. wants to kill the Queen of Hearts so that the reign of terror can end. So some things happen (I don’t want to give it away) and Alice Mae starts working for the queen for various reasons. Her mission… find Robbie Edgar’s son in the real world. Thus brings us back the Ryley in the real world meeting Alice Mae.
Her plan is simple, get Ryley to fall in love with her and then lure him to Wonderland, where the queen will most probably behead him so that the Bleeding Hearts Prophecy can never come true. Only problem is that she doesn’t just pretend to fall in love.
This book was just so fun to read. Getting to know the characters, Ryley, Dax, with his kind heart, Mick who starts flirting with Alice Mae and thinks he’s a knock out, Irwin with his stutter, Becky the noisy witch, Courtney the beauty with the red locks, Crazy M.H., Mr Ruth with his one eye, Hearts with her wicked ways, the Joker and his dangerous toys, Jack without the tongue, insane Robbie in the institution, Alice Mae’s crazy aunts. There are so many, and all are wonderfully written. I felt like I could really see all of them, I got to live in this imaginary world where they all came to life.
The story of Ryley and Alice Mae is such a beautiful one, really. The way the author described their encounters together sometimes made me blush and wish for that too! Sometimes authors get really mushy, especially in a young adult book, but Ms Pepper did it really well. It wasn’t over the top or erotic, it was just blush worthy and beautiful to read. I admit that when reading my emotions get tangled into the pages, but I never once felt like rolling my eyes at the antics that happened between these two characters. I do have to say that the reason I didn’t give this one 5 stars is that besides what I just said about the way the relationship between Alice Mae and Ryley went, there were other parts in the book where I did do a bit of an eye role. Not much, mostly at the beginning, but it did put me off a little, the way Ryley acted in the beginning. But it all did improve.
I therefore give this book 4 stars.
A joy to read.