Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 14 hours and 34 minutes (464 pages)
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Release Date: November 8, 2016
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
“Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.
Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.”
I really loved The Lunar Chronicles by Meyer and was very excited to see that she had released another novel. This was a well done prequel to Alice in Wonderland. The book is cleverly written.
I listened to this on audiobook and the narrator did an excellent job. My only complaint would be that a couple of the voices were very shrill and hard to listen to; particularly Catherine’s mother and the White Rabbit. I would definitely recommend listening to this on audiobook if you enjoy audiobooks.
I am really a sucker for anything Alice in Wonderland, so the premise grabbed my attention right away. This is basically the story of how the Red Queen got to be the hateful head-chopping woman she is in the Alice in Wonderland books. There are very clever references to both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass throughout the story.
This is not a super action-packed or edgy version of Alice in Wonderland (I liked A.G. Howard’s Splintered series better and also am enjoying Christina Henry’s Chronicles of Alice better). However it does have a very fairytale like feel to it with princes and magic and deadly deals to be made.
I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have because throughout the whole book you know it’s going to end badly and I just kept hoping that it would end differently. There are so many times in the book where you want to grab the characters and shake them for the bad choices they make. All in all it was a good, yet somewhat frustrating, read for me.
Overall this was a well done prequel to the Alice in Wonderland story. There are very clever references to the original books throughout and I enjoyed the story overall. I did find it frustrating to read at times because of how stupid the characters were; but I understand that the Red Queen’s story is mostly a tragedy full of flawed characters….so I get it. I would recommend to those who enjoy fairy tale retellings or Alice in Wonderland.
If you enjoyed this book but are interested in a more edgy and action packed Alice in Wonderland expansion…I would recommend both A.G. Howard’s Splintered series and Christina Henry’s Chronicles of Alice (this one is very adult).