*** (3.5 stars)
Red Queen is the second book and the continuation in the Chronicles of Alice series, that follows off from where the first book, Alice, left off. I read the first book not so long ago in another Book-A-Thon I had done, and I loved it!! So much so, that I had order the next book in the series, this book, the moment I had finished reading the book, so glad that it was already published and I only had to wait for delivery. I have posted a review for the first book, Alice, if you would like to check it out, just click here. Now, as I said before, this is the second book, so please be warned that there may be spoilers to the first book.
As I said, this book picked up from where the last book left off. Alice and Hatcher had headed down the hole, the same hole that the rabbit and the girls had gone down in search of a better life. Now Alice and Hatcher were off on their new quest, happier than before. But this doesn’t last for long! Their quest is soon interrupted as they have to try and fight to save their lives from unknown creatures and magicians, that could be even more powerful and stronger than Hatcher and even Alice herself.
First thing first, to get a better understanding of this book and the characters, I would definitely recommend reading the first book in this duology first, which is Alice (The Chronicles of Alice, #1). I will admit that I was a little bit disappointed after reading this book, as it didn’t live up to everything that just made the first book so great. The first book was so dark and it wasn’t afraid to be so disturbing and to include all of the imagery that just made me see and understand everything. Their feelings, what was going on, how grotesque the characters were, what they were doing and so on, including the tone of the book, were just so vivid and vile, but with this book, it was just gone. It was as though the author was trying to tame it down a little bit, but in doing so, it lost that bit of magic or spark, that made that first book so spectacular. There were events where the author could have included so much more, but the characters, Alice and Hatcher, always arrived afterwards, meaning that we just saw the after effects. So no action, at least at the beginning. I understand that they were not supposed to know what was happening at that point, but it felt like it was just a load of walking and talking, which made the beginning of the book drag a little. Plus, when they did discover certain things, they weren’t as expressive and vivid as Book 1, Alice.
What I found weird about this book was that this book had no chapters! I have never read a book which doesn’t contain chapters and this really shocked me and actually freaked me out a lot at first when I realised, which was until I was about 40 pages in. It was however separated into two parts. The fact that there was no chapters, was another reason why I think that this book dragged a little bit more for me. I hate leaving a book on an unfinished page, or what not, which is why chapters are extremely important to me, that way not only do I know exactly what page I’m on, but I can have a break exactly where the author had intended a break to take place. They create breaks in the story for readers, as I said where the author has intended, so you don’t feel bad stopping, and they act as a way to create tension and suspense for readers, building you up for the following chapter. With this book, and having no chapters, there was none of this. I felt guilty every time I stopped to have a reading break, there wasn’t that tension and suspense built up and there seemed to be a one level, until any action happened.
This story starts off with Alice and Hatcher setting off on another quest, the quest that they were about to start at the end of the previous book. As they set off, they soon discover that everything is not as it seems and how is should be and as more time moves on, they begin to realise that maybe somebody or something is behind this strangeness and that there’s the possibility that they may be being followed. They soon walk their way into another quest and their original one, seemed to have taken a back seat, and to be honest, I kind of forgot about it as the book progressed. I did enjoy this new quest as it did add to the book and to the story in a way that I wasn’t expecting, and also made the ending completely different to how I was expecting also.
There were parts in this book that I loved and there were parts that I just didn’t enjoy as much. I must admit that I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first book, but maybe that’s because of how much I enjoyed the first book and then built up this book beforehand. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t that much Hatcher in this book, so considering these books are mainly Alice and Hatcher, by removing Hatcher, we were left with one mainly one main character for a chunk of the book, even though we did get some extra characters. Maybe this was one of the other reasons why this book felt like it dragged. But there were parts that just had me gripped to the book! I say that this book dragged, but I managed to read this book in a day, once I was committed on Day 1 of my Book-A-Thon, so it did have me gripped enough to be able to do this.
I would say be warned that there are no chapters, and it doesn’t have the same tone and overall feel of the first book, Alice. I would definitely recommend reading Alice (The Chronicles of Alice, #1) first, as this is a Duology. This book could be read by itself, as there are recap where it sums up certain events from the first book, but to get a fuller idea of this world, the story and the characters, I would definitely recommend reading the first book. I do sadly have to give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.