Review: Red Queen (Chronicles of Alice, #2) – Christina Henry

2016-09-09_14-42-51*** (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.

Review: Alice (Chronicles of Alice #1) – Christina Henry

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*****

This book really caught my eye when I saw a review of it thanks to the wonderful world of Book Blogging! Ever since then I knew I had to have it, and read it, IMMEDIATELY!! So that is what I did. I knew I was having a free week coming up, so during my week Book-A-Thon, I ordered Alice, which thankfully it arrived the next day, (got to love Amazon Prime), and then waited for the day to read this amazing book. That was my big struggle. So I already had high expectations of this book before going into reading this book, so I was also a bit dubious before reading this, as I didn’t want to be disappointed by my own high build up.

Alice, is the first book in the Chronicle of Alice series, which is an Alice in Wonderland retelling  of sorts, but a much darker and disturbing version. Let me give you the books actual description before I give you my review of this thrilling read;

“In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo with  the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blonde, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place – just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood. . .

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.”

Sound awesome? Because OMG this book was soooo amazing!!! The book begin after Alice has met the Rabbit, and nobody believed her. She was discovered covered in blood and mumbling about rabbits and eyes and her friend Dor has not returned with her, so she is still missing. Her parents, not getting answers and with Alice still going on about the Rabbit, they put her into a hospital, I believe a mental hospital, deep in the Old City. Over time she forgets what happened to her, except the tea party, long ears, the colour of the eye and the blood. There she meets someone in the room next to hers and they start talking. And that is really where the story really starts and Alice’s new adventure to rediscover her lost memories begins. But is it an adventure she wants to undertake, and memories she want to have back.

I can’t remember the last time I got completely engorged in a book like I did with this one. I became so antisocial while reading this book, because I just didn’t want to stop reading this book for any reason whatsoever! The storyline was so gripping and I just wanted to keep going and to go on the same adventure as Alice and Hatcher as they go along. It was so good and so captivating, and everything that was written was just so perfectly expressed that I could imagine it all so vividly, that it was like it was all being played out in my head. I don’t  even think I took the time to actually eat properly. I definitely didn’t take the time to set the book down and cook a proper home cooked meal that would’ve taking the time to do so, so luckily I was very quick reading this book.

The characters in this book were gripping and so easy to understand. Of course we are going to have to discuss Alice. When reading this book and you are told that it’s an Alice in Wonderland retelling, so you instantly get and bring the Alice from the Lewis Carroll classic to mind, before you even open and read this book. But once you start reading, you get a character all of her own. You see her grow and develop throughout this entire book, which is so seamlessly done, that seemless is the best word to use because of how outstanding it is. You don’t see this sudden jump in character, you see a growth and you see why there is a growth, which is something you sometimes don’t get to see and is sometimes missed out. One of these changes, is thanks to another character, Hatcher. This is the character that Alice mets, or hears, in the room next to her in the hospital at the begin of the book. I don’t want to give too much away, as I want to keep my reviews spoiler free.

What was amazing, for me anyways, was when I would hear words that would connect me to the original Lewis Carroll version of Alice in Wonderland, this would make me smile. When I would here simple things such as, the tea party, the cakes and drinks that affected your size, the Jabberwock, the rabbit, the Cheshire and his grin, and so on. It all just made this book that extra bit perfect for me. I love it all. Then how they ended this book!! I want to quote the last part of this book so badly, but omg would that be a spoiler, or a teaser or would that just be mean? I always said that I never wanted to give away spoilers in my reviews, but this last part of this book, OMG!! I have fallen in love. It was a cute little throwback. Red Queen (Chronicles of Alice #2) by Christina Henry has already been bought with speedy eagerness. P.s. If you order this book from amazon, don’t look at the amount of pages it says the book has. Before I ordered my copy I was told it was going to have 198 pages, however when my book arrived it had 325 pages, which was better for me. The same for Red Queen, saying 198 but actually having 313 pages.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. READ IT!! But beware of its dark, violent and possibly disturbing images. Now that you’ve been warned, GO AND READ IT!!! Definitely my biggest recommendation so far this year. Massive 5 out of 5 stars. I loved it!! I can’t wait to read Red Queen 😀

Have you read this book? What did you think of this book? Yay or Nay? Comment below 😀

Review: The Reflections of Queen Snow White – David Meredith

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*****

I received this eBook as an Amazon gift from the author himself, in exchange for an honest and an unbiased review of this book. I would like to say a MASSIVE thank you to David Meredith for this Amazon Gift. This is the first time anyone has ever bought me anything as a gift like this on Amazon, a family, friend, author or anyone to review a book for them 🙂 so that is awesome!!!

Have you ever wondered, or been curious, about what happened to some of your favourite fairy-tale characters after the ‘happily ever after’? Well, wonder no more, at least with the case of Snow White and her Prince Charming. Sadly however, their happy ending didn’t last, as this book begins with Queen Snow White being trapped, this time it is within herself as she is locked in a depression after the death of Prince Charming. Every part of the castle is bursting with people and full of reminders of life shared with her one true love that she has now lost and is not going to get back. Desperate for alone time, she enters a part of the castle that has long been shut off and forgotten about, as it was used by the old Queen and Evil Witch who cause so much pain to Snow White’s life. Here, Snow White discovers the Magic Mirror and this story really begins. . .

This is only my second every fairy-tale retelling story that I have every read, and I’m not sure if this book would really count as a re-telling, but anyway, I loved this book!! I never really grew up on reading fairy-tales and watching Disney films, my house and my family were not really that type of family, which has lead me to start watching the classic Disney films now. Yes, I was sadly 20 years old before I watched The Lion King and 22 when I first watched The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, which is now my favourite Disney film, so far. Snow White is the most known fairy-tale of all, in my opinion; with the magic mirror, evil queen, Snow White, seven dwarfs, poisoned apple, Prince Charming’s loving kiss awakens her from her slumber, and so on. I loved how this storyline allowed us to see some of the major important parts that have occurred throughout of Snow Whites entire life, even before she met Prince Charming, in a very strong, powerful and vivid way. We get to see how her life was while living in the castle with the Evil Queen and how she was treated and why she escaped. The way this storyline was created to allow for readers to discover the now Queen Snow White’s life, is amazing and I love how the Magic Mirror is used and added in to do this, and is the perfect way to also create an amazing story.

This book and how it is written is fantastic. The writing style is one of my favourite aspects about this book, as it is written so eloquently and David Meredith enables you to be able to imagine everything so clearly. It is so easy to read and you just don’t want to put it down, but to keep turning that page and discover something new about someone, who has been apart of your life since you were a child. This time around, it is like it is a fairy-tale, but targeted and aimed for adults, but a more realistic, real world fairy-tale!! But will this book have an happy ending? It so beautifully written, that I loved so many of the sentences and have highlighted them in my copy for quotes and things I can use, because they are just so amazing. I would love to just spend the day posting quotes from this book.

There were a couple of editing issues, but I mean only a couple. There may have been more, but I didn’t notice because I was so into the book and reading it, that I had just bypassed them. This is quite easily a one sitting read, as you just don’t want to stop reading and discovering the past and future of Snow White’s life, before and after the whole incident with the dwarfs and the story we all already know. I would therefore definitely recommend this book highly, regardless if you’ve read Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (because I haven’t), and that’s why I have rated it a MASSIVE 5 out of 5 stars!!!