Title // Alice: the Wanderland Chronicles
Author // J.M. Sullivan
Publication Date // 16 May 2017
Publisher // Pen Name Publishing
Genre // Young Adult, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Rating // ✭✭✭⭐︎
“Always protect your queen.”
Ever since the outbreak of the Plague, life hasn’t been easy, and for seventeen-year-old Alice Carroll, it just got worse. Her sister, Dinah, has contracted the ‘un-deadly’ Momerath Virus and without a cure, will soon be worse than dead. She’ll be momerath.
Alice must leave the safety of the Sector and venture into Momerath Territory to find the antidote – if it exists. Chasing a rumor about a mysterious doctor with the cure, Alice falls down the rabbit hole into Wanderland, where ravenous momerath aren’t the only danger lurking.
Alice: the Wanderland Chronicles is a fairytale retelling with a twist. Set in a gritty, dystopian future, Phoenix is the birthplace of the Momerath Virus, a disease that, once it takes holds, turns its victims into zombie-like creatures with insatiable appetites.
I’m not normally one for zombie stories, but this book was like a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Resident Evil, which I’ll take any day. Alice Carroll is a fierce, determined young woman surviving in the aftermath of the virus outbreak. She and her sister, Dinah, make a living scavenging supplies from outside the safe zone for their fellow survivors, until Dinah suddenly falls ill with all her symptoms pointing to the Momerath Virus. It’s up to Alice to try and find a cure for her sister before it’s too late.
Once Alice leaves the safety of the compound and ventures into what used to be Phoenix city, events transpire quickly. She meets a mysterious stranger, Chess, who appears and disappears without much warning, often leaving her in situations that require her to defend herself against the stronger, dangerous Momerath. Alice faces all challenges with a strong determination, and a singular mindset: she wants to find the cure, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes. As a reader, I sympathised with her plight, and wanted her to succeed.
The world building was good – it could have been better, but given the fast-paced, frantic nature of scenes it’s easy to see why the world building wasn’t delved into deeper. Hopefully in subsequent books, the world will be further fleshed out. Likewise, we got some fantastic glimpses into who and what the side characters – like Chess and Bug and Hatta – are, but I would love to know even more about them in the future.
Sullivan has done a good job of weaving in elements of the classic tale while still making it a story on its own. Fans will like the nods to canon, but you don’t need to know them to appreciate the story.
Overall, I gave Alice: the Wanderland Chronicles 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Thank you toNetgalley for sending an eARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.