Alice is a darker book than I usually read. Not dark in a horror or gory way, but in a way where a lot of bad things happen in a really bad place and not a lot of good is going on. Old City, where the novel takes place, is split up into sections that are run by (the equivalent of) mob bosses and the citizens live in constant fear of the bosses or those who work for them. Everyone is poor and women live in constant fear of being raped, or eaten then raped. It’s a grim read.
In addition to being depressing, I don’t feel that Alice and Hatcher’s characters were developed very well. Alice seems very wishy washy in her thoughts and actions aren’t always believable. For me Hatcher felt like a crutch for Alice to get where she needed to go in the book. She is not a strong enough character to stand on her own.
Many of the ideas in the book are interesting and I like how Cheshire, the Caterpillar, and the Rabbit were made into men and each of their lairs were very imaginative. The ending though is one of the most disappointing endings I’ve read. It feels like the author had no idea how to get out of the corner she backed herself into so she just decided to invent something quick and easy that didn’t have anything to do with the rest of the story.
It’s not a terrible book and it was interesting enough to finish, but I just didn’t like it.