First of all let me just mention that I love the cover of this book. It’s vibrant and very Alice in Wonderland like the book. Secondly, WOW!! What a great book! One of the best Alice in Wonderland adaptations I’ve read. Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah J. Pepper, was everything you could expect from a YA fantasy book and more. It does not disappoint.
There are quite a few similarities between Lewis Carroll’s Alice and Pepper’s Alice Mae. One of the most obvious is Alice’s name itself. Pepper’s Alice is named after Carroll’s true inspiration for his Wonderland books, Alice Liddell.
It all started with Jack’s prophecy. A girl with a boys name, a.k.a Alice a.k.a Al will end the Queen of Hearts’ Reign of Terror. Alice Mae is the Red Queen’s assistant, who has been sent out into the “Otherworld”, a.k.a Earth as we know it, to find Ryley and take him to the Queen.
Alice Mae is an independent girl, sly and by her own admission manipulative. Ryley is the good looking boy-next-door, with a crush on the school’s head cheerleader. But along comes Alice Mae, with her claims to know about his his past and more importantly his father and disrupts his life. Their interactions are witty and fun. Alice Mae manages to one-up Ryley most of the time, and this does not sit well with him. More often than not, Ryley was left in the dark as to what was actually going on and Alice Mae held the reins. This was a refreshing change from all the aplha men who knew how to control a woman.
From the very title of the book, we know that the Mad Hatter will die, but even then, when the moment came it surprised me and shocked me. The author has woven a magical and intricate web and you can’t help but get caught in it.
Alice Mae, was a quirky and weird, adorably at that and never apologised for the way she was. She knew and strengths and weaknesses and never shied away from it. I was not love at first sight for Alice Mae and Ryley and that just added to the magic of this story. Teenage hormones and pent up aggression leading to hot passionate kisses, left you with a flutter in your stomach.
Pepper has created a wondrous world with Wonderland. It was quite exciting and fulfilling to find out about that world and it creatures, to learn their secrets. She managed to juxtapose both Wonderland and the Otherworld.
This was not a very light novel, the villains were, well villainous and the dark themes just added to the intricacy of the novel. It was absolutely well written and one that would make you want to read it again and again.
Death of the Mad Hatter was as good as, if not better than Carroll’s original works. A book worth the read. One that’ll highly recommend. A 4.5/5 star fro this book.
Death of the Mad Hatter releases on November 29th.