*I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Out of all the retellings, I’ve read/listened to this year this one has been my favorite. Alice’s wonderland isn’t the same wonderland you remember. Instead of falling asleep under a tree or following a rabbit down a hole Alice’s imagination hasn’t run away with her. She’s stuck a little too much in the real world.
Set in a steampunk Victorian England Alice has left the life of crime she knew from childhood leaving behind her childhood love William aka Caterpillar. A grifter and a thief Caterpillar has made a deal with the Queen of Hearts that has gone sideways and only the Bandersnatch has the skills necessary to save him and everything they had dreamed for as children. Will Alice be able to save him without losing her heart too?
This retelling keeps the names and ideologies of the original characters but puts them into an entirely unique situation without losing any of the magic behind the world. It faces some harsh truths of what it meant to make your own way in Victorian London as a child while creating the mechanical wonders that make a steampunk world unique. There are multiple flashbacks to Alice and her sister growing up and her history will William
It reads like a YA mild-romance novel. Strong Trigger warnings for abuse!
I do have to agree with a few of the other reviews that argue it isn’t exactly a retelling. It's more of a steampunk-AU (Alternative Universe) fanfiction, but the quality of the writing and story is much better than those unfinished pieces on fanfiction.net we all read in middle school.
I will definitely be reading more of Melaine Karsak’s steampunk retellings as the opportunity arises!!
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