cover image Alice


Christina Henry. Ace, $15 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-26679-3

In this remix of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Henry (the Black Wings novels) comes closer to Alan Moore's Lost Girls than to Disney in content, though her work lacking his originality and depth. When Alice was 16, she went to a party in a slum in the Old City, from which she returned raped, scarred, and babbling about someone called the Rabbit. This got her locked away in an insane asylum in an unnamed city that resembles Victorian London. Her only friend is the axe murderer in the adjoining cell, whose exploits have earned him the nickname the Hatcher. He knows that the asylum's basement is the prison of a force of dark magic called the Jabberwock. When fire destroys the building, Alice and Hatcher must traverse the Old City and force its peculiar denizens to help stop the Jabberwock, while the Rabbit haunts Alice's memories. Henry's world is rife with sexual violence and brutality, and her characters have all been seen before many, many times. The tremulous sweetness of the relationship between Alice and Hatcher is the book's high point, but among so much grime it hardly has a chance to shine. Agent: Lucienne Diver, Knight Agency. (Aug.)