Alice - Christina Henry

My reading slump can be solely blamed on Alice, the bookclub selection that I felt I absolutely had to finish in spite of my growing hatred with each passing page. That is, when I got the pages turning. One particular week I only made my way through 3%.


I have several gripes and after a couple days of reflection, here are the few that irked me the most:


Alice is a dark, adult, horror-type book. Emphasis on dark here because Christina Henry really wanted to drive this point home. Unfortunately, she writes dark in the cheapest way possible by using rape as the linchpin to all villainy. Not only is Alice graphically raped, but every woman in the book is threatened or enslaved. The setting is a sort of Wonderlandesque mob world where bosses rule their territories by stealing, selling, and maiming woman. The Walrus, for example, "eats them while he takes them". It was all so vile and repetitive that I found it infuriating.


When Henry wasn't busy beating us over the head with how atrocious her made up world was, she was slowly moving a very basic plot along in which Alice and her asylum escapee partner and axe murderer, Hatch (also, her love interest), were attempting to destroy the Jabberwocky who was to devour everyone in the Old City (errr...the mob-world Wonderland).


Personally, there wasn't a thing in this city worth saving and Jabberwocky should have just been left to his own devices, but I guess that wasn't the point of this particular journey, though I'm not sure what the point actually was because any attempt at actual story telling was removed in favor of yet describing another horrific rape. In other words, it was a lot of flash and titillating horror to distract you from the fact that there was little in the way of plot and then what was presented was full of gaping holes.


But the final nail in the coffin was when they arrive at their end destination, the climax of their journey. Along the way they were given little to no information to sleuth their way there, instead they trip along from one villain to the next all the while asking 'what are we going to do?".  In the end they happened upon their goal, two, three, four, five. FIVE WORDS:


"Then, suddenly, they were there."


REALLY? Neither of these two incredibly cardboard yahoos had any clue of anything  almost the entire book (oh, amnesia, what a crutch) and we get them to the place of redemption in FIVE WORDS?


So by this time I could hardly care that all other major back story was dismissed by.... eleven words.


 "'Why’ is a girl’s question, and we are no longer girls,"


I was nearly the ONLY reader that wanted to know why however, all of my other book friends that have read this book have enjoyed it. I'm okay with being in the small minority on this one though, it should make for an interesting book club.