Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Review: Wonderland by Robert McKay

Intergalactic Fairy Tales, Book 1
by Robert McKay
McKay Manor Publishing
YA Science Fiction/Fairy Tale Retelling
182 pages

Teenage Alice didn’t mean to end up on Wonderland, but the living spaceship she commandeered had other plans, and he was very late.

Abandoned on an unfamiliar planet, Alice’s first day as a space pirate has fallen into madness. Caterpillars? Mad hatters? A Jabberwock? A queen known for chopping off heads? Alice must face all Wonderland can throw at her if she’s to take back possession of The White Rabbit and leave Wonderland in one piece.

Wonderland is an Alice in Wonderland fairy tale retelling full of action, adventure, and unlikely heroes. While the Intergalactic Fairy Tales take place in the same universe, and occasionally have overlapping characters, these books can be read and enjoyed in any order.


I'm a big fan of fairy tale retellings, especially those which venture into a realm with completely different twists.

This is the first in a series of Intergalactic tales. There are many elements taken directly from the original fairy tale, but still, so many new aspects are added and switched in, making it a completely new tale of its own.

Alice is a pirate...or dreams of becoming one and acts this out in her games of pretend, much to her parents' despair. When she discovers a spaceship, who happens to be alive, and sneaks aboard, her adventures in Wonderland begin.

This is an enjoyable read. It's impossible to know what will happen next, and there are so many delicious oddities and uncertainties on this foreign planet. The Alice in this story isn't a weak, little girl, but has a little spunk. She's definitely not the type to let people walk all over her...and she's clever, which turns out to be one of her greatest assets. Her decisions are for the most part understandable, and it's easy to cheer for her as she comes up against the Queen of Hearts.

Action runs non-stop in these pages, as Alice runs from one difficult situation into the next. The Queen of Hearts is despicable, as she should be, and although her actions and intentions don't always make sense, that's completely fine because she is a bit off of her rocker. The danger is always tangible as Alice goes from one vibrant place to the next, each filled with curious details, but often times familiar enough so as not to completely lose track.

The only thing which bothered me in this book is Alice's age. She's supposedly a teenager, but her character often comes across younger and more child like, placing her, in my opinion, in a solid book for middle graders. But, there are several violent scenes and other aspects, which make this inappropriate for a younger audience. It's an enjoyable read, but I'm not sure which age group to recommend it to.

Summed up, this was an enjoyable read. The placing of Alice into a galactic world comes over almost seamlessly and creates a vivid place, worthy of all the craziness Wonderland harbors. Anyone who loves fairy tale retellings will enjoy diving into this world.

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