Saturday, 2 August 2014

Book: Her Mad Hatter by Marie Hall

In order to stop the madness, the Hatter needs to find his Alice, and though his fairy Godmother, Danika, has tried to find that special Alice she's never succeeded...until now. Alice Hu has always felt different, and always felt drawn to the Mad Hatter from the story of Alice in Wonderland, so much so that she has just set up a bakery themed on the story and the characters. One night a strange woman leaves a card with a white rabbit on it and the words 'rub me', intrigued by the card, and aware that no one was watching, Alice rubs the card and finds her way to Wonderland. But things aren't as simple as turning up, the stream of Alices before her have left the Hatter sceptical and much so that having Wonderland accept her may not be as straight forward as she thinks.

Link to Goodreads
Link to amazon

This is the first book that I've read in the Kingdom Series by Marie Hall (I've previously read the two books that are currently out in the Night Series) and I'm glad I did. If you're looking for a read that you can be (fairly) certain of the end to, and a twist on fairy tale characters, then this is definitely a good choice.

I did something that I don't normally do with Her Mad Hatter, and that was read other reviews before I wrote my own (I'm not sure why, I just do sometimes), and I'm a tad confused by some of them. Most notably those that say that the Hatter isn't true to character (though everyone is entitled to their opinion, this is just why I disagree with that).

It is clear, and somewhat necessary, that the Hatter isn't the old man depicted in Disney's version, or indeed Lewis Carroll's, however I did think that he had the necessary qualities of the Hatter; he spoke in riddles and nonsense at many points as well as having his obsession with time, which was included in the story so that it made sense and fitted well. More to the point though, if all Hall did was recreate the other versions of the story then it wouldn't be some things needed to be changed, don't know about anyone else but a 7 year old Alice would not have fit with the story!

There is a small cast of characters in Her Mad Hatter and I thought that that worked, especially as some of those characters are going to be expanded in other books in the series (that would be an assumption based on the titles!) and it gave time for Hall to develop Alice and the Hatter as well as Wonderland itself. Again I thought that the strange way in which the world worked was in keeping with the basic story but had its moments of originality, which was both refreshing and enjoyable.

I really enjoyed this adult take on Alice in Wonderland, the characters interacted well and the setting was well constructed and imaginative (I will refrain from saying it felt real though! This is Wonderland after all!) and I'm looking forward to reading more from this series!

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