Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Follow the White Rabbit (Beautiful Madness #1) by Kellie Sheridan - Ashley's Review

*I received this novella as an eARC from Patchwork Press on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Title:  Follow the White Rabbit
Author: Kellie Sheridan
Year Published: 2013

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Synopsis: For centuries, Wonderland thrived as the domain of beautiful bedlam and unapologetic madness. It was a place like no other. All it took was one girl slipping in through the cracks of the universe to start chaos spiraling toward order. In the 150 years since Alice’s visit, the realm has become tainted—almost normal. Rabbits in waistcoats and playing card minions are little more than creatures of myth, and Wonderland is literally falling to pieces.

For Gwen, Rose, and Lucky, Wonderland is home, and yet they know little of its former glory. When the Alice prophecy resurfaces, they’ll have one chance to use Wonderland’s own legends to bring a little mayhem back into their reality. For she who controls Alice controls the fate of Wonderland.

Review: I've always loved Wonderland. and how it's so versatile that it can be taken to be so many different things by so many different authors. It's interesting how people pick and choose what parts they want to show, and how they take different things to be literal or figurative. The white rabbit is not always a rabbit, the mad hatter has a variety of different backstories, the card soldiers may not always be literal cards, and so on.  This story presents a unique version of  Alice's impact on Wonderland, and what Wonderland is really about.  Madness used to abound, but now it's become like any other world, and the only way to return it to its former glory is by controlling the new Alice.

I love the new characters that are introduced in this story, especially after I figured out who they were supposed to be in the traditional Alice story. All of our favorite classic characters are there, it just might take a while to figure out who they are. Gwen and Lucky were my favorites, and I can't wait to learn more about them in the next novella. It also amazes me how much world-building there really is. I mean, we all know the basics of Wonderland, but Sheridan takes them and warps them to make her own, new Wonderland.

The timeline is a little different than I was expecting, but I think it works well. We start near the end, and then are thrown into the past and work our way up to the present. But I don't think this story would have worked any other way, and it's pretty neat to see the characters become who they need to be to make the Alice prophecy come true. There are still a few characters that I'm unsure about, and I can't wait to find out who they are as the story progresses. Although I think this could have been a full novel, I'm actually kind of excited that it's going to be released as smaller novellas. I just feel like it's more effective as novellas. 

Overall, I think this was a nice little story set in a new and exciting Wonderland. The characters are well done, and the story is even better. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a quick read that gives a new take on a classic. I can't wait to continue the series, and I hope the next novella comes out soon! This short story gets a 4/5 from me. 


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