Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on acid– I think that pretty well sums up this young adult novel. While this book is a debut for Ms. Albert, it is far from her first writing. Her occupation calls upon her to write extensively and she has written for magazines and more, including McSweeney’s. This book will be eaten up by teens and adults alike. Any fan of fantasy, particularly dark, will become absorbed in this storyline.
Alice Proserpine and her mother Ella have been on the run for all of Alice’s life. Running from bad luck, or so believes Alice. In truth, what they are running from is a seriously dark story Ella has not revealed to her daughter, but there are cracks over time that have Alice wondering about the truth. Alice’s grandmother, Althea, wrote a book many years ago, Tales of the Hinterland, which quickly garnered a tremendous following of fans. After a relatively short run, the book went out of print. Not so weird in and of itself, but the fact is the books just disappeared. Only a handful of known copies still exist in the world. Alice has never seen a copy. Alice, I should mention is a very angry and churlish 17-year-old. Angry why? Perhaps because her life has been spent moving, moving, moving to escape the “bad luck.” Now, someone has taken her mother Ella. Pursuing her mothers captors into a dark, dark world of fairly tales gone wrong Alice discovers the truth about her grandmother, her mother, but mostly about herself. The writing gets to be a bit much for a 63-year-old man:
The green fragrance of ruined grass got into my head and gave me that high, lonesome feeling you only get at night, when you feel like the last person on Earth.
Seriously, is that a common experience? But I’m sure fantasy fans will not skip a beat as they read. There is more than enough great passages here to keep any reader going:
We rode past a house that hung too close over the road, as if it had outgrown its lot.
This book is going to be a big one. Movie rights have already been sold, and it’s not even published yet. Put this book in the hands of any fantasy fan you have in your life and they will thank you for it.
–Brad Smith, Paulina Springs Books, Sisters, OR