Welcome to one of the April 6th stops on the blog tour for Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay, organized by Audiobookworm Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, audio excerpts, author and narrator interviews, and more!
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About the Book
by H.J. Ramsay
Published 1 August 2019
Red Rogue Press
Page Count: 347
Published 19 January 2021
Red Rogue Press
Length: 11 hours 2 minutes
Narrator: Caroline Holmes
Genre: YA Fantasy, Fairtale Revisit
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Alice’s stories of Wonderland did more than raise a few eyebrows – it landed her in an asylum. Now at 15 years of age, she’s willing to do anything to leave, which includes agreeing to an experimental procedure. When Alice decides at the last minute not to go through with it, she escapes with the White Rabbit to Wonderland and trades one mad house for another: The court of the Queen of Hearts. Only this time, she is under orders to take out the Queen. When love, scandal, and intrigue begin to muddle her mission, Alice finds herself on the wrong side of the chopping block.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Consider liking my review on Goodreads.
I was granted complimentary audiobook access to Ever Alice as part of my participation in a blog tour for this title with Audiobookworm Promotions. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
In the real world, Alice is currently in an asylum being treated for her delusions of Wonderland, and when the staff at this asylum believe she’s too difficult a case for their methods, they move her off to another where the doctor there is practising new, physical procedure methods of treating mental illness. As Alice is facing the threat of what sounds like lobotomy, the White Rabbit returns and whisks her off to Wonderland once more to assist in the “Above Ground” resistance and their coup to assassinate the Queen of Hearts.
This is a unique Alice in Wonderland retelling/sequel peppered with just enough familiar phrases and faces from Twain’s original to make it feel like Wonderland while introducing enough new faces and plot twists that it feels fresh and unlike any other Wonderland story you’ve ever read. This version of Wonderland is darker than the sugar-coated children’s books you’re used to reading. This is not a bedtime story.
I very much enjoyed the very detailed and complicated plot to overthrow the queen and how believably scared and unsure young Alice is throughout the whole thing while still finding the courage and cunning to act when she needs to. I enjoyed the new faces among the Queen of Hearts’ court and the very different role given to the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, and the Prince (sometimes Knave in other version) of Hearts. I’m not sure if I misheard the narrator of if the name was intentionally changed, but it would appear the Cheshire Cat is now named Chester and that detail I wasn’t so much a fan of. If you’re going to give him another name, why make it so similar to Cheshire?
On that note, though, I should comment that I enjoyed this narrator’s performance and this the audiobook file itself is excellent. At a little over 11 hours it’s certainly not an afternoon read unless you’re comfortable listening at breakneck speeds (though my usual 1.5-2x speed feels like conversational speaking pace in this recording), so I would expect a casual listener to take 3+ days with this one. Had I not been squeezing this into a blog tour schedule at the beginning of the month while my book club is tackling a Sanderson novel that I’ve also picked up in audiobook format I might have listened over the course of more than one day myself and savoured the ride a little more.
If you like fairytale retelling that shake things up and defy the conventions of versions past, this is an excellent Wonderland story to explore. Beware, however, as this is very much a dark fantasy and features medical trauma, murder, and accidental deaths.
About the Author
H.J. Ramsay has loved fantasy ever since she was a child. Growing up, she was influenced by movies like Legend, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth as well as books and short stories, such as The Collected Works of Brothers Grimm. She is drawn to fantasy with a darker side to its glittery world and the idea that things are never what they seem. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles and teaches writing classes at her local community college. Ever Alice is her first published novel.
About the Narrator
Based in Edinburgh, Scotland after spending most of her adult life abroad (France, Botswana, Hong Kong, New Zealand) Caroline Holmes is a retired teacher with a fascination for stories for any age, languages (she speaks five), and learning in general. She is currently working on her sixteenth audiobook and still revels in the whole process. Loving a challenge, she is developing an ever-increasing range of voices to perform wildly different characters and enjoys spending time on research to be sure of interpreting complex non-fiction correctly. She finds good writing in any genre compelling, humour irresistible and collaborating closely with authors wonderfully rewarding.
|April 1||Author Anthony Avina’s Blog|
|April 1||The Book Junkie Reads|
|April 1||4 the Love of Audiobooks|
|April 2||A Wonderful World of Words|
|April 2||Jazzy Book Reviews|
|April 2||Audiobook News|
|April 3||I’m All About Books|
|April 3||Nesie’s Place|
|April 3||Super Booked!|
|April 4||Chapter Break|
|April 4||2 Girls & A Book|
|April 5||Kit ‘N Kabookle|
|April 6||Westveil Publishing|
|April 7||JBronder Book Reviews|
|April 7||Books, Tea, Healthy Me|
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