Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Clockwork Alice

As part of the release of The Clockwork Alice author DeAnna Knippling provided me with an ecopy of her book for review.

It has been more years than I care to admit to since I have read the Alice in Wonderland stories. I do remember having varying reactions to the stories, from laughter to fear to just plain confusion. I had the same reactions to The Clockwork Alice, and I believe this was probably the intent of the author. Because in addition to those reactions was a feeling of nostalgia, kind of like visiting an old friend, recalling past adventures but seeing how their life has changed yet in some ways, stayed the same. She maintained the feel of the original beautifully. All the characters we remember are there.

A complex story, the original Alice... operated on many levels. Author Knippling has continued that complexity with her continuation of the story, both thematically and structurally. There is more than one Alice (SPOILER ALERT! AAARRGGH!) in this telling, exponentially increasing that complexity.

To the mundane nuts and bolts: There are a few typos/errors which need to be corrected. Things like of instead of off, off instead of of, and of instead of from, to name a few (they always seem to jump out at me).

The only other difficulty (minor) for me is that the segues from one Alice to another (remember, spoiler) was sometimes more abrupt and less clear than I would have liked. Although to be honest, as the story progressed I was better able to pick up the clues as to which was which.

The Clockwork Alice is a new visit with an old friend, at times bizarre and twisted. DeAnna Knippling has demonstrated (to me at least) an abundance of creativity and imagination. The Clockwork aspect of the story is truly mind-bending. I found the ending to be heart warming and simultaneously heart breaking yet overall comforting.

I don't necessarily recommend this Alice story for younger children. It's not a Disney version. There are themes and actions that would be hard for the younger reader/listener to completely understand.

Adults, if you read any of the Alice in Wonderland stories (and I know you have) you really should read The Clockwork Alice by DeAnna Knippling, you will be glad you did. Enjoy!


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