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The author of Alice takes readers back down the rabbit hole to a dark, twisted, and fascinating world based on the works of Lewis Carroll...
The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found.
Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.
The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen...

291 pages, Paperback

First published July 12, 2016

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About the author

Christina Henry

46 books6,643 followers
Christina Henry is a horror and dark fantasy author whose works include GOOD GIRLS DON'T DIE, HORSEMAN, NEAR THE BONE, THE GHOST TREE, LOOKING GLASS, THE GIRL IN RED, THE MERMAID, LOST BOY, RED QUEEN, ALICE, and the seven book urban fantasy BLACK WINGS series.

Her short stories have been featured in the anthologies CURSED, TWICE CURSED, GIVING THE DEVIL HIS DUE and KICKING IT.

She enjoys running long distances, reading anything she can get her hands on and watching movies with samurai, zombies and/or subtitles in her spare time. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.

You can visit her on the web at
Facebook: authorChristinaHenry
Twitter: @C_Henry_Author
Instagram: authorChristinaHenry
Goodreads: goodreads.com/CHenryAuthor

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,666 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,302 reviews43.9k followers
May 14, 2021
I got it why this book had so many mixed reviews. At some parts I got disappointed, too. I wanted to see team Alcher continue to their bloody journey, fight against the obstacles, kick the White Queen’s ass but guess what? Something happened to Hatcher and Alice was all alone throughout the journey.
Unfortunately her new and crucial obligation was saving Hatcher.

At some parts I was really confused and I asked myself did somebody kidnap the author and write some parts while the author was banging on the trunk’s door and screaming for help! I think the story’s power and soul a little bit got lost at the darkest place of the woods and turned into a repeating at some parts. I still loved the giants, Dark King and White Queen’s cursed story.

The big twist at the end changed so many balances about the story. It may threaten the sacred bond between Alice and Hatchet. But I actually loved the unexpected turn even though the story’s direction will head us a very dark place.

Overall: Yes, first book is brilliant and this one made me lose my interest just a little bit but this story was not so bad, just mediocre, a kind of Switzerland read: I did not like so much but I did not hate it either.

I think we need a conclusion, closure and we need get HEA for team Alcher. We got so far and we already have one short novella left and I got my ARC COPY as a lucky cow. So let’s move on and keep our fingers crossed maybe this time we’ll get better story (I hope the author hasn’t been kidnapped during the writing process of the third book)!!!

P.S. Let’s take a break and get happy. At my first review I wrote that team Alcher reminded me just a little Joe Goldberg and Love but thankfully Alice didn’t say: “I wolf you” after the transformation of Hatcher.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,113 followers
August 13, 2019
Pre review:
I enjoyed book 1, it was violent as hell and twisted but entertaining. Intrigued to see where book 2 leads.

3.5 ⭐️

“The world gobbles us and chews us and swallows us…I think happy endings must be accidents…But we hope for them all the same.”


Hm, this was ok. It was enjoyable, I wasn’t bored. But I just couldn’t see enough of a comparison with the original Alice duology by Lewis Carroll to warrant calling this a retelling. There are so many new parts introduced which, don’t get me wrong, they do make it interesting (giants, an evil goblin, a village under the White Queen’s control, Hatcher being turned into a wolf etc.) but none of this stuff is from the original story. There’s no tweedle dee and tweedle dum, no talking flowers I’m still not sure if the rabbit from book 1 is supposed to be the White Rabbit or the March Hare?!?

I also found that a lot less happens in this one than in the first book. Alice and Hatcher have left the Old City behind and are travelling east to find Jenny (another twist I didn’t like – Jenny ends up being the White Queen, with no real explanation as to how this came about). They travel and travel, through villages, desert, forest – so much trekking!! Christina also kills of Pipkin and all the girls they rescued in book 1 – like why?!? What a waste 

This book is called Red Queen but the character of the Red Queen doesn’t even exist? She is dead. Alice just uses her crown in order to defeat the White Queen. Everything just seemed messy.

Overall, this was ok. But I preferred Lost Boy, and I’m hoping her other two books are better.

“You’d better start believing in the impossible, Alice, for the impossible will keep happening.”
Profile Image for Nastassja.
423 reviews1,011 followers
July 24, 2016

Actual rating: 3.7 stars

“What about Alice? Did she have a happy ending?”

That's what you'll have to find out after reading this book. But let's think for a moment what are happy endings for the books like this one?
“The world gobbles us and chews us and swallows us,” Hatcher said, in that uncanny way he had of reading her thoughts. “I think happy endings must be accidents.”
“But we hope for them all the same,” Alice said. She looked sadly at the remains of those hopeful faces. Above all, we hope not to die in terror.

Yes, this book still has this gripping feeling of desperation and lost hope about it, and happy endings are something distant and out of a fairytale. By the way, one of the things I liked about this book is how Alice during her journey remembered fairytales her governess told her. And these tales urge your belief in the absence of happy endings to bloom more and more.
She remembered a story one of her governesses told her, about a little girl who went into a house that wasn’t hers. She sat in three chairs and tasted three bowls of porridge and rolled in three beds. And for being too curious (and, Alice thought, very rude) the little girl was eaten up by the bears who lived there.

In our world this fairytale would've been a nice story about a little girl who was greeted by three nice bears into their house and who lent her one of their beds to rest a night.

But in spite of this story been gloom, the mood of the dark fantasy that was constantly present in the previous book, did not stay in this one. We don't have as many scary moments as we had before, and Alice's adventures are simply adventures, not something nightmarish. And, alas, this is the main flaw of this story; I found myself more than once bored by Alice and her getting from point A to point B without anything extraordinary happening on her way. Yes, there were curious moments, but that's it: they were just curious and nothing more.

This book is mostly centered on Alice after the circumstances parted her and Hatcher. She has to find her way to the person she cares about, and on her way she'll conquer some goblins and giants and such. I also appreciated the unexpected twists about some of the characters from the previous book and, of course, the author made some curious tricks on a well-known history of Red Queen and her sister White Queen.

The main topic of this book is love. I've noticed some people were not happy about it, saying that this book was centered of Alice's and Hatcher's romance. But Alice was on her own for the most of the book, and, well, you can't have romance with yourself (unless you are a princess from Madly). So to speak, this book is centered on the topic of love in a wider sense: love for siblings, your friends, lovers and such. Romantic love was also the topic, and frankly, I always liked Alice and Hatcher together as they make a rather strange couple, and their love in its madness has some charm. But it was not the center of the story.

No man in the New City could love her as Hatcher did—of that Alice was certain. It was deep and all-consuming but somehow never suffocating. It was unselfish. It did not ask for anything and yet he made no secret of his need. There was no one in the world like Hatcher, and if she hadn’t been mad, there would be no Hatcher for her.

A bear that would turn into a prince, she thought, and then smiled sadly to herself. Her prince was not a bear, but a madman. Alice had learned that you could not choose whom to love. If royalty appeared out of nowhere and offered her a future, she would have to turn away from it, because Alice could never love any other but the one with grey eyes and bloodstained hands.

And, of course, this book is about finding your own true self. Who Alice is and what she must become in order to slay her demons and become a full-powered magician?
She didn’t have to be Cheshire’s ideal of a Magician or Hatcher’s ideal of a lover or her parents’ ideal of a daughter. She could be Alice.

One more thing I adore about this duology is that the villains are never as scary as they seem at first. Every time Alice's destination lead her to creatures of terror and legend who terrified people and bathed in human blood. But up front they were not as scary as it seemed, and often more pathetic than terrifying. The thing is, our greatest fears when we face them, are nothing but illusions, smoke and mirrors>.

All in all, it was a decent continuation of a wonderful book, but nevertheless it lacked in tension and atmosphere. Also, there's an issue with potential sequels, though the story ended logically and without cliffhangers, the author still left some threads that could be used for more stories if needed. I just hope if that ever happens, it'll be as engaging as its predecessors.

May 20, 2016

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ALICE was an unexpected but pleasant surprise for me. I don't read a lot of fantasy and I'm picky about retellings - unless they bring something new to the table, I don't really see the point in them. But ALICE was a dark, alien retelling of a familiar story, about a dystopian world run by sadistic crime lords, where magic is outlawed, and everyone fears for their lives - and sanity.

Translation: awesome

ALICE was a four star read that came close at several points to verging on five. The world-building was original, the villains were terrifying, and Alice was a strong character who managed to pay homage to her original namesake (I thought). Of course, when I saw book 2 was going up on Netgalley, I applied for an ARC immediately. And when I got said ARC, I did a little happy dance before settling back down to read.

Here's the thing. While reading ALICE, I was glued to the book. There were nights when I only got about 4 hours of sleep before working my overnight shift because I couldn't put the book down. It was so compulsively horrific that I had to find out what happened next. With RED QUEEN, I found myself reading complacently to a point, upon which I set it down and forgot about it for a little while. It isn't a bad book, it just doesn't have the same tight, compulsive writing style as before.

Alice managed to survive her adventures in the previous book and now, with Hatcher, continues on in her journey, which takes them to a small village on the edge of a blazing ruin. The place is glowing with magic, magic that belongs to three key players: red, white, and black...as well as another monster, a goblin, who is nothing like your mother's goblin king who was content to sing David Bowie songs while dancing around in a silver leotard. No, this goblin - he means business.

Henry weaves some celtic faerie lore in with this second book, and even manages to squeeze in that infamous quote - "off with her head!" - before the book is over. There was a clear effort and I do want to say that I could appreciate the consistency with the writing. The story, however, was completely different in tone and mood. If ALICE was Tim Burton, RED QUEEN is Angela Carter: unevenly paced, needlessly melodramatic, and aspiring to far more than it needs to to get the job done.

RED QUEEN was an okay sequel, but not great. I think it falls prey to that hated of all series-related conditions "middle book syndrome." I am curious to see how Henry chooses to bring this to a close, however (I'm assuming it's a trilogy), so all is not lost!

2.5 stars
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,936 followers
July 13, 2016

I don't know. I just didn't like this one as much as the first one. I still liked it and I loved some of the new characters and the end game, but something was just off. I guess it dragged for me so much in the beginning. I can't really tell you.

There is no darkness in this book as there was in the first one. Alice and Hatcher are going along and along and along. They are going to the mountains to see if Hatcher's daughter Jenny is there. They run into some unusual things along the way, as you would assume in this world.

There is a nice giant that Alice befriends named Pen, when she loses Hatcher (in a sense). Although at first one of Pen's brothers wanted to eat Alice, he was just a little off his nut that's all :-)

At one point Alice has to go it alone and try to save these children that were taken by the evil queen and to save Hatcher. I'm not saying much more so there will be no spoilers.

There was a sad/happy ending, but I am wondering if there is going to be another book because this one is left open for another one. I still can't believe the end and the turn of events. I never saw anything like this happening from the first book unless it all went over my head. Well, some of it was new stuff you wouldn't know anyway, but I digress.

Anyway, I hope plenty out there love it more than I did because we all have different opinions. And one is just as good as another =-)

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Katie.dorny.
1,014 reviews530 followers
July 14, 2018
This is a lot closer to 3.5 stars for me. But still better than the first!!
We pick up right where the first book left off - Alice and the Hatcher are trying to find peace and freedom after the turmoil of the first book. Unfortunately they find neither.
The white Queen rules beyond the wall of the city; and her magic is far more powerful than those of the last surviving magicians.
Only Alice has managed to survive long enough to be a threat, and only she has the magic to overcome the Queen.
There isn’t as much dramatic turn of affairs in this finale, though watching Alice develop and her inner monologue was incredibly interesting to read.
The twist at the end I never saw coming!!
I hope in a post book world Hatcher and Alice have their happy ending - lord knows they both deserve it.
Very interesting takes on classics stories!
Profile Image for Ellen Gail.
853 reviews377 followers
December 4, 2018
Important Update: Please enjoy this slightly blurry picture of me (far left, if you can't guess) in my Queen of Hearts Halloween costume circa 1996 or 97. Please also note it was not Halloween - I just liked my costume.

Let's get right to it. Is Red Queen as good as Alice? Personally, no I don't think so. Is it a good book? Certainly.

Now that we have answered all the important questions, let's get going! Mild spoilers for Alice and Red Queen to follow.

He ripped out its insides and the bones crunched in his mouth and it was too delicious, but soon enough it was gone and he was still hungry, so hungry, he always felt hungry.

Red Queen begins with Alice and Hatcher having left the city, prepared to leave their horrors behind them, on a mission to find Hatcher's long lost daughter. At first they just wander. And wander. And WANDER. Honestly, I was apprehensive. How much fucking walking were they going to do? They seemed to have no purpose, no set direction, no goal. Even in a book filled with traveling, I need to feel like there's a connection to it all.

Then. THEN! We get to the scenes in the forest and everything goes batshit-awesome. The Goblin! Giants! Wolves!

I was not psyched about separating Alice & Hatcher. They have such a great connection together. But the longer they were apart, the more necessary it felt. Alice has never been alone. She went straight from home, to The Rabbit, to the mental hospital, to Hatcher's side. Now alone in the woods, surrounded by unimaginable dangers, on her way to face a mad queen, she is forced to face herself. She has only herself to count on. That and her trusty knife.

One of the few things missing for me was The White Queen. I did like all the mind-fuckery that was going on. Twisty mind shit is my fave.

I liked the slow and minimal relationship that built between Hatcher and Alice. They love each other, but neither is equipped for a normal relationship. I just want them to be happy and mash their faces on each others faces.

So what now?

She'd never really thought about "and then." Yes, she had dreamed of a day when she had no task before her, no nightmares to chase. Somehow she'd never truly expected the day to come.

They'll never be free of monsters and villains - Alice and Hatcher can be as violent and twisted as some of the things they face. But they are alive and they have each other. Murderous or peaceful, they have a future still.

Red Queen was a really solid follow up to the spectacular Alice. It was a treat to be back with these characters again; a delicious cupcake, with a psychedelic center, served on the edge of a very sharp blade.

Oringinal pre-read review:


July 12th can't get here fast enough!
Profile Image for Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣.
651 reviews406 followers
September 23, 2016
"The world gobbles us and chews us and swallows us," Hatcher said, in that uncanny way he had of reading her thoughts. "I think happy endings must be accidents."
"But we hope for them all the same," Alice said. She looked sadly at the remains of those hopeful faces.
Above all, we hope not to die in terror.


I finally finished the second and last book in The Chronicles of Alice series. I took me more than two months to finish it. It's a good book. It's just that it's less thrilling than the first one. To my shame, I kept feeling sleepy while reading it. I think I expected more horror. I blame that on the Caterpillar and the Walrus. They were gruesome in Alice. The villains in Red Queen have reasons for doing what they do. They feel less scary.

"What about Alice? Did she have a happy ending?"


Red Queen follows Alice and Hatcher in their quest to find Jenny, H's daughter. Everything is supposed to be great once they get out of the City, but it turns out differently. In their journey, the two have to face the mad White Queen and the cruel Black King. And they do find Jenny eventually. Only she is nothing like what any of them expected.

And I guess that's pretty much it. I'm glad I finished the book as I was curious about Jenny, but I think the first book was better and it could have been a standalone.


Book #1: Alice
Profile Image for Mogsy.
2,071 reviews2,631 followers
July 14, 2016
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2016/07/14/...

Red Queen is the sequel to Alice, Christina Henry’s dark and twisted novel reimagining of the characters and worlds of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Considered to be both a retelling as well as a continuation, the first book impressed me with its portrayal of a whole different side of Lewis Carroll’s classic, and I’m pleased to report this follow-up is a very worthy conclusion to The Chronicles of Alice duology.

After spending ten years in a hospital ward for the insane, Alice is finally free. Alongside her fellow prisoner Hatcher, they’d made their way through the Old City, escaping the evil clutches of the Magician crime lords. But now they’ve come to the outskirts, a land that is supposed to be full of lushness and beauty, only to find that everything—including their hopes—has been burned to ash. But Hatcher still has to find his daughter Jenny, so the two of them decide to press on towards the mountains.

Passing through the forest though, Alice and Hatcher are waylaid by many obstacles—from a murderous goblin to a trio of monstrous giants. Worse, they eventually become separated, and Alice stumbles alone upon a village full of terrified townsfolk, who tell her about the evil queen responsible for all the bad things in this part of the land. Determined to help the villagers and save her beloved Hatcher, Alice decides to harness her newfound magic and head up the mountain, where she will confront this mysterious queen and break her wicked hold on the forest.

While darkness still permeates everything about Red Queen, the book also departs quite a bit from Alice. In spite of this, certain factors actually made me enjoy this sequel slightly more than its predecessor. First of all, it’s clear from the start that Red Queen lacks some of the in-your-face horror which was right at the surface of Alice, and overall the story is also less emotionally traumatic and disturbing. Don’t get me wrong, for I love the horror genre and all its elements, but one of my chief complaints about the first book was its extreme brutal nature and the hollowing effect it had on the characters and story. I likened this to a massive black hole sucking the life out of everything, leaving me feeling ambivalent and distant towards Alice and Hatcher. Red Queen, on the other hand, is still plenty grim and dreadful, but at least there’s room enough to let me care about the protagonists and their predicaments.

Another major difference is that Red Queen is a book mainly about Alice. Contrast that to book one, which featured a lot more of Hatcher, who played the role of her protector and was always there by her side offering his physical and mental support. However, the two of them spend much of the time apart in this sequel, and it’s Alice who does most of the rescuing, rather than the other way around. I truly enjoyed the way she stepped up in this story, taking the lead on facing off against the villain, never letting her doubts get in the way of what is right. Even after all the terrible things that have been done to her, Alice still sees the good in the world, and it’s this goodness in her that ultimately saves her life. On the whole, I also gained a better understanding of Alice and Hatcher’s relationship. It’s not romance, exactly. The two of them care for each other deeply, there’s no doubt about that. But their love is one born of pain and suffering, of surviving through terrors together. The bond between them is complex, and—paradoxically and ironically, perhaps—their separation in this book is what finally allows this intimacy to be explored.

Recent years have seen a marked increase in number of classics and fairy tale retellings, but I believe the uniqueness of Alice and now its sequel Red Queen means that these books will always stand out among the rest. This duology is certainly not for the faint of heart, but if you’re inclined towards the dark fantasy or horror genres I would definitely recommend The Chronicles of Alice, and even more so if you enjoy bleak and darkly imaginative retellings. Christina Henry has transformed this world and reshaped it to her own bold and unflinching vision. I’m really glad to have gone down this wonderfully strange and fantastic rabbit hole.
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
595 reviews3,584 followers
March 25, 2017
"This is rather like a game of chess, isn't it? A White Queen and a Black King and all the little pieces--me and Hatcher and the children from the village--moving in between, trying not to get swiped."

At the time of writing this review, there are only two books in this series, which is really worrying because Red Queen feels incomplete.

We meet up with Alice and Hatcher again as they hunt for his daughter Jenny, but through a series of events, they're separated in an enchanted forest of sorts and Alice has to find him. There are nods to the original tale through the White and Red Queens, and allusions to other fairy tales too, like Goldilocks and The Snow Queen.

The sparse world-building that strangely worked for the last book stands out like a sore thumb here. I thought we'd finally get some insight into Alice's magic or the land itself, but was sorely disappointed. Things happen just because.

There were a lot of inconsistencies. Alice severed the bond between her and Cheshire, but it's back with no explanation save for plot convenience. The Jabberwocky was done and forgotten, but hey, he's back too!

Too many questions, too little answers.
Profile Image for Aditi.
920 reviews1,345 followers
August 22, 2016
“We're all mad here.”

----Lewis Carroll

Christina Henry, a national bestselling author, pens her latest book, Red Queen, sequel to her duology of The Chronicles of Alice which is a creepy retake on the Lewis Carroll's popular book, Alice in Wonderland . Alice's journey continues along with her only friend, Hatcher, after escaping from the horrifying clutches of an equally creepy mental institute but more challenges await Alice and Hatcher, once they step out of the city, and somehow Alice must get to her destiny, at any cost.


The author of Alice takes readers back down the rabbit hole to a dark, twisted, and fascinating world based on the works of Lewis Carroll...

The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found.

Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.

The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen.

Alice and Hatcher escapes the wrath of the creepy mental institute and its devious creatures and their tortures. But once stepping outside the boundary of the Old City, Alice and Hatcher faces more troubles and more creatures as well as getting caught up in the war of a crazy White Queen and the cunning Black King. But to reach her destiny, Alice needs to find her inner self as well as need to trust someone better and more powerful than her only friend, Hatcher.

Christina Henry is back with the sequel to her hair raising book, Alice where our very own Alice is caught in a twisted web of horror and scary monsters with the book, Red Queen. Unfortunately, this time that hair raising thrill is missing from the story line, or any of those horrifying scenes. Moreover, the story reads like any basic and normal adventure story where neither the twists will shock the readers nor the characters will impress the readers. Only thing that stands out in this book is the journey of Alice's self-discovery of her true inner self, which the author has penned in a striking manner.

The author's writing style is good, but not strong or articulate, hence the readers will be left disappointed with the method of story telling or its writing. The narrative is normal, nothing daunting or engaging enough to keep the readers glued to the pages of the book. Right in the very start, the story begins with a bang minus the catching up with the cliffhangers from the previous book, but it begins with a decent start where some pretty Gothic action will surprise the readers, but later on, midway into the story, it loses its charm and becomes very dull.

The characters from the book are well developed and are depicted with so many layers that are peeled away as per the situation thereby projecting their true self and colors. The main character, Alice, is portrayed as a hopeful character with a bit of realistic and genuine demeanor that makes her sane and relatable into the eyes of the readers. Alice is strong, but gradually she learns to believe herself and the way she handles and faces all the hurdles is pretty amazing and the readers will be bound to root for her journey. The rest of the characters don't stand out that much yet they are quite striking enough to make the story fascinating.

Like I said before, that this book is missing all those pretty sick and mind-blowing actions scenes, instead, the author has focused the whole story into the romance of Alice and Hatcher. The whole story paints their sweet love story in a compassionate yet in a charming way. And most of the time, the central story line shifted to depict the young lovers' crusade. Although the portrayal of their love story is sensitive and emotional and the readers will find it alluring.

In a nutshell, this book turns the readers' expectations down, but on a positive note, the book depicts an enduring journey of a young distressed yet intelligent girl looking a little girl.

Verdict: A not so promising or positive end to the fairy tale of our dreams.

Courtesy: Thanks to the publishers for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book.
Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,388 reviews1,468 followers
June 18, 2016
Though it lacked the grittiness and extreme horror of Alice, Red Queen is a fantastic second effort by Henry. We're reintroduced to Alice and Hatcher as they escape the City and make their way into the wilderness, on a hunt for Hatcher's long lost daughter, Jenny. Magic, danger, and monsters wait on the path ahead, but those things are nothing compared to what Alice and Hatcher bring with them in their own damaged and twisted minds.

Cheshire, one of my favorite characters, gives a quick summary of the first book in the beginning of this one, in case you didn't get a chance to read it: "Hatcher and Alice escaped from the hospital, and traveled through the Old City in search of their pasts and in search of a monster called the Jabberwocky who made the streets run with blood and corpses." The girl shuddered. "I know about him... What about Alice? Did she have a happy ending?" "I don't know," Cheshire said."

Henry weaves enough of the classic tale into her story so that you know that it is a retelling, but still manages to introduce enough original elements in to make it feel entirely new. Like the toll that magic takes on the people who wield it, something that Carroll never addresses: "Maybe power corrupts them," Alice said. It was a frightening thought, one that made her suddenly reluctant to try any magic at all. She'd spent years under the influence of drugs that made her think she was insane. She was only just learning who Alice was, what it was like to be her own self. She would rather use no magic at all than become some one unrecognizable."

The world that Hatcher and Alice inhabit feels like the real world in that, there are no guarantees of happily ever after for the main characters. It's reminiscent of George R.R. Martin in that, Henry makes you feel truly concerned that either Alice or Hatcher are going to be struck down at any moment. But, Henry actually manages to tell a story in 200 or so pages, something that Martin can't do. Not that I'm bitter or anything... : "The world gobbles us and chews us and swallows us," Hatcher said, in that uncanny way she had of reading her thoughts. "I think happy endings must be accidents." "But we hope for them all the same," Alice said." I do too.

Alice really comes into her own in this story. She's brave, but fragile- a damaged hero but resilient. If you're looking for a strong female protagonist, you'll find one in this book: "Alice thought, my magic doesn't seem to be good for much at all. And there is no one who can help me learn, for all the Magicians I have met have been mad or cruel or both. I was mad once too, but it doesn't seem to have taken properly. I didn't come out of the hospital with any powerful powers." Or did she?

This passage summed up the book for me: "This is really all very strange," Alice murmured. "One of the strangest things I've seen, and I have seen lots that is strange. More than my fair share, as a matter of fact."

Highly recommended for adult readers who enjoy dark fairy tales, magic, and transformation through suffering. I've really become a fan of Henry and I can't wait to see where she takes this story next. If you enjoyed this tale, you may want to try The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins or The Circle by Mats Strandberg.

Thank you to NetGalley and Ace Publishing for a free digital ARC of this book. I loved it.
Profile Image for Victoria.
1,000 reviews94 followers
August 13, 2020
This book!!! What an adventure omg. Christina Henry's books are always so magical and whimsical but so dark and I can't get enough of them, this was so good!!! Idk how she comes up with these ideas but she better never stop because I want a retelling of every fairytale from her asap!
Profile Image for Krystal.
1,644 reviews384 followers
November 23, 2019
Not quite as gripping as the first book, but an entertaining read all the same.

I really enjoy the way it's written like a child's story but is full of blood and violence and monsters and death. The whole way through Alice is such a breath of fresh air - she's the same, no-nonsense girl we know from her first creation by Lewis Carroll, but this time she's getting frustrated with goblins and giants and evil, spiteful queens. Honestly, the bother of it all.

The quest here is a little more vague, as Alice does indeed observe herself. In the first story, Alice and Hatcher are on a quest to find the Rabbit and stop the Jabberwocky. Now, they've a vague notion of looking for Jenny, but where could she possibly be? And why is everything around them burnt to a crisp? Also, what's up with all the delicious, unattended food?

Took a little bit longer for me to get into the story, and the lack of chapters was a little disturbing. At the start I think it was a bit of a flaw - I couldn't convince myself to just keep reading til the end of the chapter, so I just put it down at random places - but eventually it became a solid, uninterrupted story that flowed really neatly.

The first was a lot of fun with all the recognisable characters, so this one was a bit pale in comparison there but I did really like Pen and the nasty little goblin. (Anyone else get Rumpelstiltskin vibes, btw?) There's also a few nods to other fairy tales which always makes for a bit of fun.

Overall it was another quick read, and while it wasn't quite as chaotic and bloody and dark entertaining as the first book I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Papierfliegerin.
578 reviews86 followers
March 24, 2021
3.5 von 5 Sternen «
Leider kann dieser Band nicht mehr mit den kuriosen Begegnungen, der Spannung und der Brutalität von seinem Vorgänger mithalten. Obwohl es auch hier immer wieder zu seltsamen Zusammentreffen und gruseligen Szenen kommt, war mir hier zu wenig los. Es war einfach eine sehr lange Reise, die mit vielen Gedanken gefüllt war und nur wenig wirklich Action. Alice blieb nach wie vor etwas blass und dass Hatcher hier nur noch eine eher unwesentliche Rolle spielt, war Fluch und Segen gleichermaßen. Ich hatte durchaus Spaß beim Lesen und fieberte sehr auf den Moment hin, indem sich das Potential mit voller Wucht entfaltete - aber der kam leider bis zum Ende hin nicht. Genau so wie schon im Auftakt fand ich hier die Auflösung auch wieder zu einfach und zu schnell abgewickelt. Ein wenig mehr Misserfolge für Alice wären angebracht gewesen. Nichts desto trotz freue ich mich auf die Kurzgeschichten und bin gespannt, was die so für uns Leser bereithalten. Auf meinem Blog gibt's nochmal genauere Infos zu meiner Meinung. Einfach » hier « klicken um auf direktem Wege zur Rezension zu kommen. Viel Spaß ♥
Profile Image for Brandon Baker.
Author 14 books4,530 followers
May 4, 2022
3.5 stars rounded up.
There were things I liked better than the first, and then some things that were disappointing. It was much slower paced and almost had no tension or suspense. It was also not *nearly* as dark or as violent. But, I still enjoyed reading another story set in this world. I will definitely check out the novellas at some point.
Profile Image for lavenderews.
584 reviews752 followers
October 17, 2021
Już dawno żadna książka aż tak nie wciągnęła mnie w swój świat i nie pozwoliła mi na chwilę zapomnieć o rzeczywistości. „Czerwona królowa” to niezwykle klimatyczna kontynuacja „Alicji”, która przyniesie wam wiele tajemnic oraz magii. To świetnie, bardzo lekko, ale brutalnie napisana historia, która angażuje już od pierwszych stron. I chociaż nie jest idealna, nie pozwala czytelnikowi ani na chwilę się od niej oderwać. To historia napisana z wielką wyobraźnią i delikatną nutą szaleństwa. Oczekiwałam od niej nieco więcej mroku, bo owszem jest to bardzo krwawa opowieść, jednak liczyłam na więcej niepokoju oraz budowania napięcia. Co więcej sama akcja jest dość nierówna. Momentami dynamiczna, pełna wydarzeń, a równocześnie przeciągnięta w chwilach, które można by dużo ciekawiej przedstawiać. Nie ukrywam, że miałam też problem z zaangażowaniem się w same losy bohaterów. Miałam wrażenie, że w tej części jestem bardzo zdystansowana do ich sytuacji i tego co przeżywają. „Czerwona królowa” to opowieść, która doda waszemu wieczorowi nieco magii, w szczególności, jeśli macie ochotę na coś niewymagającego.
Profile Image for Wren (fablesandwren).
675 reviews1,506 followers
September 17, 2020
I honestly don't know what to say about this book.

The writing was really well done just like Alice. The two main characters, Alice and Hatcher, were pretty much the same as they were in Alice.

But the story itself was vastly different.

I just didn't get the gory, haunting feeling I got from the first book. Why didn't my skin crawl as much as their adventure in The City? Wasn't the Forest/Village/Queen's Castle suppose to be an upgrade from the last book via creepy? Because I felt a downgrade.

I actually had to push myself to finish this book. I hate saying that. I really wanted to love it. Because I swore, and still do, by Alice (the first book).

Hatcher was like gone most of the book. Alice was ..weird. And not in the way that she was in the first book. She was basically singing the High School Musical song "We're All In This Together" to everyone around her. She doesn't know how to use her magic but she ends up using it better than anyone else who has been using it for hundreds of years?

I also wanted like a big epic thing with the queens. The Red Queen whole thing (if you read the book you'd know what I am talking about) was weird. I wasn't very completed with it.

I wish the goblin had more of a story. And the giants. The town that they run into in the beginning of the book was LEGIT. But it only lasted like ten pages..

I guess I just really expected a lot from this book and when it wasn't as beautifully haunting as the first book, I just couldn't anymore. I'm really deeply sad about this. I was so pumped. I literally counted the days down until this book was at my doorstep.

I'm just... I can't... I... ugh.
Profile Image for Gloria (Ms. G's Bookshelf).
642 reviews134 followers
December 28, 2019
***3.5 STARS***

The Red Queen is the sequel to Alice, but it has a different feel to it.

It’s not as dark, horrific and hair-raising as the first book. There are a few surprising twists and I found it an enjoyable read but more of a Young Adults read.

Many of the characters in this sequel were recognisable from the first book, so you could relate to them and it made the story easy to follow. As in the first book I particularly love Alice’s character, she is a true heroine.

I did find it entertaining following the exciting adventures of Alice and Hatcher on their quest outside of the Old City to find Hatcher’s daughter and encountering goblins and monsters along the way, not a dull moment in the book.
Profile Image for Ashley Daviau.
1,803 reviews794 followers
May 22, 2021
I think I just might have enjoyed this book more than the first in the series, it definitely does NOT suffer from second book syndrome that’s for sure! This is exactly how I like my retellings, fabulously dark and twisted. And this one is even MORE twisted than I expected and I lapped it up! I really like what Henry did with this series, it’s all too easy to do something that’s been done before with Alice retellings because there are SO many out there. But this one is so different and unique, it really brings a whole new life to the story. My only minor complaint is that I didn’t really love any of the characters, they didn’t WOW me like I wanted them to. Despite that this is still definitely a series to read if you love retellings like I do!
Profile Image for Sammie Reads.
812 reviews87 followers
June 11, 2023
Another well done retelling! This story immediately follows Alice, right where it left off with Hatcher and Alice walking through the tunnel to get to the wilderness. Only there was nothing wolf about this place. Because there was nothing left at all. Just endless desert after the green and the wild was all burned away by the mysterious Black King. Alice and Hatcher finally make their way to a forest, only for Hatcher to be lured away by the night and turned into a wolf. Alice must face the darkness on her own for the first time after escaping the hospital. It’s very lonely and scary for this woman who is only a girl.

Eventually she finds out that this is a battle between the Black King and the White Queen, who killed her sister the Red Queen and took all of her power for her own. Alice is determined to save the children the White Queen stole from the village and to return Hatcher to his proper self so that they can go on to find their happiness. As Alice battles the White Queen’s ensnarements, she finally comes face to face with her own magic. This wasn’t as enthralling as the first book, but I did really connect to Alice as she came into her own in this one. I really liked it!
Profile Image for Christopher.
354 reviews49 followers
July 30, 2017
As with all sequels, prequels, sidequels, interquels, and hemidemisemiquels, I'm not going to be talking about this book on its own merits. I'm going to be talking about if you will like this book, assuming you enjoyed the previous book and are looking for more.

Though you've already seen the star rating and know the answer is 'eh, maybe not.. it's good, not great.'

I'll keep this short because it mostly comes down to one thing. Horror. Now, if you read my review of Alice, you'll know I don't consider the book a horror in the common sense. Alice was a story of horrific events and horrific people. It isn't the type of book where one is afraid to turn off their lights after reading it. But it is a world where, if you found yourself in it, you would crawl up into a ball and weep over what humanity has come to.

Red Queen has little of that.

Oh, you're still here? What else do you need to know? Ok, fine. Fine.

Our story is a continuation of the first book. Alice and Hatcher have fled the city and are travelling through a forest. To give this book a purpose, it is revealed that Hatcher has a daughter that he obviously hasn't seen in forever, so they are going to look for her. I don't recall her being mentioned in the first book at all, but I'm hoping she was, because that's super weaksauce if not.

As with the first book, odd things happen from time to time. We get some interesting reimaginings of classic characters, and some terrible things are going on. As terrible things are wont to do in this insane world. But you never get the sense that anyone is truly in danger, even when they obviously are.

For example, there is a point in the story where our two main characters are separated. We are following Alice and some crazy stuff happens. But we aren't worried about her, and for more than just our knowing it's her book. We are already in the middle of the more important task of reuniting our couple, so we can't be bothered to concentrate on these new people and this new location. It's fairly interesting, but you always have something that makes you want to push the story along. Of course, this is true in most stories, including this one with Hatcher's daughter, where there is a primary goal that the entire story is driving towards. But in this case, the draw of wanting to get Hatcher back as a short term goal is too strong. With a book's primary goal, you expect it to take the whole book. But this feels like a sub-quest involving one of your two main characters. You want this handled now. We like his character too much to put him on the back burner while Alice discovers new crazy things and new crazy people.

The other major reason this book loses its horribleness is that we aren't in the city anymore. Most of this story takes place in the forest, or in small towns. Forests are scary, but we aren't after scary, because that's not what this series has given us previously. We're after the horrific. The frights of the forest are mostly animal based, or from being lost, or occasionally from being hunted as if you were the animal. None of this is horrible. Only scary. For horrific, we need people. We need the forced prostitution, and the kidnappings, and the murders. What man will do to his fellow man is horrific, and you aren't getting that sense of "this whole world is beyond redemption" while lost in a forest, no matter who or what our characters run into. After all, our assumption is that the outcasts or less modernized folk live out in the forest, so if they are weird by our standards, whatever. We expect Deliverance, so it's no longer horrible. It's just scary. Our horror comes from the terrible being institutionalized and accepted back in the city. When sex slaves are normal in a location we expect to be civilized.

All that aside, it is a good book. It's well written, the characters are solid, the twists are excellent. For a book named after the Red Queen, the White Queen is a much greater focus, to the point I wondered why they picked her for the title.

As with the first book, the ending is kind of weird. Not for how it resolved things, as in the previous book, but for the conflict being over... and then there's more book. Not a ton more, but enough that I was surprised my audiobook wasn't saying "thank you for listening" yet.

On that note, the audiobook is really well done.
Profile Image for Nicola Michelle.
1,196 reviews5 followers
April 13, 2020
I was eager to rejoin Alice and her adventures after the last book to see where the journey would take her and couldn’t wait to find out how the red queen would be incorporated into the book. I’m so glad there was a sequel to the first Alice book as I really love Christina Henry’s writings!

This one was no disappointment after the first one and I enjoyed it just as much. A little less darker than the first although still potential triggers as in the initial book but the story is amazing. It was a real page turner and I may have accidentally read it in a day as I couldn’t put it down!
Profile Image for Charlie.
304 reviews42 followers
June 6, 2017
1/5 Stars

Buddy read with friends Nermin and Argona

Do you know? I honestly really looking forward to reading this. I read the first book at the recommendation of my friend Argona, whom I buddy read with with both books now and hands on heart I absolutely loved the first book. I loved the horror, the mystery, the relationship between Alice and Hatcher, the journey they went on, the unbelievable horrors and goriness of what happened to the other characters in the book that I could not wait to lay on hands on the second book.

Now I wish I hadn't. Sounds harsh I know but that's how I feel. I should have left the first book and just moved onto a different book because I feel so badly let down by the Red Queen.
Everything that I loved in the first, everything I expected to find in this one, just wasn't there.
There was no action whatsoever. Every time I got back to reading the book I kept thinking, any page now... any page now....any page now and there will be something that crops up and the action will get going but instead the storyline felt placid all the way throughout.
felt like a major copout. They deserved better to receive more than a mere reference given everything that happened to them in the first book.
Hatcher....Need I say more? The entire book
The storyline behind the Black King and the Red Queen. So many questions left unanswered it's driving me insane. *Excuse the pun* Feels as if we were given no explanation at all but the barest of the surface shown.

Not going to lie, I feel quite let down by this one so I'm just going to pretend that I didn't read it and I'll make up my own ending for Alice and Hatcher's journey.
Profile Image for Elena Salvatore.
220 reviews112 followers
July 4, 2018
“The world gobbles us and chews us and swallows us,” Hatcher said, in that uncanny way he had of reading her thoughts. “I think happy endings must be accidents.”
“But we hope for them all the same,” Alice said. She looked sadly at the remains of those hopeful faces. Above all, we hope not to die in terror.”


After defeating the Jabberwocky, the only thing Alice wants is to go home. But there is no home for her and she promised Hatcher to go find his daughter.
So they go on another journey. A journey that has a wicked Queen who steals children and a town of Ghosts and Monsters.
In the end, Alice will have to find out who the real monsters are and what made them monsters to begin with.

This book took me forever to finish!

This should've been a standalone. This book was completely unnecessary and I could've done without it.

The creepiness from the first book is gone. The plot is non existent. The characters are boring and the villain is once again defeated very easily without any climax.

Honestly, I would be better spend my time painting the white roses red instead of reading this.
Profile Image for Marlene Ezell.
14 reviews14 followers
April 20, 2019
This book is a followup to Christina Henry's Alice. I enjoy rewrites of fairy tales very much and this was no exception. Alice and Hatcher are characters that stay with you. I highly recommend this book for people who like a different twist on Alice In Wonderland.
Profile Image for jaz ₍ᐢ.  ̫.ᐢ₎.
119 reviews59 followers
August 12, 2023
Book 1 of my 24 hour readathon

This has been sitting on my tbr for ages, I picked it up this morning and didn’t realise it was a sequel. So my opinions are obsolete.

A dark retelling of Alice in Wonderland, fast paced and enjoyable I was very confused not knowing much since I hadn’t read the first book but I enjoyed it enough to know I would of rated the first book pretty highly. I enjoyed the writing style and the main character Alice.

Onto the next!
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