Friday, October 2, 2015

Gears of Wonderland by Jason Anderson

"Whether you believe in something or not doesn't change the facts.  Once upon a time,  I would believe up to six impossible things before breakfast.   It didn't mean that they were true, just because I believed them." ~ White Queen
Gears of Wonderland is an adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.  It takes place well after Alice has left Wonderland, with a new "outsider" named James.  What could be his purpose in Wonderland? 

James had just gotten into a silly fight with his fiancé and turns to his buddy Melvin for a place to crash.  Once there Melvin is brutally murdered and James runs for his life when he comes head to head with a man dressed in a strange Victorian style.  Suddenly James is falling down a hole, and awakens to what appears to be Victorian London, but different somehow.  He begins meeting various interesting characters such as the Mad Hatter's daughter: Kara. She aides him on a journey to meet Caterpillar to discover who he truly is, and what is his purpose in Wonderland.  There is a new King of Hearts who has been attacking the other kingdoms, seeking to rule all of Wonderland.  James, Kara, Torre and the rest of the resistance must find a way to stop Lahire's reign of terror and restore Wonderland to it's peaceful nature.  James plays a major role in Wonderland, but what that role is no one knows, will he be able to discover who he is and how he can help Wonderland when he is an Outsider?

The Alice in Wonderland stories have always been a favorite story of mine, so whenever I find adaptations on the classic tale, I tend to gobble them up.  Gears of Wonderland is no different.  I couldn't wait to begin this story, and now that I finished it, I hope, wish there will be more to the tale.  Jason Anderson takes Wonderland and makes it something new and unique; he makes it his own world.  I enjoyed that he kept many of the same characters, but turned them into his own.  I enjoyed Caterpillar and Torre (Red Rook) a great deal as well as the idea that wonderland was split into 6 different kingdoms and each member having a mark to distinguish which kingdom they belonged to and their rank.  I would have liked a little more to James' background with Wonderland and his purpose there.  I do hope there is more to the story, or at least another novel within this world.

I have read several books that were difficult to read because they were choppy and ragged, but not with Gears of Wonderland. Jason's writing was smooth and easy to read. The story was well paced and information was released at good times.  Anderson built the suspense and desire to know things.  I found myself eager to know what will happen next, how will Wonderland be affected by the characters' actions.  I found the idea of having Wonderland alter based on the "Outsider" and interesting idea, and would have liked to see that utilized more in the setting descriptions.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good story.  If you love Wonderland this book needs to be a part of the collection.  I would give this novel a 4.5 out 5 rating.  Jason did a great job creating his own story out of one known so well.  If you enjoy adaptations of this classic tale also check out Splintered and Alice In The Country Heart.  Both are great adaptions of the tale and create something new.

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