First in the Kingdom series
Alice isn’t a little girl anymore. She’s an adult who has just opened up her bakery, Mad Hatter’s Cupcakery and Tea Shoppe. Alice finds herself in Wonderland and in the presence of the Mad Hatter, a man whose darkness makes her heart race. The Mad Hatter is fading away, but a wily fairy godmother will not let him slip away, so she finds his Alice in hopes that she will be able to save him. I grew up with a deep love for Alice in Wonderland. It’s always been a very odd story that has enchanted me. Sadly, as an adult, my experience reading the famous Alice in Wonderland story was a lacking adventure and the magic has worn off. I found this book on my Kindle and was intrigued because I can’t imagine the Mad Hatter being portrayed as sexy. Johnny Depp is sexy, but he is given a whimsical look in the Disney films, so I thought it would be interesting (as well as amusing) to read about a sexy Mad Hatter.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed this story. I thought this adaptation of Wonderland was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the whimsical setting. The story is light and fluffy; it’s supposed to be dark, but I didn’t think that was a strong aspect for this novel and it definitely fails at being serious, moody, and angsty.
The writing isn’t bad. Hall has a way of writing really witty and funny sentences that make the tone feel light and airy. It makes a really dark story feel like a happy fairy tale (definitely an adult Disney version). There are grammatical errors in the edition that I read from, but it was easy for me to overlook because I was having fun. Just because this novel is fun doesn’t mean it’s great. My two biggest problems are that the pacing is rushed and that the main characters aren’t fleshed out enough. These may not be huge problems for some people, but for me they were something that I couldn’t overlook. The writing has potential, but it lacks in proper editing.
Whimsical Writing Scale: 3
The main female character is Alice, only she’s not really Alice. At least not the original Alice, she’s never been to Wonderland, but her grandmother has and I thought this was a really interesting plot. Usually Alice forgets all about Wonderland and finds herself in a déjà vu like setting, but in this story Alice has no clue what is going on. It’s refreshing and fun. My biggest problem is that Alice is SO wishy-washy. There is a secret/plot twist that concerns Alice, but I felt like it wasn’t explained enough and while it made sense, I just wasn’t feeling it.
Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 3.25
The main male character is the Mad Hatter. I must say this Hatter isn’t swoon worthy, but he definitely is appealing. He has broody and moody, but I guess that’s a side effect of being the Hatter. I don’t know I just couldn’t really LOVE him, but I was definitely rooting for him to get his Alice.
Swoon Worthy Scale: 3.5
The characters in this novel are a lot of fun! I really enjoyed Danika, the fairy godmother, who watches over all the “Bad Five” of Wonderland and her quest to mating all of them is just fun. She’s got some really funny one-liners and her character made the story feel like a fun adventure. I definitely wanted Danika to be my fairy godmother, she was badass!
Character Scale: 3.5
The Villain- Why was the Hatter a villain? I can’t remember any substantial occurrence that made him deplorable. There was probably a slight mention of it, but again not enough characterization for me to remember it.
Villain Scale: 2
Let’s talk about sexy, baby. Let’s talk about how it’s bland. Let’s talk about how it was a filler for pages where there was no plot. Let’s talk about how it was boring. The sex scenes in this novel are not appealing or strong. They were so boring and I skimmed through a couple of them. These characters were cute together and I was rooting for them, but I have more tension with cheese than these two do with each other.
Saucy Scale: 1
Overall, this is a really fun story! If the idea of a fairy godmother being tasked to give fairytale villains soulmates, then this is a series I recommend checking out!
Plotastic Scale: 3.75
Cover Thoughts: This is one of the better covers of the series. I also find it kind of appealing? Maybe it’s the colors.
If you want to check this book out it's free on Amazon and the first three books in the Kingdom series are also free in a boxset (I've read them and I recommend them).
What's your favorite Alice in Wonderland retelling? I seem to really enjoy them. Let me know down below in the comments!