Book Review: Alice On The Shelf by Bill Gauthier

Alice on the Shelf by Bill Gauthier
(Bad Moon Books)

“Where’s Alice?

Down the Rabbit Hole.When Brad awakens with this question on his lips but his friend Miranda on his mind, a sense of unease fills him. When he finds she isn’t home, and a strange visitor is outside her house looking for a missing pocket watch, Brad knows something is amiss. The world is familiar but different. Storybooks, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and fantasies should have prepared Brad for the trip he is about to embark on to find the woman he loves, but the darkness that has filled this fantastic world has twisted it almost beyond recognition.Though he is searching for his friend, Brad may discover something much darker when he finds -

Alice On The Shelf”

“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There” by Lewis Carroll stoked my young imagination to a feverish pitch when I first read them long ago. To this day I find Alice’s adventures to be one of my favorite childhood memories.

Bill Gauthier takes Alice’s adventures in a new and decadently dark direction.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when Bad Moon Books sent me a copy of “Alice on the Shelf”. I am always leery of remakes, rewrites and re-imaginings of classic tales dear to my heart.

I try to disassociate myself from the original when I come across one to give the new tale a fair chance to stand on its own. “Alice on the Shelf” definitely stands on it’s own.

Mr. Gauthier weaves a macabre tale of not only Alice’s world, but Dorothy’s world, and other assorted fairy tales as well as references to some modern horror classics. He does an absolutely wonderful job of combining all these into a fast paced visceral joy ride into the strange and wonderful.

His characters are lifelike and believable while his prose is sharp and atmospheric. The book reads fast as  you want to find out what lurks around the next bend and what new horror awaits.

Though I have to admit, I was kind of disappointed in the ending. Maybe I was expecting something a little more in relation to what had happened previously in the story.

This minor disappointment aside I really enjoyed “Alice on the Shelf” and would wholeheartedly recommend it to any fans of the original classic. I will definitely be looking out for more of Mr. Gauthier’s work. If “Alice on the Shelf” is any indication I think we can expect great things from Mr. Gauthier.

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