I just read today that we should only read books that stab or wound us. This statement has merit. I would argue that books that make you smile and laugh are equally important. Humor and fun have their place too. The very best of what I have read combines the wound and the mirth, a true reflection of life.
Sadly, this book is neither. It is inventive and colourful and macabre and overly sexualized. It left such a bad taste when it finally finished. And this is entirely subjective.
I appreciated Howard's take on the events of
[b:Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass|24213|Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass|Lewis Carroll|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327872220s/24213.jpg|2375385], and could clearly see the influence of Burton in her descriptions of clothing, settings and characters. But it flip-flopped between a very childish dialogue and sentence structure to heavy make-out sessions and "seductive" scenes. The tone seemed wonky and left me off-kilter. The constant reinforcement of Morpheus's affection for Alyssa forged when they were children together and its seemingly sudden lust for her was disconcerting.
He spoke of you often. His childhood with was sacred to him. So few of us here ever experience that kind of innocence.
THIS. A throwaway comment at the end of the book, but it was something that should have been at the heart of the relationship between Alyssa and Morpheus. Instead, somewhere between playing with her in the garden as child and tormenting her in her dreams since, he has come to be deeply, passionately in love with her. Sorry. What happened? And when?
Between Al not knowing how she really feels about Morpheus and her long-time crush on neighbor boy Jeb who gets dragged to the Netherworld with her (complete with first kiss and tonguing, an erotic tabletop dance which gives the impression that if it had lasted another paragraph would have led to some sex right then and there, etc.), there is a lot of talk about who she has the hots for and who she wants to kiss and "the heat" rushing through her or the "seductive" quality of Morpheus. *le sigh* No thank you.
I thought the idea of it having been Red that returned to our world quite brilliant. Poor Alice was trapped in a cage in Wonderland for 75 years! A much darker and violent take on Carroll's masterpiece. Totally different relationships and personalities for most of the cast. Yet, overall, all I felt from this book was emptiness. There was nothing here to delight. To share wonder. To move me to feel