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Once Upon a Wonderland by DJ Stoneham- Book Review
Book Title: Once upon a Wonderland
Author: DJ Stoneham
Publication Date: February 23, 2023
Pages: 361 pages
Once Upon a Wonderland- Book Summary
Can Alice uncover the truth to escape her twisted fantasy?
“Fee-fi-fo-fum!” boomed the ogre.
“Why do you keep quoting Shakespeare’s King Lear?” asked Alice. “And while we’re on the subject, why can you only smell the blood of Englishmen? Why not other nationalities? Or English women come to that?”
A poltergeist in tattered leotards, a queen suffering from hypersomnia and a psychotic arsonist.
These are not the Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella that Alice has come to know and love. Nevertheless, she needs to get them and other fairy tale characters out of Wonderland if she’s to mend Time and return home. And rescue Jack, the feathered boy she’s in love with.
Alice’s quest is not helped by accusations of treason from the local inhabitants, the advances of an arrogant Pied Piper and the fact that she is growing younger by the hour. And then there is the Queen of Hearts and her cohorts to contend with.
Peppered with surreal events, gritty wordplay and the sinister backstories to popular fairy tales, this sequel to Alice Falls Again is a must for younger and older adults alike.
Praises for the prequel Alice Falls Again:
A brilliant and amusing reinvention.” KIRKUS REVIEWS
“An ideal fantasy for Carroll fans.” blueink
“Fantastical wonders and head-over-heels adventures abound.” Foreword Clarion
Once Upon a Wonderland- The Creative Muggle Review
Full disclosure: ” I received a free copy of the book from the author, but all opinions expressed in my review are completely my own.”
Once Upon a Wonderland by DJ Stoneham is a fun and entertaining reimagining of Lewis Carroll’s epic fantasy.
The story begins with a young Alice who is still uncertain whether her last visit to Wonderland was real or just a figment of her own imagination. Despite her family’s expectations for her to settle down and get married, all Alice wants to do is return to Wonderland, and rescue Jack Door, the feathered boy.
So when Alice does return to Wonderland, she finds it in complete chaos, hindered by obstacles at every step. Her quest to rescue fairy tale characters, fight the Eelers, and reunite with Jack is filled with challenges and obstacles, including accusations of treason.
Author Stoneham does an excellent job of capturing the whimsical spirit of Carroll’s original story while infusing it with his own creativity. The book is filled with silly humor, harsh wordplay, and haunting backstories of popular fairy tales, making it a thoroughly engaging tale.
The book’s wonderful language, vivid imagery, and quirky fairytale characters bring the magical world of Wonderland to life. The book’s romantic angle also adds an extra layer of charm. The illustrations in the book are also another fabulous feature, perfectly complementing the surreal and imaginative setting of the plot.
Despite its strengths, the book does suffer from lengthy dialogues that often interrupt the overall reading experience. They can be entertaining in their own right, but they slightly take away the joy of the narrative.
Overall, Once Upon a Wonderland is a satisfying read that captures the whimsy and imagination of Carroll’s classic. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a delightful and unusual adventure in Wonderland.
The Creative Muggle rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5
About the Author
Having journeyed into his own personal rabbit hole at the tail end of a career in communications and sustainability, David is now pursuing a lifelong dream of writing fantasy. Rather like the proverbial Alice, David finds himself drawn to the curious, the fantastic, and the peculiar.
So in many ways, it made sense to make Alice Falls Again his first novel to reach the finishing line in 2018.
In 2023, David produced a new edition of Alice Falls Again with additional content and published the follow-up, stand-alone story – Once upon a Wonderland.
Author’s Website- https://www.djstoneham.com/