Title: Mad About the Hatter
Author: Dakota Chase
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Publication Date: August 20, 2015
If you have been wanting to go on a trip to Wonderland, but wanted a new story to take you there, Mad About the Hatter by Dakota Chase is the one you want. It stays very true to the original Wonderland that we all know and love. You will not be disappointed. However, this story is not about Alice. This story is about the Mad Hatter and Boy Alice, better known as Henry.
Mad About the Hatter happens a good 14 years after Alice's last visit to Wonderland. Henry is 17 years old. Alice is in her young 20's, married, and has twins.
The story starts out with the Red Queen summoning the Mad Hatter from his dungeon cell. Apparently a boy has appeared in Caterpillar's lair and has been asking for him. While the Red Queen would rather chop of the Mad Hatters head right then and there, she wants answers from this Boy Alice that has appeared in her kingdom. She would also like to chop off his head too. After she gets answers of course.
The Red Queen sends the Mad Hatter off to find Boy Alice and return him to her. If he does, she will pardon the Mad Hatter and not cut of his head. Obviously, the Hatter wants to keep his head, so he agrees to fetch the Boy Alice.
The Mad Hatter eventually finds Boy Alice and learns that he is the younger brother of Alice. He also learns that Boy Alice's true name is Henry and that Henry was sent against his will to Wonderland by Alice.
All Henry wants to do is find his way home again and the Mad Hatter agrees to help and tells him that the Red Queen can help him get there...maybe. Thus their adventure together begins.
Mad About the Hatter is very light and fluffy. It never gets too serious, though sometimes I do wish it would have gone a bit deeper. I wanted more from the relationship between the Mad Hatter and Henry. I would have liked a bit more angst and tension. There really wasn't much at all. Their relationship came too easy.
The way the world is written is wonderful. It is very easy to imagine Wonderland as they venture through it. They travel through quite a few different lands to get to their destinations, each very worthy of Wonderland. Dakota Chase does an excellent job describing them. You can tell that she is a fan of the original Alice in Wonderland and did her best to stay true to the world as it was originally written.
There are also a ton of familiar faces! I loved being able to visit with these long lost friends. The Caterpillar was still there smoking his hookah. The White Rabbit was still late and very jittery. The Red Queen was still very into chopping off the heads. She was probably even more into chopping off heads in this one than she was when we first met her! Just like the world, the characters that we see were kept true to how they were originally written.
For those of you wondering if this would be something appropriate for younger teens to read, the answer is yes. The romance is really light. There are only a handful of kisses and a lot of hand holding. Nothing is overly steamy. Also, violence is pretty much nonexistent. It is a very tame book when it comes to topics such as those. As far as language goes, the B word is used a couple of times, but mostly to refer to female dogs.
All in all, I really enjoyed this one. Yes, there wasn't much angst and there wasn't very much conflict, but it was such an enjoyable read it was very easy to overlook those flaws. This is a very fun retelling of Alice in Wonderland that you do not want to miss!
Also, on a completely random side note - I listened to the Almost Alice album while I was reading this book and I felt that they really went well together. If you haven't heard the the album check it out here.
4.5 out of 5 stars
This review is based on an eARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review