I was surprised about my reaction to this book. I really thought I would love it and, at first, I did. I love retellings that really twist the source material. I was excited for a darker, more demented Wonderland. Everything in the beginning seemed to be pointing that direction so I was absorbed into the book.
Al, though, was a big drawback for me. She was always wondering why everyone wanted to protect her but then showed, at every opportunity, that she couldn’t take care of herself. And when we finally got to Wonderland (the the love triange, yawn) I was just annoyed with her. The back and forth between Morpheus and Jeb was exhausting to read. And Wonderland wasn’t nearly dark enough to make up for how helpless Al was. And even with her being madly in love with Jeb she ignored his advice every time and was so quick to doubt him with almost no provocation.
Also, at every turn where Al could have shown growth or been able to save herself/learn how to accomplish something she suddenly remembers something Morpheus taught her and magically escapes without doing anything of importance. All her little tests were flubbed through….and this was supposed to be trials to become queen. I know Morpheus orchestrated the whole thing but at some point I expected her to grow a pair and start figuring things out her way.
The final “showdown” was a letdown for me. There was just nothing really to it and it left me thinking that, yet again, Al didn’t really do much to protect herself. She stood there and was “strong” enough to prevent full scale possession by a ghost of Red but she was still waiting for Morpheus to save her and whining about how he was abandoning her.
I liked Morpheus and Jeb. They were fun to get to know and their interactions were entertaining. I just would have liked this book a lot more without Al. I don’t think I will continue the series. I can’t bear to read about Al and her tantrums/whining/oh-poor-me nonsense anymore.