The Wonderland Effect
by Robert Arrington
Genre: Fantasy, young adult
Alice Littleton, gifted with the powers of Wonderland, draws a catastrophe down on herself when she tries to use them in aid of a kidnapped child. Now, she and her father are being pursued by a relentless paranormal intent on recruiting other supers- or eliminating potential competition. She finds her way to Prometheus Academy, a new school with a truly empowered student body, where she finally feels like she fits in. When the school comes under attack, Alice must decide whether to run again, or take a stand against the forces threatening her and her new friends.
In all reality, I've never been a fan of Alice in Wonderland. I've always found the story a little creepy and a bit annoying. But I decided to give The Wonderland Effect by Robert Arrington a try because it sounded like a good twist on the original story.
If you think this is going to be a straightforward story about a girl who has gifts and someone who is after her (based on the blurb), you're dead wrong. This story turned out to be complex with a myriad of interesting characters. We follow Alice on her journey of discovery as she joined by friends fashioned after Lewis Carroll's characters.
We also see parts of the story told from the other students at Prometheus Academy where Alice attends after she's discovered using her gifts. This means there are a lot of things happening at once, adding depth to the overall story.
As for Alice, I wasn't so sold on her in the beginning. She's a bit naive and innocent, and she's far to eager to believe what Oglethorpe, the bad guy, is selling. But then I realized she really reminded me of the original Alice. Too curious for her own good. In the end, her spunky personality won me over.
I really enjoyed the Wonderland characters, like Hatter, Ches and Marchie, as well. They always had Alice's back and added a great comedic element to the story.
Alice's gifts include being able to talk to animals, the ability to shrink/enlarge herself and a variation of flight. While all of Alice's gifts are related in some way to wonderland, Mr. Arrington created new and interesting powers tailored to each individual student. One student has the gift of illusions and other had supernatural luck.
Overall, The Wonderland Effect gets a solid 4 stars from me, mostly because of the complexity of the story. I would definitely recommend this story to anyone likes a twist on the classics, as well as anyone who likes action, adventure and some superhero-like powers.
** I was provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review
Good news is that you can get The Wonderland Effect is available now on Smashwords. It will be available on other outlets by July 15.
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