Death of the Mad Hatter
Sarah J. Pepper
Fantasy / Young Adult / Romance
November 29, 2013 by CreateSpace
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
The Jack prophesied: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading.
Heads would Roll…
Hearts would Break…
In the end, would it matter who Reigned?
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
What woman didn’t love the story of Alice in Wonderland when she was a little girl? I’ve seen and read many different twists of this famous classic and each time I’m amazed at the talent that can take such a distinct and well-known tale and create something new, something fantastical, something . . . wonderfully wonderous – and Pepper has certainly done just that.
In order to possess the ability to write a spin-off worthy of a classic, the author needs to capture the overall essence of the original. So, what are some of the essential elements to Alice in Wonderland? Well, of course there’s the primary characters like the White Rabbit (or Mr. Ruth as the touchy rumperbabbit insists to be addressed), Mad Hatter (aka M.H. – real name unknown), the Queen of Hearts, and let’s not forget the Cheshire Cat (Chez – the embodiment of the true, devious nature of cats everywhere). The uniqueness of Pepper’s tale comes from her integration of the power of candy (say it with me now, “Mmmm, candy…”), the snarky politics, an unwitting heir, and the mysterious-malicious-lying-liar-fated-lover girl with a boy’s name. And don’t even get me started on the delightful yet headache-inducing riddles (can you believe the little buggers waited to unravel themselves until the very end?!?!)! Pepper’s writing style was quirky and bizarre – and after gaining a tenuous grasp of the ever changing ebb and flow, I realized it was the perfect fit for this tale, and I loved it!
A little more info about the tale . . . Ryley, a baseball-jock-slash-physics-student with a wicked delicious bod first meets Alice Mae when she stops him from squashing her stuffed white rumperbabbit one morning. Ryley immediately realizes that Alice Mae isn’t a typical teenage girl (at least she’s nothing like the super-hot-and-desirable-red-head Courtney at his school). Plus, Alice Mae leaves his head spinning when she reveals that she knows about Ryley’s dad – and no one, except Ryley’s mom and best friend Dax, knows the truth about his dad. Despite finally landing a long-sought-after date with Courtney, Ryley realizes he can’t get Alice Mae out of his head. (Which lands Ryley in hot water with Courtney’s BFF, Becky – oh, I hated Becky – the nosy little hussy!) Ryley and Alice Mae discover they hate to love (or is it love to hate) each other. An infuriating relationship slowly builds. Secrets, lies and truths are tangled. A battle of wits ensues. A kiss causes walls to tilt and tiles to glow. Love blooms on pesticide-soaked petals of black-thorned red roses. Will it last? Or will someone lose their heads to Hearts?
Some of my favorite lines from the story are:
Verbal diarrhea, coming out in the form of an “umm,” was my reply. – Ryley
(This one had me rollin’! Seriously, how do you not laugh hysterically when you read the words “verbal diarrhea”!)
The eye shadow was flicked on his eyelids, like he had been trying to recreate donut sprinkles with makeup. – M.H.
(A fine example of the magic and imagery of Pepper’s prose.)
“I do suppose that nicknames hold the utmost significance, at times. Or it is the time that makes the nicknames important.” – M.H.
(This is SO Mad Hatter!)
“A world where the impossibilities of our most farfetched dreams come true—that is the essence of Wonderland.” – M.H.
(Love This. Just. Love This.)
“Frustrating isn’t it? Getting answers to questions you didn’t ask, but are noteworthy nonetheless.” – Ryley
(I think it’s safe to say we’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives!)
“What you think is the truth, and what is reality is not the same.” – the Jack
Death of the Mad Hatter is a whimsical, dark, and gritty ride that will leave you falling down and up, sideways and everyways long after you’ve read the last word. I had never read a book by Sarah J. Pepper before, but after this, she’s definitely on my gotta-read list!
I do believe a sequel is in demand!!!
Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars!
About the Author:
I specialize in dark, paranormal romance – think “happy ever after” but with a twisted, dark chocolate center. Real-life romance isn’t only filled with hugs, kisses, unicorns, and rainbows. True-love can be more thoroughly described in times of darkness and tribulation. It’s in those harsh moments where you see what a person is truly capable of – both the good and bad. Sometimes prince-charming isn’t always on time, and the glass slipper is a little snug. However, it doesn’t mean Charming is not Mr. Right, and who says every shoe is the perfect fit?
“Warning: Addictive passion erupts from her mouthwatering descriptions” – recent review.
Sarah J. Pepper lives in South Dakota with her real-life prince charming. At a young age, she fell for paranormal books and now incorporates that genre with romance that thrives in the hearts of us all. When she’s not storytelling, she’s most likely biking, hoarding chocolate, or taking a bubble bath. Get a glimpse inside her head at http://www.peppersreadingcorner.com
“Forbidden Beloved” – Not everyone falls for the murderous prince charming with killer good looks, but Roxy hasn’t ever been very lucky.
“Devil’s Lullaby” -Cat craved his addictive kiss as much as she ached for his death
(P.S. – Be Sure To Stop By Sarah’s Facebook Page on 11/29/13 for Release Day Giveaways!!!)
And check out the YouTube Save-The-Date Video!
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I received a free copy of Death of the Mad Hatter from the author, Sarah J. Pepper, in exchange for an honest review.