Review of ALiCE by Avalon Roselin
Christopher Robinson didn’t deserve what happened to him. Then again, almost no one does…
Christopher was a simple man with a simple goal: to make sure his charges at Woodrow Children’s Asylum were as healthy and happy as possible. Not an easy task, and running out of medicine on the stormiest night of the year didn’t make it any easier.
The car accident made it impossible.
Now stranded on a nearly-deserted island with no clue as to how or why he and one of his patients were brought there, Christopher’s goal has changed: get the child and himself out of Wonderland. Faced with the cruel inhabitants of the island and his own dwindling sanity, Christopher must find a way to escape before he becomes a victim of one of the island’s many lunatics... or joins them.
ALiCE starts out harmless enough: Christopher Robinson is an orderly at Woodrow Children’s Asylum - and practically the only level of care the children experience. He has his routines for making the work - and the children’s lives - as easy as possible. Until a car accident one night sends him to a mysterious island that he can’t seem to escape.
What a creepy fall read this was! From beginning to end, ALiCE was a non-stop thriller filled with scary locations and terrifying characters, and they were all definitely mad there. I enjoyed how Avalon Roselin took typical Disney characters and was able to put such a dark spin on them. It created an exciting - albeit scary - take on a story we all know so well.
The plot was fast-paced, and actions flowed from one instance to the next. From beginning to end, ALiCE really only takes place in a matter of days (if that). With each high-risk scene, the reader is pulled deeper and deeper into Christopher Robinson’s nightmare, and we find ourselves asking almost immediately: will he ever escape?
While I loved the dark and creepy story, I found myself struggling to understand the entire plot. Yes, Christopher is trying to escape Wonderland and save Mickey, but it felt like he went nowhere. Trial after trial, Christopher manages to just barely escape, but ultimately I don’t feel like he learned anything from his experiences. He either escapes by luck or is saved by another unfortunate character... which sets off the next trial. Realization only seems to dawn on Christopher at the very end of the story, when we realize the focus of this story is actually on someone you don’t expect.
While ALiCE has earned points for creativity and a gripping scare factor, I do think the plot is the only place where the story falls short.
For more on Avalon Roselin, check out the full Roselin Productions website here.