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Curiouser and Curiouser: Steampunk Alice in Wonderland (Steampunk Fairy Tales Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 231 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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- Book 1 of 4 in Steampunk Fairy Tales
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Customers who bought this item also bought
"If you love Fairy Tales and Steampunk stories then you are going to love Curiouser and Curiouser," The Avid Reader
"Alice. As a pickpocket. All of the wonderland characters in London. STEAMPUNK. Does this review need to say anything else?" Mindy, Paranormal Tendencies
"I seriously love steampunk, and Melanie Karsak stands tall among the genre," Lindsay, Contagious Reads
"Karsak has taken perhaps my most beloved "fairy tale", Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and completely flipped it into something fantastically new yet, somehow, very familiar," Author Jeremy Rodden, The Blog's Books for Boys Review
"With a gripping plot and a clear, witty writing style, the author has given new, sparkling life to much-beloved characters such as a totally reimagined Caterpillar, the colourful Mad Hatter, the chaming Knave, a surprising Cheshire cat, and Alice herself, a woman of brain and bravery," Babel, Literaria Blog
"Karsak paints a beautiful and engaging world in her novel Curiouser and Curiouser...If you're a fan of any of the following: steampunk, fantasy, fairy tales, strong female characters, and adventure, I would highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book," Amazon reviewer
"Lesley Parkin's narration was perfect for this story. She delivered great characters' interpretations and transmitted their emotions in a powerful way," Amazon Reviewer
"The author's writing is addictive and I didn't want to put it down once I'd started," Amazon Reviewer
From the Author
Steampunk Red Riding Hood Reading Order
Wolves and Daggers, Book 1
Bitches and Brawlers, Book 4
The Steampunk Red Riding Hood series is set in the same award-winning steampunk universe as Melanie Karsak's Steampunk Fairy Tales and the Airship Racing Chronicles. Keep an eye out for cameos and Easter eggs!
- Publication date : January 11, 2018
- File size : 5303 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 231 pages
- Publisher : Clockpunk Press (January 11, 2018)
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Screen Reader : Supported
- ASIN : B078YT13DS
- Language: : English
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #101,769 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I have generally avoided “fairy tale retellings” even though they are a very popular “genre” right now. Mostly because I feared that by doing a “retelling”, the author is limiting themselves to existing lore and even potential outcomes in a Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead existential way. I am delighted to say that this book has proven me completely wrong and has opened the doors for me to explore more stories in this format.
Karsak has taken perhaps my most beloved “fairy tale”, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and completely flipped it into something fantastically new yet, somehow, very familiar. Use of well-known phrases (“why is a raven like a writing desk?”, “we’re all mad here”, etc.) keeps bringing us back to remember that this is, in fact, an Alice retelling. Between that and the clever naming convention of using the character names from the original as “code names” for a criminal underworld (Alice is Bandersnatch, William is Caterpillar, etc.) adds a level of realness and believablilty to an otherwise fantastical story.
Alice is a perfect story for the steampunk spin the author puts on her series of Steampunk Fairy Tales (and I do plan on checking out the others she has and more when she writes them), considering the formality and courtesy of Victorian England that already wove throughout the original story (remember Caterpillar’s lessons she had to recite in the Disney film?). Replace playing card guards with automatons and steampunk cyborgs, a subtle nod to the Cheshire Cat in the form of a clockwork cat pet, and sprinklings of updated references here and there and you have a fitting story that even the ORIGINAL Alice would seem to fit in (minus the occasional scene of exsanguination but still with the occasional beheading) and you end up with a creepy yet delightful story.
I really, really enjoyed this story. And I’m not just saying this as a grown man with a tattoo of Alice, Chesh, and Caterpillar on my arm… (although, maybe that helped me pick up this story in the first place).
Well, let me say right off the bat that this is easily a 15+ title. And even then, it gets a bit creepy and murky. There are no overt sexual scenes (although mentions of “tarts” being naked and a really creepy scene with a naked Queen of Hearts are in here), minimal language, and even the gore isn’t all that explicit. However. It is most definitely a more “adult” telling of the Alice in Wonderland story and should be treated as such. A mature high-schooler who has some experience with R (but not X) rated movies would be a perfectly fine target for this book.
However, don’t go into it thinking this is your Walt Disney (or even Lewis Carroll’s) Alice in Wonderland… cause it most certainly is not. In some ways, this is actually refreshing and adds some new wrinkles to the tale that would otherwise be lost. In other ways, there’s some creepy stuff going on and I would definitely NOT mind if the author went back and gave us more backstory on the delightfully wicked and depraved Queen of Hearts.
5/5 Giant Cartoon Mallets from Toonopolis, The Blog's Books for Boys Review
Curiouser and Curiouser is part of a standalone steampunk fairy tale series.
Final Rating: 5 Stars
The hook for 'Curiouser and Curiouser' combines two of my favorite things - steampunk and Alice in Wonderland. I love steampunk for the way it grandly re-imagines history and technology, with unexpected and ornate creations of metal and glass and steam and electricity. I love Alice stories for the the memorable, twisted characters, and the way they look at the world a little sideways. A combination of the two seemed like a delightful idea.
'Curiouser and Curiouser,' however, could have done with a bit more of each element: more steampunk, and more Alice.
Without spoiling anything, the way Melanie Karsak approached combining these two themes was to almost completely re-imagine Alice as a character and as a world, adding some steampunk elements and changing...well, almost everything. New characters will have familiar names, but whole new faces and stories to tell.
The result is Alice herself cast as a former thief, now (somewhat) reformed, and kind of a badass. So legendary is her skill as a criminal that her former partner in crime (among other things) comes back to lure her into a new job he needs help with. This is the setup for what amounts to a heist story, set in Victorian London, with some dark fantasy elements and a romantic subplot mixed in for good measure. Along the way, you'll meet adapted versions of the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter (slightly less mad, but definitely a hatter), the Jabberwock, the Queen of Hearts, and of course, the Cheshire Cat.
There's a lot to like in this story as it develops, and Karsak tells it well. And yet, as I finished it, I was left wanting a bit more.
There's airships and gaslamps and clockwork creations, and I wanted more of all of it. The steampunk elements in 'Curiouser and Curiouser' had the basics right, but lacked a certain depth of imagination that one finds in the novels of Cherie Priest, or the Quirk novel 'Android Karenina,' or even the excellent graphic novel series 'Lady Mechanika.' Steampunk at its finest explores the implications and themes behind the tropes of alternate history and technology, and 'Curiouser and Curiouser' feels somewhat superficial in comparison.
The inclusion of characters (or at least their names) from 'Alice in Wonderland' is playful and fun, but it never really feels like Alice. Karsak's version is certainly more mature and makes for a good story in itself, but somewhere along the way loses the feeling of the source material. As a comparison, I keep coming back to 'American McGee's Alice' and its sequel, 'Alice: Madness Returns' - yes, video games. These tell a story significantly darker and more mature than the original Alice tales, and despite some missteps, mostly manage to maintain a level of wonder, weirdness, and whimsy that hearken back strongly to what I love about 'Alice in Wonderland.' They also explore underlying themes in a very compelling way. I would have liked to see more of that in 'Curiouser and Curiouser.'
The great puzzle, then - what is this book? It's an entertaining and sometimes clever story, combining some elements of steampunk and some elements of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland and adding a healthy serving of Victorian adventure. Is it, as the cover states, "Steampunk Alice in Wonderland"? Curiously, it takes all these elements and doesn't quite hit that mark.
"It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, and very simply and neatly arranged; the only difficulty was, that she had not the smallest idea how to set about it." - Lewis Carroll
Top reviews from other countries
This book has everything. Clockwork animals, airships, Victorian thievery, supernatural goings on and plenty of gore.
There is so much packed into this story, it's hard to choose a favourite bit. Being a fan of the Victorian era and Steampunk / Gothic fiction, I cannot rate this highly enough.
I have always loved Alice in Wonderland, and have seen many versions of the films, and read many versions of the books. This is by far my favourite version.
The characters interact superbly, blending the modern and vintage flawlessly. The nods toward Horace Walpole, Strawberry Hill and, although not mentioned fully, The Castle Of Otranto, prove that the author knows her fiction very well indeed. The storyline blends partial factual history perfectly with a storyline, at times reminiscent of Oliver Twist, and mixes it with intensely dark imagery and blood and gore. Add to this an underlying romance, and there are several themes running concurrently throughout the book, leading to the exceptional conclusion.
I recommend this to fans of Steampunk, Alice In Wonderland, Gothic fiction and anybody not scared of something different.
I look forward to reading much more from this author.