*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Alice follows the boy who stole her employers pocket watch, Rabbit, back into the life she left behind. Into the rough part of town she returns, summoned. The love she once felt for William surfaces as the man he is now needs her help. Blackmailed into helping to save her sisters love, The Hatter, from his debt, Alice agrees to help Caterpillar.
Lesley's tone when speaking as Alice feels to fit her curiosity, which is the feel we get from Alice in many stories of her adventure. She has an opinion that she voices, not mean or rude, just a thought to add to the discussion.
Melanie writes Alice with the feel we would expect. A curious young lady with thoughts of her own to share. The story isn't as much falling down a literal hole like in the original story. But Alice living in a world full of wonder, and following a boy nicknamed Rabbit. The world created is full of steamwork and clockwork items. This blended with the steam and smoke draws a world of danger and mystery in which Alice is pulled back into. This is a talent as Melanie very craftily wrote the story in the actual living of the characters.
We see the world full of clockwork and steampunk from the beginning. There is a darkness to the story as well, particularly with one of the characters. Creepy, dark. But fits in the harsh life of the characters here. There is even a touch of magic present. Just a touch. Mostly the world is steam and clockwork.
There is a feel of double meaning to words, it's not confusing but tricky. Listen closely to catch it. I love how people have two names; real name and a nickname. Like William who's known as Caterpillar in town. Each name goes with a different part of his life. Which person is he when talking to Alice? William or Caterpillar? Both are of a different nature and are known for different things to Alice. This gives the twisty feel that we get from Wonderland.
Melanie touches on all the main characters from Alice in Wonderland in her remake. It was a nice game for me to see about spotting them all, though their names do give them away.
I was pleasantly surprised with Melanie's creation here. She captured so many important elements from Alice in Wonderland yet wrote a different story that feels true to the world. So well done!