Solve the clues. Face your fears. Survive the Trials.
All Alice Liddell wants is to escape her Normal life in Oxford and find the parents who abandoned her ten years ago. But she gets more than she bargained for when her older sister Charlotte is arrested for having the infamous Wonder Gene—the key to unlocking the curious Wonderland Reality.
Soon, Alice receives a rather cryptic invitation to play for Team Heart in this year’s annual—and often deadly—Wonderland Trials. Now she has less than twenty-four hours to find her way into Wonderland where nothing is impossible . . . or what it seems.
The stakes are raised when she discovers players go missing during the Trials each year. Will she and her team solve the clues and find the missing players? Or will betrayal and distrust win, leaving Alice alone in a world of her own? Follow the White Rabbit into this topsy-turvy fantasy where players become prey, a sip of the wrong tea might as well be poison, and a queen’s ways do not always lead one where they ought to go.
Alice was definitely a jog away from some of Sara Ella’s characters in the past. Some of the past heroines have had more stereotypical “girly” interests, and I had a hard time relating sometimes. Alice is a smart, strong girl with her own goals and her own ways of getting around to them.
Each of her teammates had unique personalities and vibes as well, and I was constantly wondering who was good and who was bad. She created strong dynamics for each of them, and it was neat to watch those all play out with other characters.
I would also like to take this moment to note that Chess Shire is AMAZING. In real life, he’d probably annoy the heck out of me, but on the page, perfection. I’m not normally into the romantic interests very much, so points are due here.
For context, I actually hated Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. Still do. I thought it was the dumbest creepiest thing I’d ever seen as a kid. The author did a great job of putting a special new spin on the story. I mean, a dystopian London? How cool is that? The trials had a neat “escape room” feel that I haven’t seen very often in books. And really, there’s just not that many Alice in Wonderland retellings out there.
As a very logical girl myself, it was a good reminder that sometimes the best things in life can’t be explained.
None. Oh, wait, I can think of one, um . . . WHERE IS BOOK TWO? WHEN IS IT COMING OUT? Inquiring minds would like to know.
The Wonderland Trials passed my trial and lived up to all the hype I’d imagined for it before it released. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to plunge down that nearby rabbit hole in search of the second book.
How would you live if you knew the day you'd die?
Because Parvin Blackwater actually does, thanks to the Clock by her bedside. Everyone has them now--government-issued Clocks that count down to the day they die. And her Clock tells her she's got one more year left.
What's one more year when she's wasted seventeen of them?
What can she do in one year that will make her remembered forever?
It's perfectly logical, isn't it? Become her own biographer, of course!
Of course, I don't think she was intending that to include crossing the wall from her home to the uncharted worlds of the West. Or stumbling across an invention that could change the Clock system forever. Or gathering a Radical army to bring the wall down.
Let me start out by saying I have never read anything quite like the Out of Time trilogy before. I'd never read a dystopian book. I'd never read a science fiction book. I'd never read a futuristic book. So there was a certain weird factor to get past. In some things, Parvin's society has advanced from ours. In others, it's regressed.
But once I got my feet under me, I started on the journey with Parvin. It is a journey, so sometimes I read a page and wondered how exactly that was relevant to the rest of the story (hint: it was, I just had to read further). I lost track of how many characters Parvin met along her journey, each of them unique and vibrant. And let's not forget Parvin's voice as she narrates the journey! Her character arc from the insecure girl in the first book is incredible. Each book in the trilogy got better both in style and in plot, and that's saying something because the first one was excellent.
One of the things I found most interesting about this book was the characters' view of mercy--even when it comes to their enemies. The characters choose not to participate in riots, give their enemies second chances, even going so far as to take a wounded villain to the nearest town . . . by dogsled. It's a refreshing change, in all fiction, but young adult fiction especially.
By the end of the trilogy, Parvin doesn't have all the answers. And the answers she does have, she went through a lot to learn. Sometimes she makes mistakes. Big mistakes. And we learn from them, just as she does. We learn what it truly means to live. The Out of Time trilogy will live on in your thoughts long after you've read it . . . and maybe, just maybe it will change your life.
Hi there! Rachel again. Check out this section for book reviews and cover reveals of some of my favorites!