Review: DEATH OF THE MAD HATTER by Sarah J. Pepper

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



4.5 Wondrous Stars

“Up wasn’t up, but down was up…and off to the side in a slightly twisted manner. I was falling down (or up?) a rabbit hole.”

I feel like I just fell down that rabbit hole. And I couldn’t be happier that I did! 

DEATH OF THE MAD HATTER is a modern day take on Alice in Wonderland. Have you seen the show Once Upon A Time? Well, that is what this book reminded me of. It’s taken a fairy tale we know and twisted it all up to create something relatable for the here and now. Part of the story takes place in the present time but we also get to visit the wonderful world of Wonderland.

The premise of DEATH OF THE MAD HATTER isn’t an easy one to explain. It’s one of those books you have to read to really understand. I could sit and try to explain the entire thing to you, but I won’t. We’d both be confused before I could finish. But I will tell you there are prophecies, Wonderland candies, a Jack and a Joker, a one-eyed hare named Mr. Ruth, Chez the cat, a girl with a quirky sense of style, and a boy with a girl’s name.

Those last two, they happen to be the main characters. Alice Mae, or Al, works for Hearts (the Queen of course!) and she’s looking for Ryley, the boy with the girl’s name. Ryley is just a boy trying to keep the truth about his father hidden but Alice Mae knows more than Ryley had anticipated. That’s when things became interesting and the twists start coming and the chase begins. I was just as curious as Ryley to know the answers that Alice Mae was avoiding. 

“Frustrating isn’t it. Getting answers to questions you didn’t ask, but are noteworthy nonetheless.”

DEATH OF THE MAD HATTER is told through the eyes of both Alice Mae and Ryley. I loved seeing Alice’s various trips to Wonderland. I loved knowing what was going on in Ryley’s head as truths came out and his world went topsy-turvy. And I really loved seeing the hate they had for one another turn into something else and something so much stronger. 

“Love and Hate are rather similar emotions for being polar opposites. Perhaps you are confusing the two.”

Sarah J. Pepper has written a riveting, unique tale. The characters were extremely developed, no matter how small the role, the dialogue engaging and witty, and the story was quite magical and twisted. I was hooked from the beginning and I kept growing curiouser and curiouser, wanting to see how it all would end. At times, I was confused, but other times the light bulb above my head would come on as I pieced together the prophecies. I adore the way this story played out. I’d recommend DEATH OF THE MAD HATTER to anyone willing to fall down the rabbit hole into a crazy, mixed up magical world. 

“Wonderland was an intoxicating, magical world where the most farfetched dreams could come true and the impossible was possible.”


No comments

Post a Comment

All comments welcome!