I finished Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah J. Pepper, three days ago and have been sitting on this review. I kept thinking about it... over and over. I generally like to give at least a bit of critique for an author, (let's face it, no one's perfect), but I was completely unable to come up with anything that didn't feel like an absolute nit. You can read my review on goodreads and I can't recommend this book enough, pick up a copy via the links below.
This book was absolutely fantastic! From the moment that you finish the first page you are hooked on Wonderland candies and caught up in its madness. Alice Mae is a young Overworlder who falls into Wonderland as a child and is set on a course to rescue it from the evil Queen, Hearts, rule. When Hearts sends her to retrieve Ryley, the heir to the Wonderland thrown, many years later, a prophecy is set in motion and lives are changed forever.
Ms. Pepper wrote a perfect homage to the original with this book. The characters are deep and detailed, silly and mysterious and yet real and easy to relate to. Alice is classically spacey and carries that spirit of the source, but at the same time has a crazy side to her personality that replaces some of the other classical characters that didn't make it into this retelling. Wonderland and its ties to the Overworld are just as delicately described so the reader knows at all time which world they are in.
The writing style and the sentence structure are we balanced to have the same flair for the dramatic and utter random quality that the original had while still being able to stand on its own and offer a new generation a fresh look at Wonderland. As an Alice veteran, I was very pleasantly surprised with the way the story was told and how it captured a feeling and style I didn't know I craved from an Alice spin-off.