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4.2 out of 5 stars113
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 30 January 2014
A retelling of the Alice in Wonderland Story. Alice Wonder is in an insane asylum after, apparently, killing everyone in her class. I'm not sure if she is really responsible for the murders and the book didn't clear that up for me. Alice can't remember how, or why she killed her classmates. While she's been in the asylum, someone has been killing people and stitching their faces up so that they have a permanent grin. The killer has been named The Cheshire Cat. In the asylum, Alice meets a hookah smoking professor who also happens to be a serial killer. He's convinced she's the real Alice from Wonderland and the only person capable of stopping the Cheshire Cat.

This was one of the weirdest books I've ever read. The author incorporated most of the characters from Alice in Wonderland but changed things up. I loved the facts about Lewis Carroll that were scattered throughout the book, for example, I didn't know that Alice in Wonderland was originally called Alice's Adventures Under Ground. There was plenty of mystery; who is Jack Diamond and why is he following Alice? Is Alice the real Alice? By the end of the book I still didn't know, I guess I'll have to read the second book to find out. It was a wacky and fun read. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys retellings of fairy tales, or fans of Alice in Wonderland.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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on 31 December 2013
Oh Alice in Wonderland retellings, i do love you. This book is no different, actually it may be slightly more insane than most. :)

Alice Wonder is stuck in an insane asylum after killing everyone in her class (makes sense), she spends her days either having electroshock therapy or talking to her potted plant. She feels sorry for her plant because it doesn't get enough sunlight. Poor plant. And poor Alice, she's been shocked so many times she can only remember up to about last week and then it goes blank. She can't remember why she killed those people, or how, or all of this wonderland nonsense the whole asylum seems to be buzzing with. However while she's been in the asylum, a serial killer has been slaughtering people and stitching their faces up so that they have a permanent grin. They call him The Cheshire Cat Killer. Alice is warned by another inmate, a hookah smoking professor (another serial killer) that she needs to stop him and prevent the rest of the Wonderland monsters from being released. He believes her to be the real Alice and she can therefore be the only one capable of stopping Cheshire and his gang. However The White Queen isn't so sure as to her identity and makes her question is she is the real Alice or not, or if it even matters? Especially with Constance's life potentially on the line!

I really enjoyed the insanity of this book and felt that the writing style even accompanied this into how the book was read and perceived. I love stories with serial killers and the fact that we had at the very least three made for an interesting, if not slightly weird read. Alice and The Professor PoV's were shown and it was very interesting to see how differently their minds worked in order to get the same thing. Also all the prison staff were hilarious and scared of half the inmates. That plus Cheshire's tasks and the mystery about Jack Diamond makes this a book that you can't put down and need to keep reading till the end. The book can get a bit crazy and wacky and weird, but that's exactly what you want from an Alice retelling and it was so much fun to read. I would recommend this book to any fans of Alice in Wonderland retellings, those that like books with serial killers and just anyone that wants a fun enjoyable read!

Originally posted at [...]
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on 9 March 2015
Now although I loved the sound of this book based on the blurb and by another bloggers review of it, despite how shallow this is going to sound, what really sold me was the cover. I mean, just look how gorgeous it is! I can safely say it’s one of my all-time favourite covers. But what about the actual story?

Insanity (Mad in Wonderland) follow Alice, after she accidentally kills her classmates and gets put in a lunatic asylum. In there with her is Pillar, a hookah-smoking nutcase who believes he can prove Alice’s sanity by looking deeply into Lewis Caroll’s life, paintings and books to work out where Wonderland really is and if it’s actually real. Alice sets about searching for Wonderland, saving lives from the Wonderland monsters such as the Cheshire Cat and proving her sanity by posing as an Oxford student.

Now, this book essentially wasn’t what I was expecting when I dove head first into it but nevertheless, I really enjoyed it and got completely sucked in. I’m a huge fan of books which are the authors own take on classic stories and fairy-tales – I love seeing what their weird and wonderful minds can come up with and there’s no doubt that Cameron Jace has a very very interesting and wild imagination. I loved this look into Wonderland and the creatures that inhabit it – who now live in the real world.

You can very much tell this book is directed at young adults by the narrative however I think it definitely appeals to a much wider audience due to Jace’s story-telling and the unique characters he’s come up with – despite them being based on already existing characters! That’s quite a talent to have. The only tiny criticism I have is I wished the character Jack Diamonds featured more in the book however I’m quite sure we’ll see him more in the sequel.

If you like memorable characters, a fast-paced, full of action storyline and a lot of madness then this book is for you.
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on 25 December 2015
I really don't know what to think about this book, it confused the hell out of me, but i really couldn't put it down.
We all know the Alice in Wonderland stories, but this turns it all on its head. Alice is an inmate in a horrible Lunatic Asylum, spending most her time getting Electric Shock Therapy, with only a tiger lily to keep her company. She’s there after killing all her friends in a bus accident. She ends up hooking up with Professor Carter Pillar, another inmate who is also a serial killer. He persuades her that she is the real Alice and can catch the wonderland monsters wandering the country, disguised as normal people.
Her first task is to catch the Cheshire Cat, another mass killer. She, with Pillars help, leaves the asylum during the day, pretending to be an Oxford university student by day, returning to the asylum at night.
The book is completely insane. You're never quite sure what's real and what is going on in Alices head. It's really fast paced, incredibly easy to get into, and very hard to put down. There's hints on Tom Holt, Douglas Adams, and it has to be said Lewis Carroll in the writing. It's the first book in a series and I'm really looking forward to seeing where it goes from there
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on 4 September 2015
I liked the plot of this book, however at times it seemed like Jace was scrambling at straws to fill in plot. But that isn't to say I'm not going to read the sequels! I really like the setting, especially as a student at Oxford however, almost immediately you can tell that the author is American (if we don't take his name into account).

There are many bazaar Americanisms that don't fit with the book set in England. For example the use of a 'college freshman' or having the FBI looking for characters? Moreover there are many inaccuracies that perhaps would have been harder for Jace to find out about. For example he rights about 'students rushing out of another bus'. No Oxford students will likely ever take the bus (unless it's for something out of town which is unlikely or to go to the hospital). He also writes about Alice finding herself 'pushed through the main entrance {of Christchurch college} with them {the students}' which is again highly unlikely, there is never a rush of students through the entrance of a college. The inaccuracies spoil the book, however if you are an american that hasn't been to Oxford then enjoy!
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on 10 January 2015
This was a really good Alice in Wonderland retelling, and I loved how quirky it was!

I really liked the characters in this, Alice really did come across as a modern day Alice, and I loved how we had no idea if she was really Alice, or if she was really nuts!

The other characters were also crazy, the Pillar who was certifiable, Jack who seemed like a stalker, not to mention the white queen and the Cheshire Cat himself!

The storyline in this was good, and I liked how it kept you on your toes, never knowing if what was happening was really happening or whether it was all in Alice’s head, not knowing where the killer would strike next, not knowing how the strange riddles would work out and make sense! Yay for a totally insane and crazy joy ride through the world of Lewis Carroll!

There was a little sprinkling of romance, but not a lot, and it was in a similar ‘what is going on? Is this guy a stalker? What does he really want with her?’ kind of way. I loved how Jack would randomly pop up in places where he wasn’t expected!

The ending to this was good, and left us with questions once again as to what had really happened to Alice, whether she really was just crazy, and what would happen next! This was such a good Alice in Wonderland retelling that I really want to read the original now!
8 out of 10
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on 17 December 2014
Who is Alice? Is this all a conspiracy or is she just a mad girl in an Asylum? Well, to be honest, I would love to know.
Alice's encounters with the characters from Wonderland are just enough to make you - along with Alice - wonder whether these are real or in her head. Like poor Alice, I too, was left confused and wondering at the end of this book. Don't get me wrong though, it is a 'good' confusion, one that makes me wonder what will come next and when the next installment will be ready to read.

After reading this first installment, I think I need to re-read the Lewis Carroll version. I missed a few 'Carrollian' references which I had to look up. With that said though, I do not mean to say that you need to read the original to enjoy or understand 'Insanity'.

Cameron Jace leads the reader down the proverbial rabbit hole and we end up being as confused as Alice. Definitely a recommended read.
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on 12 February 2016
Insanity review
After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll's paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland's real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.

Insane version of Alice in wonderland those cute characters are far from cute and pretty insane and haven't even had the mad hatter in it yet.
So I started this book one afternoon and I just put our dinner on to cook to read this ....
How to read this book: Begin at the beginning and go until you come to the end; then stop.
So told kids and husband (basically extra child) that their dinner will burn as I'm not stopping till then..... The author said I can't stop lol I did have a 20 min break to eat and finish of dinner ect. Don't waorry I didn't burn the flat or there dinner.
I love the quotes from this book the detailed scenes and the the funny and insane ideas that make you think. With a twist of murder history around the original story and the characters and abit of mystery to keep you intrigued.
I love this version of Alice I love the way at first she wasn't sure if she was loopy or not but she's coming out of her self and growing to become a kick arse character on a mission to save people.
Sane is mundane, Insanity is the new black.
Yeap I think once you read this you will agree being sane is sooo last yr.
A very good read and look forward to reading the rest in this series I doubt I'll be able to watch the Disney version with the kids ever again .
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on 8 December 2015
I was so excited to start this book I practically rushed through the book I was previously reading just to pick it up. The idea behind the book and how it had been described seemed like something I had never heard of before and looked fantastic.
The book started with promise, a killer going round stitching the faces of his victims into a smile, something creepy, the rest of the book looked promising if it kept up this.
It didn't, I absolutely love Alice in Wonderland, I really wanted to have a really deep and twisted view of the story, I thought it was going to be completely insane, it wasn't, it wasn't even too insane for me to 'get' it just didn't work, it was just odd and I struggled to read it.

Non of the characters were developed, believable or even likeable, Alice couldn't tell if she was coming or going and to be honest neither could I? I struggled to believe anything in this book, from the way people strutted in and out of the asylum like it was a hotel to the sudden boarding of planes. It would have made more sense for the main characters to have just escaped from the asylum than to have just walked in and out freely as I still don't understand how it was possible for them to do so. I couldn't follow or was too uninterested to follow the book (I read the whole thing just to see if it made sense in the end) I cannot understand how this author had such a fantastic idea for a book and went in a completely random way with it. I was expecting murders, more characters from the insane asylum to come through and mystery but all I got was an asylum that let you wander in and out as you pleased (once in it you got electroshock therapy so why they went back I have no idea) a professor Carter Pillar who was a patient at the asylum but seemed to run the place and god knows what. There were a lot of moments when I thought 'huh?' for example, the guards in the university were all working for or helping Carter Pillar, the real guards had been drugged, how exactly? It made no sense. Carter Pillar had many people working for him randomly throughout the book with no rhyme or reason.

Cheshire Cat could have been so creepy & disturbed, so cunning and exciting but he was boring, predictable & just bland.

It's hard for me to even review as if the characters were real because they didn't seem it, I felt nothing towards any character, I just wanted the book to end. I bought 3 of these books too, I was that full of hope. I'm gutted the story I anticipated turned out to just be words on a page.

I'm being careful not to use the words, bizarre, whacky, over my head, crazy, insane etc words that could have people think I just didn't get the concept or it was beyond my imagination to grasp this, it wasn't, I have read many many many books from various authors & genres and pulled something from even the most boring books.
I do not want to slate the author, what I want is for him to come back with what he promised, an insane book but one that's not rushed or thrown together, I'd be happy to read a rewritten version as I don't want to let the idea go, this could have been amazing. The author writes well, I didn't even care that he used americanised words in the England based book, I just want the creepy, insane book I was expecting about the most wonderful characters on earth, Alice in wonderland!

I am so disappointed. Someone needs to take this idea and go in the right direction with it with mysterious creepy murders and a very dark Alice in Wonderland, not a rushed, whatever this was.
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on 5 January 2014
One of the strangest books I have read within the last 3 years, and it was well worth the wait!

The spelling mistakes were slightly irritating, but they were few and far between, so it didn't put me off the flow of the book too much. I have the kindle version, so the paperback may be edited better.

The subject of reality and delusion fascinates me. It's actually a subject that's quite close to my heart.

I do love retellings of classic stories and fairy tales, and this book is right up there with the best ones I have EVER read. An absolutely frabjous (am I spelling it right?) book!

Well deserving of a full 5 stars. I'm so glad to know that there will be a second instalment. I had been worried that it would all end far too quickly for my liking, and Cameron Jace hasn't disappointed. I look forward to the continuation!

Alice, Pillar and Jack Diamonds are entertaining and actually rather surprisingly deep characters. The Mad Hatter is always a favourite in my head, so I was sad to hear that he's somewhat of a villain in this scenario. Tim Burton's Hatter and Hatter in Frank Beddor's 'Looking Glass Wars' are some of the best characters I have ever had the pleasure of learning about, but Alice makes up for it in this book all on her own, in my opinion. Pillar is wonderful, as well!

As I've said before, I can't wait for the sequel!
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